Last-second field goal sends Titans to defeat at St. Louis

Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 11:07pm
Staff reports

Rookie running back Jamie Harper rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown and Rob Bironas made three field goals, but the Tennessee Titans allowed a field goal as time expired and lost 17-16 to the St. Louis Rams on Saturday in St. Louis.

The game-winner was a 42-yard kick by St. Louis’ Josh Brown, who actually made it twice. Brown got off one successful attempt, but officials ruled Titans coach Mike Munchak called timeout prior to the snap. Undaunted, Brown made the kick again.

Harper, a fourth-round draft pick out of Clemson, was the Titans’ starting running back because Chris Johnson still has not reported to the team and Javon Ringer was held out with a hip injury.

Harper’s 1-yard touchdown run gave Tennessee a 10-7 lead with 6:16 to play in the first quarter. The score capped a four-play, 19-yard drive that set up when an Alterraun Verner interception ended St. Louis’ second offensive possession.

The Rams took an early 7-0 lead when Sam Bradford completed an 83-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson on the first play of the contest.

Harper delivered the Titans’ longest play of the night — a 46-yard run — and had a 24-yard reception. Both came in the first quarter, when the offense got points on all three of its possessions.

Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played the first five series’ and produced all of the points. Bironas capped three of those drives with field goals of 46, 25 and 23 yards.

Hasselbeck completed seven of nine passes for 79 yards. He also scrambled once for five yards and a first down.

Jake Locker replaced Hasselbeck midway through the second quarter and played into the fourth. The first-round draft pick completed eight of 18 passes for 82 yards. He ran it once for nine yards and a first down but also threw an interception.