Chris Johnson, Titans beat Rams

ST. LOUIS — Chris Johnson became a star under Jeff Fisher, rushing for 2,000 yards in 2009 a year after the Tennessee Titans drafted him in the first round.

On Sunday, Johnson got the best of his former coach.

‘‘C.J., when he gets on the edge he goes,’’ Fisher said after Johnson’s second touchdown of the game was the go-ahead score in the Titans’ 28-21 victory over the St. Louis Rams.


Fisher has seen Johnson run wild plenty of times, just not from the opposite sideline.

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He again downplayed the matchup against the franchise he coached for 17 years, saying it was ‘‘another week for me,’’ although he expected the loss to hurt more for former Titans players now in the St. Louis lineup.

‘‘I think this one probably at the end of the day, it’s probably going to last a little longer, hurt a little bit more,’’ Fisher said. ‘‘Because it was important to them.’’

Titans coach Mike Munchak, a longtime former Fisher aide, also said this game was nothing personal. The postgame handshake was brief.

‘‘That’s something we can talk more about in the offseason and having bragging rights about who beat who,’’ Munchak said. ‘‘But this is all about us vs. them.


‘‘Players are the ones who win the games.’’

Johnson ran for 150 yards on 23 carries for the Titans (4-4), who ended a three-game losing streak after their bye against a team on short rest. The Rams lost, 14-9, to Seattle on Monday night and have dropped three in a row.

Johnson’s 19-yard scoring run snapped a tie with 2:54 remaining the play after Jurrell Casey sacked and stripped St. Louis quarterback Kellen Clemens, and Derrick Morgan recovered. Clemens landed on it first, but the ball squirted away.

‘‘It’s a mistake that can’t be made,’’ Clemens said. ‘‘And unfortunately I made it.’’

The Rams (3-6) have lost three in a row despite a second straight 100-yard game from rookie Zac Stacy, who had 127 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns.


St. Louis drove to the Titans 26 in the final minute, but Austin Pettis could only get a hand on Clemens’s high throw to a corner of the end zone on fourth down.

Rookie Tavon Austin’s 24-yard punt return gave the Rams a final chance at their 39 with 50 seconds to go and no timeouts. Chris Givens had a 25-yard catch to put them in position.

Johnson gained his most yards since Week 7 last season against Buffalo when he had 195. In the previous four games, he’d totaled 110 yards with a 2.4-yard average per carry.

‘‘It helps my confidence, sure,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘I felt like I was getting close to breaking out.’’

Former Titan Jared Cook tied it at 21 with 6:15 left on a 10-yard pass from Clemens.

Quarterback Jake Locker put the Titans up, 21-14, with 9:42 to go on a 5-yard run, breaking a tackle by linebacker Alec Ogletree about 2 yards from the end zone.

Stacy gained more than 100 yards for the second straight week on the next drive with a 32-yard carry.

The Rams had a sloppy start with three straight penalties, helping the Titans score on their opening possession on a 5-yard run by Shonn Greene. Cortland Finnegan, Darian Stewart, and Jermelle Cudjo were whistled for horse collar, holding, and illegal use of hands.

Clemens was 7 of 7 for 75 yards to open the game, and 0 of 6 to finish the half. The Rams failed to capitalize on Finnegan’s interception in the final minute when Greg Zuerlein pushed a 44-yard field goal attempt just wide to the right — his first miss of the season inside 50 yards.