Titans torture Carr even as a Panther
By: By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans enjoy sacking quarterbacks, especially David Carr dating back to his time with their AFC South rival in Houston.
So they hit Carr over and over again on Sunday and, at the end, the only thing they didn’t come away with was a shutout.
Albert Haynesworth had three of the Titans’ seven sacks, and Vince Young and LenDale White each ran for a touchdown, as Tennessee beat Carr and his new team, the Carolina Panthers, 20-7. It was the Titans’ third consecutive victory.
The Titans hadn’t sacked a quarterback this much since Oct. 9, 2005, in Houston and, yes, it was Carr then as well.
“You’ve got to credit David Carr too because he held the ball,” Haynesworth said. “That allowed me to get there a little bit. We’re getting pressure on the defensive line, not letting him step up. Three times. I guess I was in the right place at the right time.”
The Titans (6-2) finished their trip through the NFC South at 3-1 and ruined the Panthers’ first visit to Tennessee. White finished with 100 yards, his third straight game with 100 or more.
“Our only goal this week was to find a way to get to 6-2, and we did,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.
It was the Titans’ defense that thrived in a sloppy game in which each team was penalized a season-high 10 times each.
The Titans held Carolina (4-4) to a season-low 191 yards total offense and shut out the Panthers until the fourth quarter despite having four turnovers. It was also the sixth time Tennessee held an opponent to 14 or fewer points.
“We don’t have a big margin for error at this point,” Carolina coach John Fox said.
Travis LaBoy also had a sack and his first career interception for Tennessee, and Chris Hope picked off backup Matt Moore with 2:13 left to seal the victory.
Carolina intercepted Young twice and sacked him twice.
Carr finally put the Panthers on the board in the fourth quarter with an 18-yard TD pass to Drew Carter in a drive helped by two 15-yard penalties on Tennessee.
It wasn’t nearly enough.
Carr went to the sideline after taking a blow to the head from Titans tackle Tony Brown, and Moore came in on Carolina’s last drive.
After the game, Carr gave credit to the Titans defense.
“They’re good enough to where, if you hesitate, you’re done,” Carr said.
Panthers right tackle Jordan Gross said Carr didn’t deserve the blame.
“He never had any time to do anything,” Gross said.
Not that it seemed to matter who was at quarterback for Carolina.
The Titans forced the Panthers three-and-out on their first two drives, sacking Carr on each. The Titans matched their season high for a game with their fifth sack early in the third quarter.
Young looked healthy and finally over a strained right quadriceps that slowed him a week ago. He opened the game by hitting his first four passes and scrambled twice, the last on a three-yard run up the middle for a 7-0 lead.
Tennessee led 10-0 by the time White fumbled, giving Carolina its best field position at the Titans 24.
The Panthers came away without any points when John Kasay’s field goal attempt went wide.
As the half was running out, the Titans padded their lead to 13-0 on a 53-yard field goal by Rob Bironas in a drive kept alive by a Panthers penalty. Young recovered a fumbled snap, and officials flagged linebacker Thomas Davis for unnecessary roughness.
Carolina had another chance after Chris Davis fumbled on a punt, and Richard Marshall recovered at the Tennessee 31.
However, Carr was short on a throw to Steve Smith, and the receiver gestured at the quarterback as he walked back to the huddle.
The Panthers wound up quick kicking with Kasay, and Smith finished with three catches for 15 yards.
“For our defense to go out, get stops and not give up any points after three turnovers is very impressive …,” Fisher said. “The defense is playing like we expect them to play.
Notes: Thornton’s sack was his first with Tennessee and his first since Oct. 23, 2005, when he was with Indianapolis and sacked Carr while with Houston. … Young’s TD rushing was only his second this season and first since the season opener. With 110 yards passing, he topped 3,000 career passing in his 20th start. … Young’s TD marked the first time this season the Titans scored a TD on their first drive and only the second time they got any points on their opening possession. … Only Arizona, Minnesota and San Diego have yet to visit LP Field. The Chargers visit on Dec. 9.