A week after Tennessee turned over the ball seven times in a loss to Pittsburgh, Chris Johnson ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns, Vince Young threw a touchdown and the Titans didn't lose the ball once in a 29-10 win Sunday over the error-prone and undisciplined Giants.
The aggressive Titans (2-1) forced three turnovers, including two inside their 6-yard line, and agitated the Giants (1-2) so much that New York was flagged for five personal fouls.
"This Tennessee defense, we play hard. We play physical," said safety Michael Griffin, who forced a key fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw in the third quarter at the Titans 5. "Look at the stats, they don't look pretty. Look at that score, it looks very nice. We did get in their heads a little bit."
The victory was the 10th straight against an NFC opponent for the Titans and their fifth straight over the Giants.
The Giants were their own worst enemy. They missed two field goals; gave Tennessee a safety with a chop block in the end zone; and had the parade of personal fouls, including two by offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie that led to him being yanked from the game. There was also one against Brandon Jacobs that didn't count because it was offset by one against the Titans.
"All the personal fouls, we took advantage of that today," said linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who had 13 tackles. "They have a good team over there. I know Tom Coughlin will get them right."
This was the Giants' second straight stinker. They were blown out by Indianapolis 38-14 last Sunday night in the second Manning Bowl.
"The way in which we play in between the lines is my responsibility and I'm taking full responsibility for that," Coughlin said. "This is a game that we should have won we didn't win."
The Giants, who got a 50-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes and a 10-yard touchdown run by Bradshaw in a 10-10 opening half, outgained the Titans 471-271.
"We beat ourselves," defensive captain Justin Tuck said. "You have to give Tennessee credit for taking advantage of our miscues. I think we outplayed them, but it doesn't matter. They scored 29 points and we scored 10. Turnovers, penalities, missed assignments. You name it and we probably did it today."
The mistakes made the one-sided yardage figures meaningless.
The go-ahead score came early in the third quarter. On a third-and-10 from the Giants 1, Manning found Mario Manningham for a 44-yard pass down the sideline. But the play was nullified when Bradshaw was flagged for a chop block in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.
"Sometimes you are going to get beat and that is one thing, and sometimes the other team makes a play," said Giants quarterback Eli Manning (34 of 48 for 386 yards). "But when you hurt yourself it is hard to overcome those things."
Rookie Matt Dodge sent a line-drive 53-yard punt on the ensuing free kick and Marc Mariani returned it 22 yards to the Titans 49. Six plays later Young, who was lifted in the loss to the Steelers, hit Kenny Britt on a 13-yard touchdown pass for a 19-10 lead.
The Giants had a chance to get back in the game on the next possession, but Bradshaw, who had runs of 22 and 20 yards, fumbled at the Titans 5 and Alterraun Verner recovered. Giants tackle David Diehl was called for a personal foul for ripping the helmet off the head of safety Cortland Finnegan.
Tynes, who missed from 53 yards in the first half, missed on a 44-yarder early in the third quarter. The wide-right kick came after New York was called for a delay of game, then a miffed McKenzie got his first personal foul after the play.
"You are always taught that they [the officials] never see the first thing, they see the retaliation," McKenzie said. "That's something we are well aware of and for whatever reason sometimes guys just don't get it. Today I didn't."
Rob Bironas added a short field goal after the miss and Johnson, who scored on a 1-yard run in the first half, iced the game with an 8-yard run to the pylon.
Tennessee jumped to a 10-0 lead on a 48-yard field goal after lineman Sen'Derrick Marks picked off a deflected pass on the opening series. Johnson carried nine times for 35 yards on a 10-play drive that ended with his 1-yard run.
The Giants tied the game on Tynes' long field goal and a nine-play, 63-yard drive capped by Bradshaw's run.
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