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Hasselbeck seals Titans 35-34 win over Bills

Associated Press Modified: October 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm •  Published: October 21, 2012
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Chris Johnson finally hit the gas. And Matt Hasselbeck delivered in the clutch for a second straight week.

And together, they appear to have the sputtering Tennessee Titans turned in the right direction after capping a wild and wacky game with a thrilling finish in a 35-34 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Johnson got the Titans' offense up and running with 195 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Those scores came during a wild first quarter, in which Tennessee and Buffalo scored three TDs in a span of 30 seconds.

It was then up to Hasselbeck to secure the victory by hitting Nate Washington with a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:03 remaining.

"It's a great feeling," Hasselbeck said. "To pull through once again in a close game for our third win in a game that came down basically to the last play was a great feeling."

Facing fourth-and-9, Hasselbeck dropped a pass just over the shoulder of Washington, who had a step on Justin Rogers in the end zone. In his third start in place of Jake Locker, Hasselbeck produced his 22nd fourth-quarter comeback win and second in consecutive weeks after he rallied the Titans to a 26-23 win over Pittsburgh on Oct. 11.

It wouldn't have been possible had Johnson not emerged from a season-long hibernation.

Entering the game with 301 yards rushing, Johnson broke out with the third-best rushing total against a Bills defense he's become accustomed to dominating.

"I don't think I've ever had a bad game against them," Johnson said. He's right. In three games, Johnson upped his career total against the Bills to 480 yards and six touchdowns.

He opened with a 16-yard touchdown for his first score of the season, and then erupted for an 83-yard TD the next time he touched the ball.

"Yeah, I've been waiting for it for a while," Johnson said. "I don't think I went 80 yards in like two years, so it feels good."

The Titans (3-4) won their first road game after opening with three consecutive losses.

The Bills (3-4) have lost three of their past four while stumbling into their bye week with plenty of problems to address.

Their defense still can't stop the run. In allowing the Titans 197 yards rushing, the Bills have now given up 182 or more yards on the ground in each of their past four games — including 311 in a 45-3 loss at San Francisco two weeks ago.

And quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to raise questions about his inconsistencies. Though he finished 27 of 35 for 225 and three scores, he had two costly turnovers that led to Titans touchdowns. That included his ill-advised pass on third-and-6 that was intercepted by Jason McCourty at midfield with 2:57 to set up the decisive score.

Fitzpatrick blamed himself.

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