CLEVELAND –** The Titans made plenty of mistakes by the lake, but they survived.
Call it ugly, underwhelming, a yawner, or whatever description you think fits best.
But call it a win.
"I couldn't care less what it looked like," center Ben Jones said. "All I care about is it ended up in the win column. It's a win, no matter if we beat them by 50 points or one point. We came out with a win, and that's the most important thing."
The Titans won it in dramatic fashion.
Kicker Ryan Succop's 47-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining in overtime gave the Titans a 12-9 win over the Cleveland Browns, and improved the team to 4-3 at the bye week. The Titans are tied atop the AFC South with the Jaguars.
The Browns dropped to 0-7 – they've now lost four games of their seven games by three points.
"We had to have it," defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. "It was not the way we wanted to win, but at the end of the day, this is the NFL and we'll take any win we can. We fought to the end, and we won, and that is all that matters."
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 21-of-34 passes for 203 yards in the contest, with a passer rating of 78.4.
But the Titans continued to struggle in the red zone, and on third down, in this one. It forced the team to rely on Succop for four field goals, and had them desperately hoping he'd hit the game-winner, which he did.
"That guy is money," Mariota said of Succop.
Titans safety Kevin Byard stepped up big with three interceptions. The Titans defense smothered the Browns in overtime.
"It was a very good win on the road," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. "It wasn't pretty, but I liked the way our guys – especially on defense – kept fighting all the way until the end. I'd say resilient is a pretty good description of them. We knew it was going to be that kind of game. Obviously we have a lot of work to do, especially red zone. But we'll work on that.
"When you win in the NFL, it is good."
The Titans jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter on Succop's 43-yard field goal, which capped an 11-play, 45-yard drive.
The Browns tied the game with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter on a 31-yard field goal by kicker Zane Gonzalez.
The Titans reclaimed the lead on a 23-yard field goal by Succop, which made it 6-3 with 1:37 left in the second quarter. The kick capped a 14-play, 70-yard drive that took 6:54 off the clock.
Byard recorded his first interception of the day when he stepped in front of a pass thrown by quarterback DeShone Kizer,
and the game went to halftime with the Titans leading 6-3. Byard came up with his second interception in the third quarter, setting the Titans up at the Cleveland 32. The Titans then drove the ball to the Cleveland one-yard line, where they had it first-and-goal. But the Titans couldn't get it in on four straight plays, as running back Derrick Henry was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-goal.
After Cody Kessler replaced Kizer at quarterback, the Browns then drove 70 yards on 10 plays, and tied the game at 6-6 with 4:25 remaining.
Succop's third field goal of the game, from 46 yards, capped a nine-play, 47-yard drive and it gave the Titans a 9-6 lead with 14:50 remaining in the game. Byard ended another Cleveland drive when he intercepted Kessler at the Tennessee eight-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. But the Browns tied it with a 54-yard field goal from Gonzalez with 47 seconds left, and the game went to overtime, where Succop won it with his dramatic kick.
"It's a pretty special feeling – it certainly never gets old," Succop said in the locker room after the game. "I feel very blessed to be put in that situation. It is a testament to our team playing well, and giving us a chance to win.
"Guys are excited. We have a really close team here, a great locker room. It is just a great feeling to be able to share it with those guys, and our coaches. Everyone deserves this, and fortunately I had a small part of it."
The Titans have a bye next weekend before returning to action on November 5 against the Ravens at Nissan Stadium.
On Sunday, every player in the locker room acknowledged the Titans must play better moving forward.
"But it's great to be 4 and 3, and it's great to go into the bye week with a win," tackle Taylor Lewan said. "We still control our own destiny and that is the most important thing."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)