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Turnovers Are Feast for Titans

From Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans didn’t need big plays from Steve McNair or Eddie George. A little ball control and a strong defensive effort were enough Sunday.

Keith Bulluck returned a fumble 61 yards for one touchdown, and Peter Sirmon’s interception led to a second touchdown as the Titans moved into a first-place tie in the AFC South with a 23-15 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

“We talked all week about the Colts being a turnover team. When they get the ball on turnovers, they’ve won games,” Titan Coach Jeff Fisher said. “When they turn it over, they struggle.”

The Titans (4-4) forced the issue Sunday, and even though their offense managed only 198 yards, the defense made sure it was more than enough to give the team its third consecutive win.

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Indianapolis (4-4) lost its third in a row. The Colts struggled early and fell behind 20-0 for the second game in a row because of three first-half turnovers that the Titans turned into 17 points.

For the Colts, it was an all-too-familiar story line. “Today’s game was very similar to the last two weeks, where we just get the big deficits and dig ourselves a hole and don’t have enough to fight back,” Colt Coach Tony Dungy said. “It’s disappointing.”

Part of the problem was that the Colts again failed to establish their running game. They were playing without two-time NFL rushing leader Edgerrin James and his backup, Ricky Williams, who was a late scratch after being expected to start. Both were inactive because of hamstring injuries, and the Titans took advantage of their absence.

While the Colts produced 378 total yards and James Mungro ran 16 times for 60 yards, Indianapolis didn’t score until the game’s final 13 minutes. By then they had fallen behind, 23-0.

George rushed 22 times for 95 yards, while McNair completed 14 of 19 passes for only 82 yards and one touchdown -- but it was good enough.


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