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Titans have sick feeling


Despite a struggling offense that has shown little ability to churn out yards on the ground as it once did, the Tennessee Titans took a commanding 14-point lead with 5:06 remaining against the Cleveland Browns. Then Steve McNair, Eddie George and the offense watched helplessly from the sidelines as it all slipped away.

A successful onside-kick recovery helped Tim Couch throw two touchdown passes in the final 2:35 to force overtime. Cleveland won the overtime coin toss and eight plays later Couch had the Browns in position for Phil Dawson's game-winning, 33-yard field goal.

"I'm very sorry for our fans and players for what happened. We simply could not make a play at the end," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

Tennessee was outgained 403-187 in total yardage and Eddie George continued to struggle to find running room. George picked up just 59 yards on 23 carries and is now averaging just 2.8 yards a carry for the season.

The Titans suffered several minor injuries during the game, but none of those injuries are expected to result in a missed game.

Tennessee, 1-2, has lost consecutive games they feel they should've won.

"It feels like a blow to the gut," wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "We've got 13 more rounds to go and we have to toughen up our stomachs and just keep going. We need to square our chins up when the next bell rings, which is (this Sunday) at Oakland, and just keep going."

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts used big plays and solid defense to beat the Houston Texans, 23-3.

Qadry Ismail opened the scoring with a 42-yard touchdown reception from Peyton Manning in the first quarter, and wide receiver Reggie Wayne put the game out of reach after taking a deflected pass 43 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

The Indianapolis defense allowed just 200 yards of offense against the Texans 32nd-ranked offense. Texans rookie quarterback David Carr was held to just 99 yards passing on 22 attempts, with an interception.

Despite the win, Colts players and coaches are looking for improvement, especially at finishing off drives. Manning's group had four opportunities inside the red zone, but did not score a touchdown on any of those possessions.

"We've done a good job of making big plays to get down there into the red zone, then we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot a little, once we're down there," Manning said.

The Colts took their first three possessions of the second half into Texans territory, but came away with no points.

Marvin Harrison had the best day statistically for the Colts, catching eight passes for 110 yards. Linebacker Rob Morris may have had the toughest day, getting pulled in the fourth quarter in favor of Sam Sword.

"It's tough," Morris said, "but I'm the player, you guys report and the fans read. Everyone kind of has a different role and my role is to play."

Marcus Pollard returned to his tight end position after missing a game with a rib injury. Pollard responded by catching Manning's first pass of the game for a 19-yard gain.

The victory moved the Colts move into sole possession of first place in the AFC South at 2-1. They have a bye this week before hosting Cincinnati.

Houston Texans

The Texans have yet to find their rhythm on offense.

"We played hard, fought to the end and all of that, but it still didn't put a 'W' in the column," cornerback Marcus Coleman said.

The Texans suffered three significant injuries in the loss. Running back James Allen and kick-returner Jermaine Lewis left with shoulder sprains, and defensive end Jerry Deloach went down with a sprained knee. The Texans are 1-2 heading into this week's contest in Philadelphia.

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