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Titans-Broncos Flashback: Goal Line Stand Sparks Comeback

Posted Dec 6, 2013

Sept. 25, 2011: Titans 17, Broncos 14 | Click here to download the gamebook.

Derrick Morgan reacts after stopping Willis McGahee on fourth-and-goal in 2011.
Click here for a slideshow from that game.

This flashback goes to the last time the teams met and highlights a goal-line stand and comeback victory by Tennessee.

Denver had momentum after a touchdown by Willis McGahee late in the third quarter and getting the ball back at the Tennnessee 13-yard line after a sack fumble on the following play from scrimmage. After back-to-back encroachment penalties on third downs moved the ball from the 7 to give the Broncos the ball at the 2.

The Titans then rose to the challenge, forcing an incompletion on first down, stuffing McGahee for no gain on second and stopping him after a gain of 1 on third down.

Instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal, the Broncos took a timeout and went for it on fourth down, but Derrick Morgan was the first player to reach McGahee and stop him for no gain.

Both teams swapped possessions that ended in punts before the Titans got the ball back at their own 5 with 7:54 remaining and seized momentum with a touchdown drive.

Tennessee was playing without Kenny Britt, who suffered a knee injury in the second quarter, but Matt Hasselbeck distributed the ball across the field. The veteran QB connected with Quinn Johnson for an 8-yard gain and converted third-and-2 with a short pass to Javon Ringer.

Daniel Graham caught the game-winning TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck. Slideshow of AP photos.

Hasselbeck then hit Craig Stevens in stride for a 58-yard completion to the Denver 25. Chris Johnson rushed for eight yards, and Hasselbeck followed with a 13-yarder to Nate Washington and a 4-yard touchdown to Daniel Graham for a 17-14 lead. Graham heaved the ball into the stands in celebration.

The Broncos tried to answer but Will Witherspoon intercepted Kyle Orton with 1:39 left in the game, and the Titans were able to run out the clock.

Hasselbeck was 27-of-36 passing for 311 yards with touchdown passes to Washington and Graham on a day when Denver’s defense limited Tennessee’s run game to 38 yards on 21 carries, which included a 21-yard gain by punter Brett Kern, who recovered a bad snap and ran for it instead of trying to kick the ball.

The Titans limited the Broncos to 231 net yards, including 59 yards rushing on 23 attempts. The Titans limited Orton to 173 passing yards on 24-for-39 with interceptions by Witherspoon and Jason McCourty. Witherspoon posted the Titans’ lone sack of the day.

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