It wasn't a thing of beauty by any means.
But the Tennessee Titans will take Sunday's 27-10 victory over the winless Indianapolis Colts – even if a running back controversy accompanies the victory.
"Today I'm happy we won the game," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "I think we ouight to appreciate the good things that happened in the game."
Chris Johnson had just 34 yards on 14 carries, while backup Javon Ringer wound up with 60 on an equal number of attempts.
But as far as the Titans are concerned, that is secondary in their minds to ending a two-game losing streak and improving to 4-3.
“This is a game we were supposed to win, a game we should have won, and we did,” guard Jake Scott said. “You're always happy to get a win.”
Added linebacker Barrett Ruud, who intercepted a ball that was tipped by Jason Jones, “A win is a win. I've been on teams that were 0-7, 0-8, and sometimes they're the toughest teams to beat. The ones you're supposed to win, you've got to win, and it feels good to get back on track.”
The victory at least takes some of the sting out of two straight blowout losses that had the Titans reeling coming into Sunday's game against the Peyton Manning-less Colts, still reeling from a 62-7 loss against New Orleans last week.
Tennessee managed just a 51-yard Rob Bironas field goal in the first quarter, but got its first big break of the game, courtesy of the special teams unit in the second quarter. With the Colts backed up inside their own five, the Titans forced a punt, and backup linebacker Patrick Bailey broke through the line with perhaps the biggest play of the game. He blocked Pat McAfee's punt in the end zone, and teammate Jason McCourty snatched the ball out of the air for a 10-0 Titans lead.
“We've been working on that for quite a while and we finally got it called this week,” Bailey said. “I just glanced off the snapper as he snapped it and went straight up the field. It came wide open and I stuck out both arms, and I was surprised at how fast I got there.”
McCourty said Bailey's effort made the play happen.
“Patrick Bailey did all the work on a punt block design that Coach Alan Lowry drew up. Bailey came free and was able to block it and I was the recipient. It was an easy play,” McCourty said.
From there, the Titans added 10 more points in the second quarter with Bironas' field goal from 50 yards and a swing pass to Nate Washington with 22 seconds to play in the half that was actually ruled a backwards pass and Washington's first rushing touchdown of his career.
In the second half, the Titans – up by three scores – were mostly on cruise control, adding Washington's 14-yard touchdown reception from Matt Hasselbeck to put the game away after the Colts had managed to creep to within 20-10 earlier in the final quarter.
"The team is pertty excited about the win, but personally, I'm not going to hang my hat on this one," Washington said. "This is a win we were supposed to get, I feel lke. I'm not going to come in here and say that we didn't expect to win this.
"I'm very happy about the win, but I'm not clicking my heels. We have another game that we need to prepare for."
The Titans now face the rejuvenated Cincinnati Bengals to conclude their three-game homestand next week.
“We've got some some teams coming up in the next few weeks that are playoff contenders, and we're going to have to beat them to prove that we are playoff contenders,” Scott said.