Bironas’ FG lifts Titans, buries Steelers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans have bought themselves a little breathing room with a much-needed victory, and the Pittsburgh Steelers still can’t win away from Heinz Field.

Rob Bironas kicked his fourth field goal, a 40-yarder as time expired, and the Titans beat the Steelers 26-23 on Thursday night to snap a two-game skid.

Matt Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt with 4:19 left to tie it at 23, and the Titans (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh (2-3) lost its third straight road game this season and for the fifth time in six games dating to last season despite 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. Shaun Suisham, who already had connected from 29, 28 and 52 yards, had his 54-yard attempt fall short of the crossbar with 49 seconds left.

Chris Johnson ran for 91 yards on 19 carries, and Hasselbeck finished with 290 yards passing.

The Steelers were up 20-16 when Lawrence Timmons picked off Hasselbeck’s 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, and the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense couldn’t make that stand up.

Johnson kicked off Tennessee’s next drive with a 12-yard run. The Titans drove 80 yards before Hasselbeck found Britt to tie it.

After the Titans stopped Pittsburgh, Hasselbeck drove them 33 yards with the big play a 25-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook on a night his mother, Yulinda, was honored as a breast cancer survivor. The Titans gave the ball to Johnson to run down the clock, then sent out Bironas for the field goal. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin tried to ice Bironas with a timeout. Bironas waited it out, and then kicked the ball through to give the Titans a rare chance to celebrate.

Titans 26, Steelers 23

Pittsburgh 10 0 3 10—23

Tennessee 6 10 0 10—26

First quarter

Ten—FG Bironas 22, 10:53.

Pit—FG Suisham 29, 7:24.

Pit—Wallace 82 pass from Roethlisberger (Suisham kick), 5:25.

Ten—FG Bironas 38, 1:11.

Second quarter

Ten—Harper 1 run (Bironas kick), 14:14.

Ten—FG Bironas 47, :00.

Third quarter

Pit—FG Suisham 28, 9:03.

Fourth quarter

Pit—B.Batch 1 run (Suisham kick), 13:34.

Pit—FG Suisham 52, 8:18.

Ten—Britt 5 pass from Hasselbeck (Bironas kick), 4:19.

Ten—FG Bironas 40, :00.

A—69,143.

Ten Pit

First downs 19 21

Total Net Yards 412 359

Rushes-yards 22-56 22-94

Passing 356 265

Punt Returns 4-17 1-9

Kickoff Returns 3-97 5-131

Interceptions Ret. 1-4 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 24-40-1 25-44-1

Sacked-Yards Lost 1-7 3-25

Punts 4-30.8 5-52.2

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0

Penalties-Yards 4-50 5-45

Time of Possession 29:57 30:03

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING Pittsburgh, B.Batch 10-22, Redman 5-14, Roethlisberger 1-14, Mendenhall 6-6. Tennessee, C.Johnson 19-91, Hasselbeck 1-2, Harper 2-1.

PASSING—Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger 24-40-1-363. Tennessee, Hasselbeck 25-44-1-290.

RECEIVING—Pittsburgh, Miller 6-67, Redman 4-105, Sanders 4-43, A.Brown 4-20, Wallace 2-94, Rainey 1-12, Mendenhall 1-11, Paulson 1-8, B.Batch 1-3. Tennessee, Wright 6-71, Britt 4-62, Cook 4-54, C.Johnson 4-23, Washington 3-57, Williams 2-14, Thompson 1-5, Stevens 1-4.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—Pittsburgh, Suisham 54 (SH).