NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans have given new coach Mike Munchak a great teaching point that what matters most is how a team finishes.
Seventh-round draft pick Tommie Campbell returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown, and the Titans rallied to beat the Bears, 14-13, on Saturday night after what Munchak called a pretty flat start.
The Titans (2-1) had trouble stopping the Bears (1-2), who outgained Tennessee, 416-220, but came up with two interceptions.
The Bears protected their quarterbacks well, allowing a lone sack when Hanie was taken down inside the final minute in a mark of improvement for the team that reached the NFC Championship game last season.
Bears coach Lovie Smith called the game an improvement over Monday night’s 41-13 loss to the New York Giants. He liked how the offense moved the ball but not the turnovers or the inability to finish drives.
“It’s one thing to get yards, but they don’t determine the winner based on yards,” Smith said. “It’s about points and we have to get points.”
Jay Cutler played one series into the third quarter and was 13 of 21 for 170 yards with his one interception coming on the opening drive. Matt Forte ran 17 times for 74 yards and a touchdown, but Marion Barber hurt his calf early and did not return. Tight end Desmond Clark was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a knee injury after being hit by Anthony Smith.
Campbell, the cornerback from Division II California (Pa.), picked off Caleb Hanie’s pass late in the third quarter and ran up the left sideline untouched to put Tennessee ahead to stay.
“They executed better than we did at parts of that game than we did,” Munchak said. “We eventually made enough plays to win the game.”
The Titans had dominated the stats a week ago only to lose to St. Louis on a last-second field goal. This time, Campbell came up with the interception, though he didn’t know how to celebrate.