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Game Notes

LARGE MARGIN OF VICTORY: Tennessee's 23-point victory was one of the team's largest margins of victory in recent seasons.  In 2011, the Titans beat the New Orleans Saints by 23 points (32-9).  Prior to that game, the last time the Titans had at least a 23-point preseason victory was against the St. Louis Rams in 2000 (30-3).

STRONG FIRST-HALF SHOWING FOR DEFENSE: The Titans defense was highly effective in the first half, during which many starters played at least a quarter.  They gave up only 41 yards and a total of three first downs during the first two quarters.  The Buccaneers were just two-of-nine on third down in the first half.  Their only touchdown came after Tampa Bay took over on Tennessee's two-yard line following a turnover.

FOUR QUARTERS OF DEFENSE: The complete defensive effort through four quarters limited the Buccaneers to six first downs, 3-of-14 on third down, 81 total net yards and minus-one yard net passing.

BIG NIGHT FOR THE RUNNING GAME: The Titans totaled 216 rushing yards on 37 attempts (5.8 average) by eight different players.  The sum included 75 yards by Darius Reynaud, 46 by Chris Johnson, 41 by Jamie Harper and 24 by Jake Locker.   The success on the ground helped the Titans to a time of possession of 32:13.

HIGH RETURNS: The Titans made the most of their opportunities in the return game against the Buccaneers.  Marc Mariani (one for 38 yards) and Darius Reynaud (one for 42 yards) combined for a 40-yard average on two kickoff returns, while a 14-yarder by Mariani and a 35-yarder by Reynaud helped the Titans average 13 yards on six punt returns.   

CJ SCORES TWICE: Chris Johnson had a big first half, rushing for 46 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.  His first-quarter rushes included a 10-yard gain followed by a 14-yard touchdown run two plays later.  In the second quarter, he added another 14-yard touchdown run.

BIG NIGHT FOR SACKS: The Titans accumulated four total sacks in the game by four different players.  Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, defensive end Derrick Morgan, linebacker Tim Shawand defensive end Keyunta Dawson each dropped quarterback Dan Orlovsky for a loss.  

ROBERT JOHNSON RECEIVES FIRST START: For the first time, Robert Johnson received a start at safety.  He lined up alongside Michael Griffin.  Johnson, a fifth-round pick in 2010 out of Utah, appeared in three games as a reserve in 2011 after being inactive in every contest as a rookie.  

WRIGHT STARTS AGAIN: For the second consecutive week, rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright was in the starting lineup.  The 20th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft caught one pass for nine yards in one half of action.

LOCKER SCRAMBLE: Jake Locker helped set up a first quarter touchdown with a 21-yard scramble.  His totals included 24 rushing yards to go with 4-of-11 passing for 21 yards and one interception.

HASSELBECK FINISHES FIRST HALF: Matt Hasselbeck entered the game at quarterback for the Titans with 1:48 remaining in the first half.  He played into the third quarter and completed a total of four passes on five attempts for 29 yards.

MARKS COMES UP WITH BIG PLAY: In the second quarter, defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks sacked Dan Orlovsky.  He also forced a fumble on the play, and defensive end Leger Douzable recovered to help set up a go-ahead field goal.    

REYNAUD WITH ANOTHER BIG NIGHT: A week after impressing in his Titans debut, Darius Reynaud had another big night for the Titans.  He had a 39-yard run, a 35-yard punt return and a 42-yard kickoff return.  In the previous week's game at Seattle, he notched a 21-yard touchdown run and an 85-yard punt return for a score.  Reynaud, who was signed early in the offseason as a free agent, is in his fourth NFL season.  He has 23 total regular season games of experience with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants.

BIRONAS MAKES THREE: Rob Bironas made three of four field goals.  He connected from 24, 48 and 23 yards, with his only miss coming from 56 yards in the closing seconds of the first half.   

A FIRST FOR CHRIS HAWKINS: Cornerback Chris Hawkins came up with one of the game's biggest plays.  On a pass that was tipped by linebacker Akeem Ayers, Hawkins recorded his first interception in an NFL uniform, leading to a Titans touchdown two plays later. 

SMITH AND GRAHAM CONNECT FOR SCORE: In the fourth quarter, Rusty Smith completed his first career touchdown pass in a regular season or preseason game.  He found tight end Cameron Graham for a 15-yard touchdown strike, which also was Graham's first touchdown in an NFL uniform.  Smith is entering his third NFL season since the Titans used a sixth-round draft choice on him in 2010.  Graham was an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad. 

OUT OF ACTION: Players not in uniform due to injury included cornerback Terrence Wheatley, tight end Brandon Barden, linebacker Gerald McRath, tackle Mike Otto and defensive end Dave Ball.  Wide receiver Kenny Britt and safety Markelle Martin remained on the physically unable to perform list.  Additionally, recently-signed tackle Jonathan Palmer was not yet eligible to participate. 

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