The Tennessee Titans were outgained but not outscored.
Jason McCourty intercepted a pass and Alterraun Verner recovered a fumble – both inside the Titans’ 10 yard line – as Tennessee forced three turnovers, recorded a safety and benefited from a pair of missed field goals by New York’s Lawrence Tynes in a 29-10 victory over the Giants on Sunday at the new Meadowlands Stadium.
The Titans’ defense, which allowed a season-high 442 yards, has allowed just two touchdowns in three games.
"They’ve got a lot of playmakers but we were able to get the ball back when we needed," coach Jeff Fisher said.
The safety – the result of a New York penalty in the end zone after Michael Griffin downed a punt at the 1 – broke a 10-10 tie 2:47 into the third quarter and started a run of 19 unanswered, second-half points by the Titans.
"Special teams wins ballgames also and I think that might have been the turnaround," Griffin said. "Defense stepped up. Offense stepped it up, starting putting points on the board. So from that point on, the whole team turned it on, got some points on the board and prevented touchdowns."
Running back Chris Johnson was held in check for the much of the contest, and the Titans’ offense managed just 271 yards but did not commit a turnover one week after a seven-giveaway performance last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. It also scored all four times it got to the red zone (three touchdowns, one field goal).
Tennessee’s longest scoring drive covered 65 yards and was capped by Johnson’s 8-yard touchdown run, which capped the scoring.
Johnson finished with 32 carries (four short of his career-high) for 125 yards, 55 of them on the final touchdown drive.
Quarterback Vince Young completed 10 of 16 passes (his third straight game at better than 60 percent) for 118 yards and one touchdown. His longest completion went for 17 yards.
"They had a lot of people in the box," Johnson said. "They were disciplined. We had just four passes in the first half, I guess. When Vince started to make throws and backing them out of the box, then we started having more success."
The Giants’ first two possessions ended with interceptions, the first by defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks after the ball ricocheted off cornerback Cortland Finnegan and the second by McCourty in the end zone.
It was 19-10 when Verner recovered an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble at the 5-yard line.
"You don’t want to say you’re a bend but don’t break mentality but, you know what, if a team is driving and they get to that red zone, that’s where you don’t want them to get in," linebacker Will Witherspoon said. "You don’t want the other team to score. I think that as a defense, we’re all just looking at it saying, 'Damn we really shouldn’t have given up that seven (Sunday)'. But, it happened."