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TENNESSEE 38, HOUSTON 17

McNair's Air Show Is Real Crowd Pleaser

October 13, 2003|From Associated Press

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher sent backup quarterback Billy Volek in to handle the final snap Sunday, allowing Steve McNair to walk off the field to a standing ovation from the fans still in the stands.

The attention caught McNair by surprise.

"I didn't know what was going on when I came out," McNair said. "It was a great feeling."

McNair earned it. He had a perfect quarterback rating in the first half, finished with a career-high 421 yards passing and threw three touchdowns to Derrick Mason to help the Titans rout the Houston Texans, 38-17, Sunday.

McNair helped the Titans gain 535 yards, their highest total since November 1991, their run-and-shoot days at Houston.

The Titans (4-2) returned for their only home game in October determined to erase the memory of last week's loss at New England. It wasn't hard against Houston (2-3), which had three passes intercepted, one for a touchdown.

Erron Kinney dropped McNair's first pass on the Titans' second play, but McNair completed his next 12, including touchdown passes of 32 and 46 yards to Mason for a 14-0 lead.

McNair had plenty of time to pass. When the Texans pressured him, McNair still completed his throws. Linebacker Antwan Peek was so frustrated he pounded the ground after McNair threw a seven-yard completion to Mason.

McNair completed 11 of 12 passes for 233 yards and a perfect 158.3 rating in the first half. He finished 18 of 27, which included a 50-yard touchdown pass to Mason at the start of the fourth quarter to give the Titans a 30-10 lead.

The victory was the 80th for Fisher, making him the fourth-youngest coach to reach the milestone behind John Madden, Don Shula and Bill Cowher.

David Carr had a career-high 371 yards passing and two touchdowns, including one of 65 yards to Corey Bradford.

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