Defense creates turnovers, carries Titans to rout of Saints

Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 11:13pm
Staff reports

Jordan Babineaux forced a fumble and intercepted a pass as the defense forced five turnovers in the Tennessee Titans’ 32-9 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the final preseason game for both teams.

Babineaux, who also was credited with two tackles, started at safety in place of Chris Hope, who sat out with an arm injury, on a night when the Titans starters played little and many of New Orleans’ top players never saw the field.

Babineaux's forced fumble led to the first of three Rob Bironas field goals, which made it 5-0. He intercepted a pass on the next possession and set up a 22-yard touchdown run by rookie quarterback Jake Locker.

In addition to Babineaux, rookie cornerback Tommie Campbell intercepted a pass and Patrick Bailey and Pannel Egboh recovered fumbles. Rookie defensive tackle Karl Klug started the scoring when he sacked quarterback Sean Canfield for a safety with 8:42 to play in the first quarter.

“In the first half, I think we had three turnovers and a safety with a good pash rush, too," coach Mike Munchak said. "That was some good stuff from the defense.”

The Titans scored the first 32 points and held the Saints scoreless until the fourth quarter. They scored just 44 points in the first three games combined.

Tennessee had 10 takeaways in the four preseason game and won three of the four.

Locker replaced starter Matt Hasselbeck after two series and played well into the second half. The first-round draft pick completed 15 of 17 passes for 132 yards. In addition to his touchdown run (he had three carries for 39 yards), he threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lavelle Hawkins. He completed his final 10 passes.

Hawkins, Damian Williams and Riar Geer all finished with a team-high three receptions. Locker was Tennessee’s leading rusher.

“It was great to get a lot of work," Locker said. "I thought we played great as a unit. The more snaps I get as a rookie the better. I can’t wait for the regular season to start so it counts for real.”

The team will make its final cuts and set its 53-man roster, which will include running back Chris Johnson, on Saturday.

4 Comments on this post:

By: serr8d on 9/2/11 at 6:33

Many of those guys will be back to sacking groceries next week. But a lifetime of memories, for those who had their brief moments in a NFL uniform.

Now, enough of this preseason nonsense. Let's get ready to play some football.

By: dargent7 on 9/2/11 at 6:48

Didn't Detroit beat New Orleans last week?
Either Brady is getting old and tired, or the whole team sucks.

By: jwk6179 on 9/2/11 at 8:47

People make too much of the Pre-season games and the teams records for games that don't count. The Detroit Lions went 4-0 during the 2008 Pre-season but went 0-16 during the regular season. The Indianapolis Colts have only won 5 Pre-season games over the last 3 or 4 seasons combined but have averaged 12 wins a season over the last 10 seasons or so. Back in '70s, the Raiders and Vikings would often go winless during the Pre-season but finish the year with the best records in the AFC and NFC, respectfully. After this weekend, not one word will be mentioned on ESPN, FoxSports, the NFL Network or any other Sports outlet about how this team or that team did in the Pre-Season.

By: TITAN1 on 9/2/11 at 2:50

I look at preseason games for individual performances only and what the competition was lining up against them. The score means nothing.