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(Sunday, October 2nd)
Final Score: Tennessee 31, Cleveland 13
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Matt Hasselbeck continued his career resurgence in Tennessee, throwing for 220 yards and three scores for the Titans, as they cruised to a 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns.
"That's what Matt's been doing for us, he's been finding the open receiver no matter who it is," Titans head coach Mike Munchak said of Hasselbeck. "He's been doing that for all four weeks he's been here."
Tennessee (3-1) is off to its best start since 2008 when the Titans reeled off 10 wins to start that season before finishing at 13-3.
Chris Johnson rushed for over 100 yards for the first time this season as he accumulated 101 yards on 23 carries.
Jared Cook had 93 yards receiving on two catches, including an 80-yard score, while Nate Washington caught two balls for 62 yards.
Jonathan Babineaux had a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Colt McCoy completed 40-of-61 passes for 350 yards and a touchdown for Cleveland (2-2), while Peyton Hillis ran for 46 yards on 10 carries. Hillis' teammate, Montario Hardesty, had just 22 yards rushing on seven attempts. He had five catches for 49 yards, but dropped four passes.
Greg Little was the leading receiver for Cleveland as he had 57 yards on six catches.
Tennessee went three-and-out on its first possession and the Browns took over at their own 47-yard line. McCoy's 25-yard strike to Little set up a 48-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to make it 3-0.
On the Titans' next drive, Johnson beat Chris Gocong on the edge as he scampered for a 25-yard gain and Hasselbeck hooked up with Lavelle Hawkins for an 18-yard completion inside the Cleveland 15. Two plays later, the Titans capped off the six-play, 60-yard drive when Craig Stevens hauled in a 12-yard TD pass.
Later, Hardesty got open down the right sideline for a 27-yard gain. This led to Dawson's 51-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
But Tennessee struck for an 80-yard score on the first play of its ensuing drive as Cook broke free down the sideline.
Nearing the half, Hasselbeck made a nice touch throw to Washington as he picked up 57 yards to the Browns' four-yard line. On the very next play, Damian Williams made an over-the-shoulder reception at the back left pylon, as the Titans took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.
Rob Bironas added a third quarter field goal for the Titans to conclude an 11- play, 46-yard drive, as he connected on a 39-yard attempt.
McCoy led the Browns down the field on their ensuing possession, but a costly interception halted their momentum as Babineaux returned the pick 97 yards for the touchdown to make it 31-6.
"He (McCoy) was clearly out of the pocket. The best thing to do there is to throw the ball away, not throw it late down the middle, which he knows," Browns head coach Pat Shurmur said of the interception.
Benjamin Watson caught a 10-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to conclude the scoring.
Former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger died Friday night following a battle with cancer. He was 58. Heimerdinger was let go as offensive coordinator in February after a three-year stint with the Titans. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Titans from 2000-04...Despite the loss, the Browns still lead the all-time series 33-28 against Tennessee...The Titans have won four of their past five on the road...Babineaux's interception return for a touchdown was the second of his career.
10/02 18:41:36 ET
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