Found November 26, 2013 on Fox Sports Tennessee:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Through 10 games, Titans rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter had only seven catches for 102 yards. In Sunday's win at Oakland, the second-round pick out of Tennessee broke through to notch career highs with seven catches for 109 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown early in the second half. Five catches came on third-down conversions, including a 9-yarder on 3rd-and-6 to the Raiders' 10 that kept the game-winning drive alive with less than a minute remaining. "I felt like I played good," said Hunter, who has been slow to learn the precision and demands of the offense, "but I think I could have played a little bit stronger than what I did (Sunday). "I think I got pushed out of my route a few times but was still was able to get the ball, so I just need to work on that part of my game." Along with second-year wideout Kendall Wright and veteran Nate Washington, Hunter's late-season emergence gives the Titans three viable options at wide receiver. That is a comfort thought, since veteran Kenny Britt has been unreliable and ineffective, and Damian Williams has been sidelined with a hip injury. "We didnt know for sure," Titans coach Mike Munchak said of Hunter's progress that had included a pair of acrobatic touchdowns among his previous six catches. "I think he's had good coaching. I think (wide receivers coach) Shawn Jefferson's done a great job with him. He's constantly in his ear, constantly talking to him, constantly showing him how to be a pro." Hunter is also leaning heavily on Wright, who led all NFL rookies last year in receptions and tops the 2013 Titans with 65 catches, 763 yards and two touchdowns, and Washington (36 catches, 566 yards, two TDs). "I think having another young player like Kendall (Wright) there, he's seen how Kendall attacks the game in the second year," Munchak said. "Then Nate (Washington) is one of our team captains. I think hes done a great job in that room. "The way they work in practice, he works hard in practice, he does scout-team reps. Him and Kendall dont want to come off the field in practice. They're competing, and that rubs off on you I think." Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is starting for the injured Jake Locker the remainder of the season, has already established a rapport with Hunter and Wright. "Kendall's really stepped up all year for us," said Fitzpatrick, who completed 30 of 42 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against Oakland. "Hes been a real reliable guy for me a guy that I really trust. "Justin Hunter (Sunday), all his catches, he really stepped up and made some plays, and obviously the great run after the catch on the touchdown. He was making tough catches, getting hit, having to go to the ground on third down conversions." Griffin suspended by NFL Free safety Michael Griffin was suspended by the NFL without pay for the upcoming Colts game, following his hit Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera. It was Griffin's second time this season and fourth since 2011 to be punished for a hit to the head andor neck area of a defenseless player. If the suspension is upheld, upon appeal, it will cost Griffin approximately 205,992 117th of his 3.5 million base salary. "I told their training room staff I apologized," Griffith said. "It was nothing intentional or me trying to harm anybody. I was just trying to do the job I am paid to do. " ... I prayed for him right then and there. I wasnt meaning to do any harm." Playoff hopes still alive The Titans (currently the AFC's No. 6 seed at 5-6) control their own destiny for a playoff berth, although the schedule is daunting with trips to Indianapolis and Denver, before returning home Dec. 15 against 7-4 Arizona. The AFC division leaders seem secure for playoff spots with New England (8-3) in the East, Cincinnati (7-4) in the North, Indianapolis (7-4) in the South and either Denver (9-2) or Kansas City in the West (9-2) with the divisional runner-up likely garnering the top wild card. That leaves the Titans among six teams Jets, Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens and Chargers all sitting at 5-6 and still in the hunt for the last wild-card spot.
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