NFL roundup: Tennessee turns the corner

Chris Johnson went over and above for the Titans in the first quarter with two touchdowns, all part of a 195-yard rushing game.
bill wippert/associated press
Chris Johnson went over and above for the Titans in the first quarter with two touchdowns, all part of a 195-yard rushing game.

Chris Johnson finally hit the gas, and Matt Hasselbeck delivered in the clutch for a second straight week. Together, they appear to have the sputtering Tennessee Titans (3-4) turned in the right direction after capping a game with a thrilling finish in a 35-34 win over the Bills on Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Johnson got the Titans’ offense going 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,’’ said Hasselbeck, who finished 22 of 33 for 205 yards and a score. ‘‘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.’’

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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 22d fourth-quarter comeback win and second in consecutive weeks after he rallied the Titans to a 26-23 win over Pittsburgh on Oct. 11.

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.

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

The Bills (3-4) have lost three of their past four. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to raise questions. Though he was 27 of 35 for 225 and three TDs, he had two turnovers that led to Titans touchdowns.

Steelers 24, Bengals 17


The top two running backs were gone. So were two offensive linemen. All that the Steelers had left was Ben Roethlisberger (27 for 37 for 278 yards), some backup runners, and one of the NFL’s top defenses. In Cincinnati, that’s plenty.

Roethlisberger threw for a touchdown, overcoming his end-zone interception and costly fumble, and Pittsburgh’s defense clamped down for an AFC North victory.

Third-year back Jonathan Dwyer made his first career start and ran for a career-high 122 yards, including a 32-yard gain that put it away for the Steelers (3-3) in the final seconds. Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47, and 42 yards.

Cincinnati (3-4) wasted yet another chance to show it can keep up with the division’s best. The Bengals are 0-6 the last two seasons against Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

Colts 17, Browns 13

Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988 as Indianapolis put away visiting Cleveland, and eclipsed last season’s win total.


Indianapolis (3-3) controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes, ran for a season-high 148 yards, held Cleveland to 55 yards on the ground, and finished with two stops in Colts territory before finally forcing the last man with the ball — following five laterals and a fumble — out of bounds on the final play.

Luck finished 16 of 29 for 186 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, but he had three carries for 12 yards, becoming the third quarter­back in franchise history with two rushing TDs in a game.

The Browns (1-6) took the field with heavy hearts after team officials said Friday that left guard Jason Pinkston had been hospitalized due to life-threatening blood clots.

Running back Trent Richardson attempted to play despite a rib injury, but after managing 8 yards on eight carries in the first half, he was yanked by coach Pat Shurmur and didn’t return in the second half.

Raiders 26, Jaguars 23

After coming up short on what would have been an NFL-record 64-yard field goal attempt on the last play of regulation, Sebastian Janikowski hit a 40-yarder 2:06 into overtime to give host Oakland a win over Jacksonville.

Janikowski’s winning kick was set up after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of OT.

Carson Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force OT for the Raiders (2-4), who overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half.

The Jaguars (1-5) lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a left foot injury on the opening drive and quarterback Blaine Gabbert to an injured left shoulder in the second quarter. They managed only two first downs after halftime behind backup QB Chad Henne.

Vikings 21, Cardinals 14

The Minnesota Vikings are going to have to surpass 58 yards passing to stay in the playoff chase, but, for one afternoon in Minneapolis, Adrian Peterson and a relentless pass rush were enough for a victory.

Peterson ran 23 times for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, and the Vikings survived a dreadful second half to hand the Cardinals their third straight loss.

Christian Ponder threw a second-quarter touchdown pass to Percy Harvin, but he had only one completion for 4 yards in the second half while the Vikings (5-2) punted five straight times. The last four were three-and-out possessions.

‘‘To win an ugly game like this is huge. That shows how good of a team we are,’’ said Ponder, who finished 8 for 17 for 58 yards and two interceptions.

Rookie Harrison Smith returned an interception 31 yards for a TD in the first minute of the second half, giving the Vikings enough cushion to withstand their offensive woes.

Cowboys 19, Panthers 14

Dan Bailey kicked four field goals and Tony Romo threw for 227 yards and a touchdown as visiting Dallas held on against Carolina.

With his team trailing, 14-13, Romo led the Cowboys into field goal range with a 10-play, 44-yard drive, with Bailey hitting from 28 yards out and helping Dallas (3-3) to its ninth consecutive regular-season win over the Panthers (1-5).

Carolina’s Cam Newton finished 21 of 37 for 233 yards with one touchdown and an interception.