BALTIMORE (Ticker) --
must have thought that was the 2000 version of the
With their quarterback enduring a rough afternoon, the
had a five-game winning streak stopped at the hands of the Ravens, 13-12.
Battling their former bitter AFC Central Divison rivals, the Titans managed only four field goals against the Ravens, who show little resemblance to their previous teams, especially their dominating 2000 Super Bowl club that was carried by their defense.
But despite facing a defense that was without star middle linebacker
(knee, shoulder), McNair struggled all day, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble.
"We got chances in the end. I think I didn't make the plays when I had to," McNair said. "That's my fault. The quarterback has to step up to the plate when his number is called and today I didn't do that."
Titans coach Jeff Fisher did not want to lay the blame on McNair.
"I think it was everybody," he said. "For some reason we just weren't as sharp as we should've been."
The Titans have lost their last five meetings, including playoffs against the Ravens. In 2000, Tennessee had an eight-game winning streak stopped by Baltimore.
"In the past, it's been a rivalry that's been built up," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I'm sorry they are no longer are in our division. When it's all said and done for me, this series and some of these games are the ones that I'll remember."
kicked four field goals for Tennessee (6-5), which fell out of first place in the AFC South, one game behind Indianapolis (7-4).
Tennessee lost despite holding a lopsided 402-199 advantage in total yards.
"When you can't score touchdowns it's hard to win," Fisher said. "It was not our best effort."
Rookie safety Ed Reed registered the game's only touchdown, returning a blocked punt 11 yards for a score early in the first quarter for the Ravens (5-6).
Leading 13-9, the Ravens looked they were ready to put away the game in the fourth quarter after reaching Tennessee 11.
, who carried 17 times for 95 yards, fumbled and linebacker Frank Chamberlain recovered for the Titans.
McNair followed by engineering his most impressive drive on the afternoon, a 10-play, 78-yard march. He highlighted the drive with a 40-yard completion to
to the Baltimore 41.
McNair also had a 17-yard connection with
, giving the Titans a 1st-and-goal at the 7. But on third down from the 3, McNair badly overthrew Mason in the back of the end zone.
Nedney kicked a 21-yard field goal with 4:33 remaining, pulling the Titans within 13-12.
After their defense came up with a stop, the Titans got the ball back inside their own 10 with 2:44 remaining. But after picking up one first down, they turned the ball over on downs when McNair threw low on 4th-and-2 from his own 33.
The final incompletion capped a disappointing day for McNair, who completed 21-of-43 passes for 283 yards. One of his interceptions also came deep in Baltimore territory in the first half and his fumble in the first quarter led to a field goal.
"He was out of the pocket and was running a bit and completed some balls," Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. "The object was to keep him in the pocket. I think we did that late in the game."
Tennessee's running game also failed to produce.
carried 16 times for 61 yards and
gained 46 on 10 attempts.
While McNair struggled, Ravens starter
also had his share of problems. He completed 11-of-24 passes for just 109 yards and an interception.
With both offenses looking inept, it was a big play on special teams on the game's opening possession that led to the first points.
Punting from deep in his own territory,
watched Reed bust through the line and block his kick. Reed scooped up the ball and returned it 11 yards for the score, giving the Ravens the early lead.
"I was just doing my job," said Reed, who was the Ravens' first-round pick. "I gave a guy a good fake, and he bit on it and I just scooped and scored. You don't see a lot of blocked punts and to score on special teams is big."
On the ensuing possession, the Titans committed another blunder. After reaching the Baltimore 8, McNair had his pass in the end zone intercepted by
McNair's struggles continued on the next possession when he fumbled a snap and
recovered for Baltimore at the Tennessee 21.
"We played hard, we gave up a few field goals today, but that was a great offensive team," Boulware said. "
, they're great players. I'm proud of our team. We worked hard, it was ugly but we won."
McNair's second miscue of the period led to
's 26-yard field goal that extended the lead to 10-0.
Nedney got the Titans on the board midway through the second quarter, capping a 14-play, 69-yard drive with a 32-yard field goal. Nedney also connected from 37 yards with four seconds left in the half.
Another turnover by McNair in the third quarter led to score for the Ravens when he was intercepted by
just across midfield.
Baltimore went 31 yards in six plays and Stover kicked a 43-yard field goal, making it 13-6 with 2:35 left in the quarter.
After Justin McCarareins returned the ensuing kickoff 27 yards and a roughing penalty on Scott, the Titans went 17 yards in eight plays. Nedney kicked a 40-yard field goal 1:54 into the fourth, pulling the Titans within four.