Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Titans fortunate with late first half strategy

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Fourth-and-3 from the Steelers' 37-yard line and Jeff Fisher decided to punt.

That's a playing-not-to-lose approach in a situation where the Titans could have been aggressive and gone for it or sent Rob Bironas on for a 54- or 55-yarder with a pretty good wind at his back.

The punt netted the Titans 22 yards, and the Steelers got them back in a hurry. They moved to Tennessee's 15 and Josh Reed missed a 33-yard field goal attempt wide left that could have tied it at the half.

Fisher's strategy on his team's last possession turned out to be more fortunate than prudent.

But the Titans do deserve credit for some aggressive pass plays that backed the Steelers off and created some room for Chris Johnson to start to establish some rush rhythm, particularly outside to the left.

Things have been more wide open than most everyone expected, and the Titans have a 10-7 lead at the half in a game that could secure home-field advantage for them throughout the AFC playoffs.