TITANS WIN AGAIN VS. NFC: With their win at Carolina, the Titans improved their record versus the NFC to 27-10 (.730) since the NFL's realignment in 2002, which ranks as the third-best interconference record in the NFL over that period of time.
TITANS SET SEASON HIGH WITH FIVE SACKS: Against the Panthers, the Titans defense totaled five sacks to set a season high. Will Witherspoon, Jason Jones, Cortland Finnegan and Akeem Ayers tallied solo sacks, and one sack was split by Sen'Derrick Marks and William Hayes.
LOW OUTPUT BY THE PANTHERS: The Panthers had the NFL's fifth-ranked offense heading into the game, but their three points against the Titans set a season low. Additionally, their 279 total net yards was their second-lowest output of the season (265 vs. Jacksonville). Wide receiver Steve Smith (33 receiving yards) and quarterback Cam Newton (212 passing yards) also were held to their second-lowest yardage totals of the season behind only their numbers against Jacksonville on Sept. 25.
NO TOUCHDOWNS FOR THE OPPOSITION: The Titans did not give up a touchdown to their opponents for the first time since Oct. 18, 2010 at Jacksonville, which also was a 30-3 final score.
FIRST-HALF SHUTOUT: The Panthers offense entered the game ranked fifth in the NFL. However, the Titans defense limited the opposition to only 134 total yards and no points in the first half. It was the second time in three weeks the Titans defense pitched a first-half shutout; they accomplished the feat on Oct. 30 against Indianapolis. The Titans are 22-4 since the start of the 1999 season when their opponents are scoreless in the 1st half.
JOHNSON OVER 100 RUSHING: Running back Chris Johnson went over 100 yards rushing for the second time this season (10/2/11 at Cleveland) and the 26th time in his four-year career, and he eclipsed 100 total yards from scrimmage (season-high 174) for the second consecutive week. Johnson totaled 130 yards on 27 carries (4.8 avg.) against the Panthers and added four catches for 44 yards (11.0 avg.).
JOHNSON OVER 5,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS: On a four-yard run in the third quarter, Chris Johnson went over the 5,000-yard rushing mark for his career. He's the third player in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Eddie George(10,009) and Earl Campbell (8,574).
JOHNSON TIES McNAIR ON TD LIST: With his one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Chris Johnson tied Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team's all-time rushing touchdown list.
HASSELBECK COMPLETES ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN PASS: For the ninth time in as many games, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed at least one touchdown pass. He connected with Damian Williams for a 43-yard score in the first quarter against the Panthers. The nine-game touchdown streak is the longest to begin a season in Hasselbeck's career and the third-longest overall during a single season in his career (12 in 2005, 11 in 2007).
100-YARD RUSHER AND RECEIVER: The Titans had a 100-yard rusher in Chris Johnson (130) and a 100-yard receiver in Damian Williams (107). It was the first time since Dec. 19, 2010 against Houston (130 rushing yards by Johnson; 128 receiving yards by Kenny Britt) the team has had 100-yard rushing and receiving performances by a pair of teammates in the same game.
MARIANI PROVIDES EARLY LEAD WITH RETURN TD: Marc Mariani scored his third career touchdown early in the first quarter to give the Titans a 7-0 lead. Mariani returned a Jason Baker punt 79 yards for a touchdown following Carolina's opening three-and-out. Mariani had two touchdowns as a rookie in 2010, including his only other punt return for a touchdown, an 87-yarder against Washington on Nov. 21, 2010.
MARIANI SETS CAREER HIGH: Marc Mariani recorded five punt returns in the first half alone and added another punt return in the second half. The six total returns set a career high, topping the four he notched previously on two separate occasions (9/25/11 vs. Denver; 10/24/10 vs. Philadelphia).
TITANS LINEBACKERS COMBINE FOR TAKEAWAY: With the Panthers driving in the first quarter, a pair of Titans linebackers provided a big takeaway. Will Witherspoon knocked the ball out of Greg Olsen's hands, and it was recovered by rookie Akeem Ayers. It marked Ayers' first career fumble recovery and Witherspoon's ninth career forced fumble.
WITHERSPOON HAS BIG DAY AGAINST FORMER TEAM: Playing against his former team, Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon was credited with his 25th career sack, dropping Cam Newton for a six-yard loss in the first quarter. He also recorded a forced fumble in the first quarter. Witherspoon, a former third-round draft pick by the Panthers, notched eight sacks and three forced fumbles during his four seasons in Carolina from 2002 through 2005.
HOPE NOTCHES INTERCEPTION: Safety Chris Hope, in his first game back after missing four contests with a forearm injury, notched his 20th career interception and first of 2011. It was also his 16th interception in a Titans uniform, which ties teammate Michael Griffin, Andre Dyson and Bubba McDowell for 17th on the franchise's all-time interceptions list.
BIG DAY FOR DAMIAN WILLIAMS: On a third-and-eight in the first quarter, Damian Williams caught a short pass from Matt Hasselbeck, put a move on a Carolina defender and raced to the end zone for a career-long 43-yard touchdown reception. It marked Williams' fourth career touchdown and his fourth in the last six weeks. Later,* *Williams caught a 40-yard pass in the third quarter, and with a seven-yard reception three plays later, the 2010 third-round draft pick hit the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career. He led the team with 107 receiving yards and five receptions.
BIRONAS REACHES 200 ATTEMPTS: With his 38-yard field goal in the second quarter, Rob Bironas became the second player in franchise history to reach 200 field goal attempts, joining Al Del Greco (295 attempts from 1991-00). He added field goals of 36 and 49 yards against the Panthers to give him 173 career field goals in 202 attempts. His career percentage of 85.6 is the best in team history and the fifth-best in NFL history (among kickers with 100 career field goals).
BIRONAS BOOTS 49-YARDER: Rob Bironas' 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave him 13 consecutive made field goals, dating back to Sept. 18 against Baltimore. The streak ties for the seventh-longest in franchise history, and Bironas owns four of the top eight streaks in franchise history (20, 20, 19 and 13).
BIRONAS SETS CAREER HIGH IN TOUCHBACKS: Rob Bironas kicked off seven times against the Panthers and set a career high with six touchbacks. His six touchbacks also tied Craig Hentrich's single-game high (10/18/98 vs. Cincinnati) for the franchise since the start of the 1991 season.
JONES GETS THIRD SACK OF SEASON: In the second quarter, Titans defensive end Jason Jones was credited with his third sack of the season, dropping Cam Newton for a 10-yard loss. Jones is tied with Karl Klug for the team lead in 2011 and now has 15.5 career sacks.
FINNEGAN SACK: In the third quarter, cornerback Cortland Finnegan sacked Cam Newton for a 14-yard loss. It gave Finnegan his first sack of the season and the sixth sack of his career.
McCARTHY'S FIRST START: With Barrett Ruud inactive due to a groin injury, rookie Colin McCarthy received his first career start at middle linebacker.
TITANS INACTIVES: The Titans' inactive players at Carolina included quarterback Rusty Smith, cornerback Chris Hawkins, linebacker Barrett Ruud, center Kevin Matthews, tackle Byron Stingily, defensive tackle Zach Clayton and defensive end Dave Ball. Ruud (groin) and Ball (concussion) were on the team's injury report leading into the contest.