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Recap | Box Score | This Week's Scoreboard
Tennessee 14, Baltimore 11
Posted: Wednesday October 13, 1999 03:52 AM
Baltimore Ravens
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Tennessee Titans
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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Three exhausted teams left the field after the game -- the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and the officials.

The Titans committed 15 penalties for an NFL-record 212 yards and still defeated Baltimore, 14-11, for their 10th straight divisional victory.

"If there's such a thing as playing bad and winning, you saw it today," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

The Ravens (2-3) also hurt themselves, committing nine penalties, including two on 4th-and-short situations in the fourth quarter and another on a punt return before their final possession.

"It's seems we've taken a step backwards," said Ravens coach Brian Billick, whose team lost for the first time in three tries and fell two games behind Tennessee atop the AFC Central.

Baltimore started its last possession at its own 6-yard line before Stoney Case threw a pair of long completions. But Qadry Ismail could not get out of bounds on a 32-yard completion to Tennessee's 41, and time expired.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

The Titans (4-1) kept the Ravens out of the end zone and kept at least a share of first place in the Central, one-half game ahead of Jacksonville. They have not lost a division game since September 27, 1998 against the Jaguars.

"These games are classically the kinds of matchups where there's not a lot of scoring," Fisher said. "However, the disappointment is the manner of which we played. We've got to stop playing like this."

Neil O'Donnell exploited rookie cornerback Chris McAlister on the decisive score, a 27-yard pass to Yancey Thigpen midway through the third quarter for a 14-9 Titans lead.

O'Donnell finished 24-of-35 for 216 yards in his fourth straight start in place of the injured Steve McNair. Thigpen had five grabs for 99 yards.

Baltimore capped the scoring 3 1/2 minutes before the fourth when linebacker Ray Lewis tackled running back Rodney Thomas in the end zone for a safety. Lewis finished with 13 tackles.

Tennessee ran the gamut on penalties, recording three holding calls, a trio of blocks above the waist, a pair of ineligible players down the field on punts, an encroachment, two false starts, a roughing the passer and an unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I am concerned about it," Fisher said. "It seems like we had every kind of penalty known to man happen out there today."

The most critical calls were a pair of pass interferences totaling 95 yards. Stover followed a 42-yard call on Denard Walker with a 44-yard field goal, and a 54-yard penalty on Perry Phenix with a 46-yarder as the Ravens got within 7-6.

Between field goals, Tennessee fullback Lorenzo Neal capped a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a one-yard TD run.

In the final minute of the first half, the Titans committed three penalties in as many plays, totaling 30 yards. With 6 1/2 left in the third quarter, they were forced to punt three times on one possession because of a pair of miscues.

Tennessee's 15 penalties are one fewer than a franchise mark set in 1989. The 212 yards are three more than the previous NFL record established by the 1951 Cleveland Browns.

Baltimore, the former Browns, took a 9-7 edge 4:18 into the second half on a 50-yard field goal by Stover, then punted on each of its next six possessions before running out of time.

Kyle Richardson and Tennessee's Craig Hentrich combined for 17 punts.

With over eight minutes left and the ball at Tennessee's 49, offensive lineman Everett Lindsay was called for a false start on 4th-and-1, pushing Baltimore back five yards and precipitating a punt.

On the first possession of the fourth quarter, the Ravens had a 4th-and-1 from the Titans' 48 before being penalized five yards for having too many men on the field. Another punt ensued.

"They gave us enough opportunities and good field position for us to do something with it," Billick said. "But we failed to capitalize on it."

Baltimore also punted on its previous three possessions, once from its own 45 with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the third quarter.

"We made a lot of key errors that would have changed things down the line," Ravens running back Errict Rhett said. "In the NFL, you've got to score touchdowns."

Stoney Case, making his third consecutive start, completed only 15-of-37 passes for 207 yards and was sacked three times. Rhett had a string of consecutive 100-yard games snapped at three, rushing for 59 of Baltimore's 68 yards on 21 carries.

The Titans also struggled offensively, managing 272 yards to 246 for the Ravens. Eddie George carried 20 times for 55 yards.

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