Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/23/12
"You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans!"In truth, yesterday's affair was an early afternoon game, but the point coach Yoast was trying to make is that Tennessee has found a sudden knack for clutch fourth-quarter performances.The Titans (3-4) rebounded from deficit for the second consecutive week as they stole the show from the Buffalo Bills (3-4) in their first road victory of the 2012 season, by an excited score of 35-34.In a conference that boasts merely three teams above .500 (default Houston, panicking Baltimore, and inexplicable New England) as the October moon rises, Tennessee's demonstrated closing ability bodes well in a wide open wild-card race for a franchise that has now avoided a 2-5 start following their failure to clinch a postseason berth last season.Buffalo, meanwhile, wasted a prime opportunity to redeem themselves as an AFC sleeper pick, with Miami idle and neither the Patriots nor the Jets honestly wanting to win their Sunday showdown. Instead, they reside in the division cellar, and appear as a less talented and tangible version of the 2011 Detroit Lions.The game-winning drive resulted from Ryan Fitzpatrick's lone interception of the contest (he also lost a fumble), courtesy of Jason McCourty. The Harvard graduate was able to produce against a Tennessee unit almost as bad as one of the worst NFL defenses of all time (a justifiable claim when considering Buffalo's offseason expenses and preseason hype), but if he wishes to be the franchise quarterback and validate his beard, then he cannot turn the ball over late.Both offenses were able to score and move the ball with relative ease at points throughout, but no player benefited more from their matchup than a reborn Chris Johnson. After posting 91 yards against deteriorating yet still formidable Pittsburgh two Thursdays ago, CJ195K [divided by K] reached pay dirt twice - his first touchdowns since he last played Buffalo in Week 13 of 2011.Johnson is finally showcasing some consistency to go along with his elevating 4.5 YPC average, but he will have to make sure he does not disappear again (or remain absent in the passing attack) in order to keep the Titans' optimism alive.Then again, relocation to the AFC East would be the better answer, especially if they were to face opposition reminiscent of the Bills' display on a regular basis.On a 3rd-and-1 leading up to the two-minute warning at Buffalo's 43, a simple run play up the middle was executed to perfection as David Stewart and company bullied the defensive line to the left side (strong side!). Johnson proceeded to the right for a gain of 27 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the 16, with defenders steering clear of him as though he was surrounded by a force field.You can only pursue "angles" for so long, because allowing Johnson to run east-and-west - his sole purpose of existing - is the worst mistake you can commit against this Tennessee Titans' offense.The rest was left to the dependability of fill-in Matt Hasselbeck, who cashed in on his 22nd career fourth-quarter comeback in place of injured Jake Locker, and possession receiver Nate Washington, amidst the continuing evaporation of Kenny Britt. As Randy Jackson would deduct, however, it was pitchy.The drive originating at the Tennessee 48 with 2:57 remaining, Hasselbeck (22-of-33, 205 yards, and the eventual touchdown pass to Washington) was sacked for an eight-yard loss before completing a first down to Washington (6 receptions for 43 yards), who then fumbled it out of bounds behind the imaginary yellow line while attempting to stop the clock.The offense stalled again after Johnson refreshed their set of downs, with a negative rush by reserve running back Jamie Harper, an overthrown incompletion to Washington, and a skimpy two-yard sideline hookup on third down. Everyone watching was beginning to believe that this might not be the worst defense in NFL history...On the ensuing do-or-die 4th-and-9 with 1:08 left, the safeties ended up too deep in the end zone, and George Wilson was unable to cut back and help cornerback Justin Rogers defend the outside. Hasselbeck effortlessly stepped up from the shotgun and delivered the over-the-shoulder pass above the Buffalo secondary and into the hands of Washington, who established his footing unlike a robbed Mike Williams of Tampa Bay.Buffalo could not convert on their own fourth down try later on, and they enter the bye week wondering why they didn't go for the two-point conversion near the conclusion of the third quarter. Perhaps Chan Gailey and the Bills have one of the worst two-point offenses of all time.Regardless, fat ladies are no longer warming up their vocal chords in Tennessee, who battle Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts for second place in the AFC South next Sunday."We want some mo', we want some mo' we want some mo'!" Play catch up on all of this season's Drives to Victory:Week 6Week 5Week 4Week 3Week 2Week 1Preseason Week 4Preseason Week 3Preseason Week 2Preseason Week 1Hall of Fame Game
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