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Titans edge Steelers 26-23 on Bironas' 40-yard FG

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 4:50 am •  Published: October 12, 2012
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Coach Mike Munchak likes his football history, and he told his Tennessee Titans how the 1993 Houston Oilers started 1-4 before winning 11 straight to reach the playoffs.

One win down.

And that's enough for Tennessee right now.

Rob Bironas kicked a 40-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, as time expired, and the Titans edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-23 on Thursday night to snap a two-game skid.

Matt Hasselbeck also threw for 290 yards and a touchdown, Tim Shaw blocked a punt and Chris Johnson ran for 91 yards in his second-best performance this season.

Hasselbeck said the Titans (2-4) know a turnaround like Munchak and his Oilers' teammates had in 1993 can still be accomplished.

"We can write our own history," Hasselbeck said. "Until the season's over, we get to decide how we play."

The Steelers (2-3) head home with a lengthy injury list and even more questions after they lost their third straight road game this season and fifth in six games dating back to the end of last season.

With so many fans wearing Steelers jerseys and waving Terrible Towels in the stands, LP Field felt more like Heinz Field South. A fan even ran onto the field waving a yellow towel between the third and fourth quarters before being tackled by security.

The homey atmosphere didn't help the Steelers, who have lost at Denver, at Oakland and now to the team that had allowed more points than any other NFL team. Pittsburgh was the first team not to score at least 30 points against Tennessee.

"Obviously, we need to look at everything, but I doubt that the process itself is an issue," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "We have to coach better. We have to play better. We have to finish better in these settings."

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 363 yards and a touchdown, and passed Terry Bradshaw as the Steelers' career passing leader. But Roethlisberger couldn't drive the Steelers close enough after Hasselbeck and the Titans tied it up with 4:19 left, and Tomlin sent Shaun Suisham out to kick a 54-yard field goal for the lead. Suisham, who beat Philadelphia last week, watched this kick fall short of the crossbar.

"We just shouldn't have put him in a situation to kick such a long one," Roethlisberger said.

Suisham had given Pittsburgh a 23-16 lead by kicking his third field goal, a 52-yarder, earlier in the fourth.

Tomlin tried to ice Bironas with a timeout just after a low snap might have knocked the Titans' kicker off his pace. Bironas simply waited it out and connected for the game winner even with another low snap.

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