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Music to their ears

Titans down Giants 28-14 to set new stadium win record

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Latest: Monday October 02, 2000 08:28 AM

  Frank Wycheck Frank Wycheck's 14-yard reception from Steve McNair put the Titans up 7-0 on their first possession. AP

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans picked the perfect time to put together a ball-control offense.

Steve McNair threw three touchdown passes and Eddie George ran for another TD as the Titans beat the New York Giants 28-14 on Sunday, setting an NFL record with their 10th consecutive victory to christen the new stadium.

The Titans (3-1) won their third consecutive game by controlling the ball against the Giants (3-2), who went into the game ranked second in the NFL in time of possession.

"The last couple of weeks, everyone was getting ulcers," fullback Lorenzo Neal said, referring to their three previous close games. "No one said it was going to be easy, but it's good that we established some stuff and sent a message."

The Titans played keepaway as they held the ball for nearly 43 of the game's 60 minutes, rolled up 436 yards total offense and forced four turnovers.

Perfect 10
Tennessee's regular-season wins
at Adelphia Coliseum
Vs.  Score 
Cincinnati  36-35 
Cleveland  26-9 
Baltimore  14-11 
St. Louis  24-21 
Pittsburgh  16-10 
Oakland  21-14 
Atlanta  30-17 
Jacksonville  47-36 
Kansas City  17-14 
N.Y. Giants  28-14 

They never trailed as they scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives, and none of the drives covered fewer than 80 yards. The best was a 19-play, 98-yard drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes of the first half.

"Our offense pounded those cats," Titans end Kenny Holmes said. "I wouldn't want to be on that side of the ball. I can't say enough about our offensive line. I'm proud of those guys."

It was role reversal for the Giants, who started the season so well by holding onto the ball for more than 34 minutes a game.

This time, they barely had the ball half that time, and they never got the NFL's best rushing attack rolling. The unit that had averaged 163.8 yards had just 1 yard at halftime and finished with 24 of their 215 yards on the ground.

"I don't know if I even broke a sweat out there in the first half," Giants tackle Lomas Brown said.

Head coach Jim Fassel called the loss disappointing because the Giants couldn't get the Titans offense off the field.

"We're going to make up our minds right now where we're going. We started out with a lot of confidence. The last two games we haven't played that way," Fassel said. "They beat us across the board."

McNair picked up where he left off last week in rallying the Titans to a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers and hit his first eight passes Sunday, giving him 11 consecutive completions. McNair drove the Titans down the field on the opening possession and hit Frank Wycheck with a 14-yard TD for a 7-0 lead.

New York had its best chance to slow down the Titans at the end of the first quarter when Ron Dixon downed a punt at the Tennessee 2. But the Titans methodically moved down the field, converting six third downs, and George ran 7 yards for a TD and a 14-0 lead.

SI's Don Banks
  • Three things we learned after the Giants-Titans game include "Thunder and Lightning" isn't all that it was hyped to be ... healthy receivers are at a premium in Tennessee ... the honeymoon rages on at Adelphia Coliseum.
  • Here's a notion: The time is now for Steve McNair. This is his team. His town. His time. Make no mistake. Tennessee running back Eddie George might be the franchise, but McNair is the man who drives these Titans. 

    McNair put the Titans up 21-0 at halftime when he found Derrick Mason for a 29-yard TD, and his 3-yarder to Wycheck in the fourth quarter put the Titans up 28-7.

    He was 24-of-35 for 293 yards, and George had his first 100-yard rushing game this season as he finished with 35 carries for 125 yards.

    "It's a pretty effective offense the way they do it," Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn said. "It's not in any way, shape or form, finesse."

    The Titans even ended a drought as the NFL's only team without an interception just before halftime when Dainon Sidney picked off Kerry Collins' pass. They finished with three interceptions.

    About the only thing that didn't go the Titans' way was when Al Del Greco bounced an attempted 46-yard field goal off an upright as the first half ended.

    The Giants finally scored with 5:25 left in the third quarter when Collins found Ike Hilliard for a 14-yard TD pass with 5:25 left. He added a 1-yard TD to Dan Campbell midway through the fourth quarter.

    Tennessee broke the record of nine consecutive victories to open a stadium set by the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium in 1971-72.

    Notes: Mason finished with a career-high 103 yards receiving off six catches. ... George had the 24th 100-yard rushing game of his career. The Titans are 19-7 when George rushes for a TD. ... Titans receiver Carl Pickens left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left hamstring. Titans left tackle Brad Hopkins sprained his right ankle in the first half and did not return. He left the stadium wearing a walking boot on his foot. ... Sidney's interception was the fourth of his career. ... Fassel is 0-2 against the Titans. The Giants, who won the first five games in this series, are 0-2 since the Titans moved to Tennessee.

    Related information
    SI's Peter King: Chargers have Rams' Martz scared
    Giants-Titans Game Summary
    Giants' quarterback Kerry Collins says he is searching for the right formula after throwing three interceptions. (146 K)
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