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Tennessee’s Jake Locker leads Titans on game winning drive to beat San Diego Chargers 20-17

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – With 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Tennessee Titans found themselves behind 17-13 with the ball at their own 6 yard line. Titans quarterback Jake Locker takes Tennessee down to the San Diego 34 yard line with 21 seconds remaining.

Locker then throws a 34 yard touchdown pass to rookie Justin Hunter to beat the Chargers 20-17. This was Hunters first NFL reception, first touchdown and it was the game winner. The second-round pick from the University of Tennessee became the first NFL rookie since the Jacksonville Jaguar’s Ernest Wilford on September 12th, 2004 to score a game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds or less remaining in the game on his first career reception.

Tennessee Titans' rookie Justin Hunter catches the game winning touchdown with just 15 seconds remaining in the game. (USA Today)
Tennessee Titans’ rookie Justin Hunter catches the game winning touchdown with just 15 seconds remaining in the game. (USA Today)

“I thought he (Jake Locker) had a great game. I thought right from the beginning he played well,” said Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak. “He was making good throws. He was on target. He was running when he was supposed to. He converted third downs with his legs and his arm. He felt really good about what was going on.”

He led us on a two-minute drive before the half for points. He led us on a two-minute drive at the end of the game to win it. So, that was a huge game for him and for this football team,” stated Munchak. “Again, you see hard work and hanging together believing it pays off at the end.”

It was the Chargers that got on the board first when Philip Rivers hit tight end Antonio Gates on the left for a short 7 yard touchdown pass. The Titans got their first points early in the second quarter when Rob Bironas connected on a 20 yard field goal making 7-3.

At 4:43, San Diego made it 10-3 with a 44 yard field goal by Nick Novak. The Titans would go on a 8 play drive that ended with Locker running the ball up the middle for a game tying 7 yard touchdown.

Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker eludes San Diego Charger defenders during Titans 20-17 win. (USA Today)
Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker eludes San Diego Charger defenders during Titans 20-17 win. (USA Today)

The Chargers got the ball back with 1:08 left before the half. Rivers moves San Diego down to the Tennessee 20 setting up a 38 yard field goal try with 2 seconds left. Titans Bernard Pollard gets through and blocks Novak’s kick leaving the score tied at 10.

Midway through the third quarter, the Chargers drive the ball down field in 9 plays and score on a Ronnie Brown 1 yard run up the middle to make it a 17-10 ball game. The Titans got a 37 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to get within four points of San Diego.

For Tennessee, Jake Locker connected on 23 out of 37 attempts for 299 yards and one touchdown. Locker also ran for 68 yards. In the first quarter, Locker went over the 3,000-yard passing mark for his career. In his 19th career game (14th start), he became the 16th passer in franchise history to reach the mark.

Chris Johnson ran for 90 yards on 19 carries. His longest was for 23 yards.

Wide receiver Nate Washington led the Titans against the Chargers and set a new career high with 131 receiving yards, topping his previous high of 130 yards against the New Orleans Saints on December 11th, 2011. His eight receptions against the Chargers led the team and made up his highest total since he set his career high of nine receptions at the Atlanta Falcons on November 20th, 2011.

Philip Rivers for the Chargers, threw for 184 yards and one touchdown on 20 of 24 attempts. Ryan Mathews got 58 yards on 16 carries with his longest being 8 yards.

Antonio Gates had 5 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Danny Woodhead had 55 yards on 7 grabs.

The Titans completed their third consecutive game with a time of possession of more than 30 minutes. The last time they accomplished the feat was a four-game span in 2009, from November 15th against the Buffalo Bills to December 6th at the Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee joined the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs as the fourth and fifth teams in the Super Bowl era to not have a turnover through their first three games of the season. The Titans are plus-five in turnover ratio through three games. They were plus-one against the Chargers, recovering a fumble on the last play of the game.

“I think it was great win for us. We hung in there. It just shows you how this team has been believing in each other no matter what happens throughout the game,” said Munchak. “Hang in there, hang in there, we’ve done that all three weeks. This week we were able to finish with a great drive for a touchdown to win in the final two minutes.”

“We had big plays we left on the field but our defense kept us in the game. The defense kept the score down within striking distance at the end. Then we had the four minute or the two minute and we go 94 yards with no timeouts and that is something special. That is something hopefully a team like us will build off of,” stated Munchak.

The Tennessee Titans face the New York Jets next Sunday, September 29th at LP Field. The game kicks off at 3:05pm CT.

Titans-Chargers Inactives

Tennessee Titans

  • #23 RB Shonn Greene
  • #29 CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
  • #50 LB Zaviar Gooden
  • #62 C Brian Schwenke
  • #68 T Byron Stingily
  • #94 DT Sammie Hill
  • #98 DE Lavar Edwards

Titans Lineup Changes

  • #90 Antonio Johnson starts at DT in place of #94 Sammie Hill

San Diego Chargers

  • #4 QB Brad Sorensen
  • #28 SS Brandon Taylor
  • #29 CB Shareece Wright
  • #50 LB Manti Te’o
  • #58 LB Tourek Williams
  • #76 T D.J. Fluker
  • #80 WR Malcom Floyd

Chargers Lineup Changes

  • #13 Keenan Allen starts at WR in place of #80 Malcom Floyd
  • #79 Mike Harris starts at RT in place of D.J. Fluker
  • #26 Johnny Patrick starts at RCB in place of #29 Shareece Wright
  • #97 Bront Bird starts at LB in place of #50 Manti Te’o

Box Score

San Diego Chargers 17, Tennessee Titans 20
Nashville, TN | LP Field

1 2 3 4 Final
San Diego Chargers 7 3 7 0 17
Tennessee Titans 0 10 0 10 20


San Diego Chargers
P. Rivers 20/24 184 1 0
R. Mathews 16 58 0 8
D. Woodhead 5 31 0 11
L. McClain 1 7 0 7
R. Brown 5 6 1 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
A. Gates 5 55 1 17
D. Woodhead 7 55 0 13
L. Green 2 48 0 34
E. Royal 2 34 0 15
V. Brown 2 11 0 7
K. Allen 1 -4 0 3
L. McClain 1 -6 0 7
D. Woodhead 1 1 0 0
A. Gachkar 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
N. Novak 1/2 44 2/2 5
Punting NO AVG I20 LG
M. Scifres 5 41.2 3 60
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
F. Whittaker 1 21 0 21
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
E. Royal 1 7 0 7



Tennessee Titans
J. Locker 23/37 299 1 0
C. Johnson 19 90 0 23
J. Locker 5 68 1 39
J. Battle 4 12 0 6
B. Kern 1 0 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
N. Washington 8 131 0 35
K. Wright 6 71 0 19
D. Walker 5 49 0 17
J. Hunter 1 34 1 34T
D. Williams 1 9 0 9
M. Preston 1 4 0 4
C. Johnson 1 1 0 1
B. Kern 1 0 1 -16
J. Locker 1 0 0 0
A. Verner 0 0 1 0
C. Warmack 0 0 1 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Bironas 2/3 37 2/2 8
Punting NO AVG I20 LG
B. Kern 3 44.3 2 63
Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG
D. Reynaud 4 28 0 32
Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG
D. Reynaud 2 3 0 5

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