Archive for Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Titans add to Packers’ misery

Tennessee scores record 48-27 win at once-feared Lambeau

October 12, 2004

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— Lambeau Field now is a desired destination, as Chris Brown and the Tennessee Titans were the latest to learn.

Brown ran for 148 yards and two long touchdowns, and Tennessee cruised to a 48-27 rout of the stumbling Green Bay Packers on Monday night, scoring more points than any visitor ever at the famed stadium.

The Titans (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak and sent the Packers (1-4) to their fourth straight loss. This is Green Bay's first four-game losing streak since 1991 and its first 0-3 start at home since 1988.

From 1996 to 2002, Green Bay was 53-7 at home, including the postseason. The Packers lost to Atlanta in a playoff game in January 2003, starting a Lambeau slump that reached 6-7 with the loss to Tennessee.

"This is unfamiliar territory," Packers coach Mike Sherman said.

Only eight teams in NFL history have overcome a 1-4 start to reach the playoffs, including the Titans two years ago.

"It's something you want to avoid at all costs," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

Tennessee scored on five of its first six possessions with Brown, who had 27 carries, going in on its first two series, from 37 and 29 yards out. Only Na'il Diggs' block of Gary Anderson's 42-yard field goal prevented the Titans from scoring the most first-half points -- 28 -- by an opponent in Lambeau Field's 47-year history.

"To come in here and have a chance to win, you have to run the ball and get turnovers," Fisher said.

The Packers' hopes for a comeback were killed by four second-half turnovers. They had six overall.

The Titans didn't turn the ball over at all.

Tennessee fullback Troy Fleming dives into the end zone on a
14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The Titans routed the
Packes, 48-27, on Monday in Green Bay, Wis.

Tennessee fullback Troy Fleming dives into the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The Titans routed the Packes, 48-27, on Monday in Green Bay, Wis.

"This wasn't season-saving, but it got us back on the right track," Titans safety Tank Williams said.

Steve McNair (chest, ankle) returned after missing Tennessee's last game, and threw two touchdown passes, including an 11-yarder to Eddie Berlin in the third quarter after Brett Favre's third interception.

Favre extended his NFL record with his 213th consecutive start, including playoffs, despite numerous injuries, including a mild concussion he suffered last week. Favre also after the death last week of his 24-year-old brother-in-law in an ATV accident at the family home in Mississippi.

Both teams had lost three straight, and much of the blame went to poor run defense, which showed up right away again for Green Bay as Brown carried nine times for 90 yards in the first quarter. The early deficit altered Green Bay's plan to give the Titans a steady diet of Ahman Green.

The Packers had just five yards rushing on five carries in the first half.

Packers cornerbacks Michael Hawthorne and Ahmad Carroll made the crowd miss the traded Mike McKenzie right away.

Hawthorne capped a poor first series by missing the tackle on Brown's 37-yard touchdown run and Carroll, the Packers' top draft pick, coming back from a groin injury that sidelined him for three weeks, was targeted aplenty whenever he got onto the field.

Brown made it 14-0 with a 29-yard scamper to beat the blitz on the Titans' second possession, after which Sherman chewed out his defenders on the sideline.

But soon his wrath was focused on Green.

The Packers' fumble-prone running back coughed up the ball at the Green Bay 34 with nose tackle Kevin Carter recovering for Tennessee. Green, whose habit of always carrying the ball in his left arm not only gives tacklers a true target but doesn't allow him to stiff-arm defenders, has fumbled four times this season.

Green finished with 33 yards on 10 carries.

Anderson converted Green's gaffe into a 36-yard field goal that made it 17-0 with six minutes left in the first quarter. At that point, the Titans had outgained the Packers 145 yards to four.

After Sherman successfully challenged an interception by Samari Rolle in the end zone, Ryan Longwell's 39-yard field goal made it 17-3.

The Titans responded with a 10-play, 80-yard drive to make it 24-3 on fullback Troy Fleming's 14-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter.

Favre completed all five of his passes for 70 yards, capping the drive with a one-yard toss to tight end Bubba Franks that made it 24-10 with 61/2 minutes left in the first half.

After Anderson was good from 38 but missed from 42, Longwell's 53-yard field goal with two seconds before halftime made it 27-13.

Favre was picked off twice by Lamont Thompson, whose second interception set up McNair's 11-yard touchdown strike to Berlin that made it 34-13 in the third quarter.

The 48 points were the most allowed by Green Bay at home since Detroit's 52-17 win at old City Stadium in 1952.

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