No winless start this year as Johnson runs for 142 yards, 2 TDs; Titans rout Raiders 38-13By Teresa M. Walker, AP
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Johnson runs for 142; Titans rout Raiders 38-13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans looked like they simply picked up where they left off last season, and they quickly avoided mimicking their winless start of 2009 along the way.
Chris Johnson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Vince Young threw for two TDs and Javon Ringer had a TD, and the Titans avoided any comparisons to that 0-6 start by routing the Oakland Raiders 38-13 Sunday in the opener.
Oakland led 3-0 early after a Young fumble. That was the lone bright moment for the Raiders.
Tennessee answered with 24 straight points to take control. The Titans also sacked new Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell four times and forced two turnovers they turned into 10 points. Oakland had just 106 yards offense at halftime.
Johnson, the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, extended his streak to 12 consecutive 100-yard games by halftime to break a tie with Marcus Allen. He trails only Barry Sanders, who had an NFL-best 14 such games.
It was a nice change from a year ago when the Titans opened the season by losing their first six games. They rallied by winning eight of their final 10 to become the first team in NFL history to finish at .500 after such a woeful start.
The Raiders came in with a new quarterback and new faces on a defense that had been 29th in the NFL against the run.
None of the changes helped. The Titans ran for 205 of their 345 yards total offense.
Kamerion Wimbley stripped Young of the ball on the Titans’ opening series, and Richard Seymour recovered and went 13 yards to the Titans 34. Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon, who flew back on owner Bud Adams’ jet for this opener after the death of his mother, sacked Campbell on the Raiders’ first play after the turnover.
The Titans thought they had held when rookie Derrick Morgan sacked Campbell on third down. But Morgan was falling down and drew a personal foul for a low hit on the quarterback, giving the Raiders a first down. They settled for a field goal. Sebastian Janikowski yanked his 39-yard attempt wide right, but Cortland Finnegan jumped offside to give him another chance.
Tennessee answered quickly as Young found Nate Washington wide-open for a 56-yard TD, and Young finished 13 of 17 for 154 yards. Rob Bironas added a 43-yard field goal after another Campbell sack and fumble.
The scoring continued in the second quarter as Ringer scored the first TD of his NFL career with a 15-yard run, and Johnson scored on the Titans’ next offensive play. He followed tight end Bo Scaife’s block and streaked upfield 76 yards for the fourth-longest TD run of his career, celebrating by high-stepping the last 10 yards for a 24-3 lead.
Johnson added a 4-yard TD in the third, and Young tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Scaife three plays after Chris Hope intercepted Campbell.
The Raiders, with rookie center Jared Veldheer making his NFL debut, struggled mightily on offense. Bad snaps both with Campbell in the shotgun and under center, and Oakland didn’t get into positive yards passing with all the sacks until a 63-yard drive just before halftime for Janikowski’s second field goal of the game.
Oakland did drive 80 yards for a TD in the fourth quarter.
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