It took more than three quarters before the Tennessee Titans scored. When they finally did – on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Kerry Collins to Jared Cook – they took the lead.
It was just a matter of seconds before they were behind again and on their way to a 15-7 preseason defeat against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday.
The Panthers answered Cook’s score with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a sequence that was the exception in a night that primarily was dominated by the defenses. Between them, the teams punted 15 times, and each managed just 13 first downs.
Tennessee committed three turnovers and forced just one. Carolina, though failed to convert any of its takeaways into points.
Collins came on at the start of the second half and led the offense to just two first downs in two possessions before the five-play, 83-yard drive, which was capped by the touchdown pass to Cook. That gave the Titans a 7-6 edge with 12:30 remaining in the contest.
Starting quarterback Vince Young played the entire first half and completed six of nine throws but for just 48 yards. Collins was 6-10, for 112 yards one touchdown. He also threw one interception.
Running back Chris Johnson gained just 10 yards on eight attempts. The rest of the Titans’ rushers combined for 35 yards on 12 carries.
The Titans’ defense limited the Panthers to seven first downs through the first and second quarters and forced a fumble, which Stephen Tulloch recovered at the Tennessee 14 in the final minute of the half.