Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) – Brian Hoyer’s second touchdown pass of the
fourth quarter to Travis Benjamin was the go-ahead score with 1:09 left in the
contest, as the Cleveland Browns rallied from a 25-point first-half deficit
to claim a 29-28 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 5 action.
“I did tell them after the game they’ve got to stop doing it. I have an EKG
scheduled,” stated Browns head coach Mike Pettine about his club, which
produced the largest comeback win by a road team in NFL history.
Hoyer ended the day 21-of-37 for 292 yards, three TDs and one interception for
the Browns (2-2), while Taylor Gabriel posted 95 yards on four receptions and
Benjamin contributed 48 yards on four grabs.
Ben Tate picked up 123 yards on 22 carries and Tank Carder was responsible for
a blocked-punt safety early in the fourth quarter that stoked Cleveland’s
Charlie Whitehurst was 13-of-21 for 194 yards and two scores for the Titans
(1-4), who lost starter Jake Locker in the second quarter with a hand injury.
Locker completed 8-of-11 attempts for 79 yards and threw the first of two TD
receptions from Kendall Wright while also posting a rushing touchdown.
It’s frustrating, but it’s something that’s outside of my control. I’ve just
got to keep working,” the oft-injured Locker said.
Justin Hunter added a 75-yard scoring catch, while Wright ended with 47 yards
on six catches.
“Needless to say it was an unbelievably tough loss for us today after we
played so well in the first half,” lamented Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Billy Cundiff opened the second half by splitting the uprights from 42 yards
out to bring Cleveland within 28-13, but the Browns’ next quality scoring
chance fell by the wayside when Hoyer’s pass was incomplete on 4th-and-3 from
the Titans’ four in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Tennessee failed to move the ball and Carder got his mitts on a Brett Kern
punt, which fell through the back of the end zone and the visitors were within
On the following drive, Hoyer had an interception and long return by Jason
McCourty reversed on an illegal contact penalty. Later in the series, Benjamin
was wide open in the end zone to haul in a 17-yard offering to make it 28-22
with 6:49 to play.
Whitehurst was held to no gain on 4th-and-1 from his own 42 with just over
three minutes left, and the Titans lost the challenge for a better spot.
Cleveland needed just four plays thereafter to take a 29-28 lead, as Hoyer
found Benjamin for a 6-yard score with 1:09 left.
Tennessee gained possession on its own 20 and two quick completions pushed the
ball to its own 43, before a sack and incompletion forced a 3rd-and-16.
Whitehurst found Wright for 16 yards, but time ran out before the Titans could
run another play.
“We weren’t able to help our defense out in the second half. We have to score
points in the second half,” said Whitehurst. “It’s been a tough four games —
you have two options — stick together or not. I think we will stick
The Titans made good on their second drive of the contest, as Locker hit
Wright for an 11-yard touchdown.
Locker called his own number early in the second quarter and rumbled into the
end zone from 11 yards away to make it 14-0.
Cundiff’s 38-yard make put Cleveland on the board on the next possession, but
Tennessee used 6:22 of the remaining first-half clock to go up 21-3 on yet
another 11-yard TD strike to Wright, this one from Whitehurst.
After the Browns went three-and-out, Whitehurst found Hunter streaking up the
middle for a 75-yard connection and a 28-3 contest.
Hoyer ended the half with a 1-yard touchdown strike to Jim Dray on 2nd-and-
“I think our fans are excited. Hopefully none of them are in the ER,” Hoyer
Cleveland won despite going just 4-of-12 on third downs and allowing Tennessee
to convert 8-of-14 opportunities … In defeat, Tennessee produced its most
points in the first half of a regular-season game since a 47-10 win at Detroit
on Thanksgiving Day 2008 … The Titans haven’t lost four straight in one
season since going six in a row without a victory from Oct. 31-Dec. 9, 2010
… Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh left midway through the fourth quarter
with a knee injury and did not return.