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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"It's kind of like Kevin Costner in "For The Love of the Game," where he clears the mechanism," Bironas said. "You go out there, and you're in the zone."

The Titans held the ball more than their opponent for the first time this season at 30 minutes, 3 seconds. The Steelers outgained Tennessee 412-359 on offense, and the NFL's fifth-stingiest defense sacked Hasselbeck three times and intercepted him once.

But Johnson, criticized heavily the past five weeks for hesitant play, outran the Steelers running backs all by himself.

"You want to go out there and make plays and show everybody what type of team you are," Johnson said. "That you are not coming out there to let them run us over."

The Steelers sat safety Troy Polamalu and his injured right calf along with linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring). But the injuries started piling up from the very first offensive snap, as first center Maurkice Pouncey hurt his right leg and missed the rest of the game. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert hurt his right ankle in the second quarter. Doug Legursky stepped in for Pouncey, while rookie Mike Adams replaced Gilbert.

Baron Batch ran for a 1-yard TD after Ike Redman hurt his right ankle after catching four passes for 105 yards. Rashad Mendenhall, who made his season debut last week, hurt his Achilles. Safety Will Allen went out briefly with a stinger as well. Ryan Clark also went to the sideline briefly.

"We just didn't do what we had to do," Clark said.

Now the Titans can rest up and see if Jake Locker might be back Oct. 21 when they visit Buffalo. They eased the constant criticism with a big victory over a perennially good team. Munchak said they really needed this win badly.

"We need to enjoy this one," Munchak said. "It's only one win. We know that. But it's a great win for us at this point in the season when we needed to play and show people really what we're all about."

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Notes: The game-winner was Bironas' second this year and set a franchise record with his 11th overall. ... Titans cornerback Jason McCourty had an interception, the fifth of his career and first this season. ... Tomlin is 3-2 against the Titans. Tomlin now is 15-6 in October. ... Tennessee has won two of its last three home games against Pittsburgh. ... Titans cornerback Tommie Campbell hurt his ankle on punt coverage and did not return.

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