Titans air it out against Broncos

NASHVILLE, TN (WAFF) - Through the first three games of the 2011 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans are a model of consistency and it has helped the team improve to 2-1 on the year after Sunday's 17-14 victory over the Denver Broncos.

The Titans offense has moved on the arm of newly acquired quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who is off to the best start of his 13 year NFL career.

Hasselbeck has done something that no other Titans quarterback has done since 2004.  He's thrown for 300 yards in back-to-back games.

The last time a Titans quarterback had such a prolific stretch of games, Billy Volek was under center and the Titans lost both those games nearly seven years ago.

Hasselbeck's back-to-back 300 yards games both led to Titans victories, including Sunday's game-winning toss to tight end Daniel Graham.

"It was wide open. It was a great call and I almost started celebrating before I threw the ball," said Hasselbeck.  "It was good…it was great."

Hasselbeck also threw a touchdown to wide receiver Nate Washington and a beautiful sideline pass to running back Chris Johnson that went for more than 30 yards.

That 34 yard pass play turned out to be the highlight of the game for the NFL's second-highest paid running back after being held in check for the third consecutive game.

Johnson squeaked out 21 yards rushing against a banged-up Broncos defense, which tied him for the game high with punter Bert Kern.

Kern ran once for 21 yards after a low snap on a punt.

"He made a great play on the low snap and a great decision when he had to that led to three points for us," said head coach Mike Munchak.  Kern's run kept a Titans drive alive that lead to a Rob Bironas field goal and a 10-7 lead at halftime.

Denver reclaimed the lead in the third quarter and threatened to extend it before the Titans made a goal line stand to stop the Broncos at the one-yard line.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Titans took over at their own five-yard-line with 7:54 left in the game.

Two big passes to Titans tight ends Craig Stevens and Daniel Graham led to the comeback victory.

Stevens caught the longest pass of his career to put the Titans deep in Broncos territory and Graham snared the four yard pass to win the game against his old team.  He then tossed the ball high in the stands.

"I just reacted and threw the ball in the stands," said Graham.  "I hope it made some fan happy as I was at that moment."

The Titans defense had to be happy with Sunday's performance against the Broncos.  They held Denver to 231 total yards, just 59 of that total coming on the ground including the stop on that goal line stand that saved the game.

"That's what it's about, making the big plays," said linebacker Wil Witherspoon.  "Those four stops on four plays on the goal line, all in all together, everybody made something happen today."

The Titans will have to find a way to make something happen next Sunday in Cleveland if they want to continue this winning streak.

The Titans will likely be without receiver Kenny Britt as they await to hear just how seriously his knee is injured.  That means another receiver will have to step up to replace the receiver who led the AFC and the NFL's 7th ranked passing attack in receiving yards through the first two games of the 2011 season.

The Titans must also find a way to get Chris Johnson on track after three sub-par rushing performances following his holdout before signing a $53 million dollar contract.

Cleveland comes into the game with a 2-1 record, the same as the Titans.

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