Titans top Steelers in 26-23 thriller
October 13, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- The Tennessee Titans bought themselves a little breathing room with a much-needed victory on Thursday, beating Pittsburgh 26-23 and extending the Steelers' poor road record.
Rob Bironas kicked his fourth field goal, a 40-yard shot as time expired, to clinch a second win of the season for Tennessee, against four losses.
Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had thrown a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt with 4:19 left to tie it 23-23.
Pittsburgh (2-3) lost its third straight road game this season despite quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 363 yards and becoming the Steelers' career passing leader.
Roethlisberger drove the Steelers into position to take the lead after the Titans tied it. Kicker Shaun Suisham, who already had connected from 29, 28 and 52 yards, had his 54-yard attempt fall short with 49 seconds left.
The Steelers were up 20-16 when Lawrence Timmons picked off a Hasselbeck pass, but they had to settle for Suisham's third field goal after moving the ball only 14 yards. That field goal put Pittsburgh up 23-16, but the NFL's fourth-ranked defense couldn't hold that lead.
Tennessee tailback Chris Johnson, who has been criticized for his struggles running the ball, kicked off the next drive with a 12-yard run. The Titans drove 80 yards before Hasselbeck found Britt to tie it.
After Pittsburgh's failed field goal attempt, Hasselbeck drove the hosts 33 yards, with the big play a 25-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook. The Titans gave the ball to Johnson to run down the clock, then sent out Bironas for the winning field goal.
Roethlisberger entered the game with 27,703 yards, 286 yards shy of Terry Bradshaw's franchise record. Roethlisberger was 24 of 40 and passed Bradshaw with a 17-yard pass to Heath Miller late in the third quarter of his 119th game. Bradshaw played 168 games from 1970-83.
The Steelers, who played without safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker LaMarr Woodley, head home with a much longer injury report.
Steelers running back Ike Redman, who caught four passes for 105 yards, injured his right ankle in the third quarter and never returned. Running back Rashard Mendenhall also went down with an Achilles tendon injury.
Center Maurkice Pouncey injured his right leg on the Steelers' first play from scrimmage and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert hurt his right ankle in the second quarter.