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NFL: Titans’ defense shines in dominant win over Rams

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In their first game without star running back Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans went into Los Angeles on Sunday night and used their defense to control the Rams in an impressive 28-16 win.

Tennessee (7-2) won its fifth straight game despite gaining just 194 total yards. But its defense sacked Matthew Stafford five times and intercepted him on consecutive passes early in the second quarter to turn the game around.

Henry’s replacements — starter Adrian Peterson, Jeremy McNichols and D’Onta Foreman – combined for 74 yards on 22 carries. Peterson contributed the Titans’ last touchdown, powering in from the 1 with three minutes left to seal the outcome.

Ryan Tannehill completed 19 of 27 passes for 143 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Tennessee, which maintained the AFC’s best record and leads Indianapolis by three games in the South.

Stafford connected on 31 of 48 passes for 294 yards for Los Angeles (7-2), including a 3-yard touchdown toss to Sony Michel with 24 seconds left in the game.

The Rams, however, continually hurt themselves with penalties. The league’s least-penalized team going into the game was flagged 12 times for 115 yards.

Los Angeles controlled the first quarter, getting on the board first when Matt Gay drilled a 34-yard field goal with 3:46 left. That was set up when Jalen Ramsey jumped an out route and intercepted Tannehill.

But the second quarter was all Tennessee. It started when Stafford unwisely forced a pass out of the end zone while in the grasp of Simmons. David Long’s interception return to the 2 set up Tannehill’s touchdown pass to Geoff Swaim on the next play with 12:21 remaining.

Stafford’s next pass was similarly ill-fated. He fired an out to the right sideline that Kevin Byard gobbled up, returning 24 yards for a 14-3 Titans lead.

Tennessee’s offense contributed on its next possession, marching 64 yards and eating more than 7 1/2 minutes. Tannehill capped the drive with a play-fake and a 1-yard run around right end with 2:10 on the clock for a 21-3 halftime advantage.

–Field Level Media

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