Game Notes

LOCKER THROWS FIRST TWO CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASSES: With starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck leaving the game in the second half with an elbow injury, rookie Jake Locker saw action for the third time this season and led two touchdown drives in three total series.  After taking the field with 2:57 on the clock in the third quarter, he threw an incompletion to Damian Williams and completed an eight-yard pass to Jared Cook.  On his third play, he found Nate Washington for a 40-yard touchdown pass. In the fourth quarter, he converted a fourth-and-17 with a 22-yard strike to Jared Cook, lobbed a 32-yard pass to Lavelle Hawkins and found Washington again for a four-yard touchdown. His totals included nine completions and 140 yards on 19 attempts (107.3 passer rating), and he added one rush for 11 yards and a first down.  Prior to the game at Atlanta, Locker had played in two games (10/2 at Cleveland and 10/23 vs. Houston) and completed one of two passes for 12 yards.                                                                                      

HASSELBECK LEAVES WITH INJURY: Matt Hasselbeck started each of the Titans' first 10 games, including the contest at Atlanta.  But in the third quarter against the Falcons, he left the contest with a right elbow injury and did not return.

WASHINGTON HAS CAREER DAY: Nate Washington led the Titans with a career-high nine receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns.  It marked the first time in 2011 and the third time in his career he reached the 100-yard mark, and he also matched his career high in touchdown receptions (two times, last at St. Louis, 12/20/07).  His reception total topped his previous career high of eight catches, set on Sept. 25 against Denver.  He was on the receiving end of rookie quarterback Jake Locker's first touchdown pass, a 40-yarder in the third quarter, and he added a four-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

BIRONAS MAKES 14TH CONSECUTIVE FIELD GOAL: With two seconds remaining in the second quarter, Rob Bironas connected on a 46-yard field goal.  The kick gave him 14 consecutive made field goals, which is the fourth-longest streak of his career and also ties for the sixth-longest streak in franchise history.

SEASON LONG FOR MARIANI: Marc Mariani recorded a season long in the third quarter, taking a kickoff return 49 yards to help set up a Titans touchdown drive.  He tied his season high with five kickoff returns for 139 total yards in the game.

ROOKIE LINEBACKER FORCES TURNOVER: Rookie middle linebacker Colin McCarthy entered the game when starter Barrett Ruud left with a groin injury.  In the fourth quarter, McCarthy forced his first career fumble, knocking the ball away from Michael TurnerWill Witherspoon recovered for the Titans. 

WITHERSPOON COMBINES ON SECOND TURNOVER IN TWO WEEKS: Will Witherspoon notched his seventh career fumble recovery, falling on a Michael Turner fumble in the fourth quarter.  It was the second consecutive week Witherspoon helped create a takeaway after recording a forced fumble the previous game at Carolina. 

SHEPPARD & KLUG GET FIRST STARTS: The Titans defense opened in their nickel (five defensive back) package.  Additionally, a pair of young defensive tackles received their first career starts, second-year veteran Malcolm Sheppard and rookie Karl Klug.  

TITANS ON THIRD DOWN: The Titans converted eight of 14 attempts on third down for a season-high percentage of 57.1.  They also converted their only fourth-down attempt.  

TITANS INACTIVES: The Titans' inactive players at Carolina included quarterback Rusty Smith, cornerback Chris Hawkins, center Kevin Matthews, tackle Byron Stingily, defensive tackle Zach Clayton, wide receiver Donnie Averyand defensive end Dave Ball. Ball (concussion) was the only player on the list who appeared on the team's injury report leading into the contest.

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