Blocked punt helps Titans take early 13-10 lead


Blocked punt helps Titans take early 13-10 lead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tim Shaw blocked a punt to set up Jamie Harper's 1-yard run that gave the Tennessee Titans a 13-10 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers early in the second quarter Thursday night.

The Titans had been one of only two NFL teams without a rushing touchdown - the St. Louis Rams were the other - before Harper's burst on the opening play of the second quarter.

Shaw set up the touchdown by breaking through the middle of the line and blocking Drew Butler's punt on the final play of the first quarter. Jason McCourty recovered at the 1.

Rob Bironas made field goals from 22 and 38 yards in the first quarter for the Titans.

Mike Wallace gave the Steelers a 10-6 lead with an 82-yard touchdown reception.

Wallace beat McCourty on a deep pattern, broke McCourty's tackle attempt at the 30 and sneaked inside the right pylon as safety Michael Griffin tried to push him out of bounds. Wallace lost possession at the end of the play, but replays failed to show whether the ball came loose before he crossed the goal line.

The Titans have allowed at least one first-quarter touchdown in each of their first six games this season.

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger entered the game with 27,703 yards in career passing, 286 yards shy of Terry Bradshaw's franchise record. This was Roethlisberger's 119th career game. Bradshaw played 168 games from 1970-83.

A Titans offense that had exceeded the 14-point mark in only one of its first five games drove 69 yards on the game's opening possession. The Titans had first-and-goal at the 2 after cornerback Ike Taylor interfered with Damian Williams in the end zone, but the drive stalled from there.

James Harrison sacked Hasselbeck on first-and-goal, and a third-down pass from the 5 went off the hands of a diving Kendall Wright in the right corner of the end zone. Bironas' kick hit the right upright and bounced through to give the Titans their first lead since a 44-41 overtime victory over Detroit on Sept. 23.

The Steelers answered on their opening possession with a 29-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham.

Roethlisberger got the Steelers into field-goal range with a 33-yard completion across the middle to Ike Redman, who dragged a few Titans the last 10 yards on a third-and-6 conversion.

The Steelers were playing without injured strong safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) on defense, and they lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey when he injured his right leg on their first play from scrimmage. Pouncey didn't play the rest of the first quarter, and his return was listed as questionable.

The Steelers were attempting to move above .500 for the first time this season after splitting their first four games. They should have felt right at home in Nashville, as roughly half the fans at LP Field were waving Terrible Towels while dressed in Steeler black-and-gold.

The Titans were seeking to bounce back from a 1-4 start in which each of their losses was decided by at least 21 points.

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.