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Five Key Moments: Titans 13, Broncos 10

1. A Ray of hope

With the Titans up 10-0 and on the edge of field-goal range again, Shane Ray made a play to keep Tennessee off the board. But first he got some help, as a pass-interference penalty wiped a first down conversion off the board and pushed the Titans into a third-and-13 from the Denver 39. Ray had a free path to the quarterback and took Marcus Mariota down for a 10-yard loss that forced the Titans to punt. As the Broncos offense looked to find its rhythm, the defense's ability to prevent a larger lead proved critical.

2. Bend, but don't break

Driving from their own 3-yard line, the Titans put immense pressure on Denver's defense as halftime neared. As Tennessee drove, emotions flared when wide receiver Harry Douglas blocked Chris Harris Jr. by driving into Harris' right knee with his helmet. A skirmish sprouted on the sideline after the next play, with Aqib Talib and Douglas at the middle of it. After separating, play resumed and the Titans drove farther into Broncos territory. However, the defense kept Mariota and the Tennessee offense out of the end zone, forcing an incompletion on second down and intentional grounding on third down. By saving a touchdown, the defense kept Tennessee's lead within two scores at halftime.

-Ben Swanson

  1. An arm and a leg

After another unsuccessful third-down attempt, Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis and his unit dug into their bag of tricks. As punter Riley Dixon received the snap, he feigned a kick and unleashed a tight spiral to gunner Cody Latimer who was all alone on the left side. Latimer hauled in the 16-yard reception to keep the Denver drive alive. A big play to Demaryius Thomas would help the Broncos get all the way down to the Tennessee 4-yard line before the drive stalled.

4. A sack setup

After the offense faltered just 4 yards from the goal line on fourth down, the defense ensured they would get another shot by refusing to let Tennessee get any breathing room. Running back DeMarco Murray gained just 2 yards on two rushes, setting up third-and-long at the Tennessee 6. Looking to pass, Mariota dropped back into his end zone and was flushed out of the pocket with DeMarcus Ware in pursuit. Though Mariota got out of the Titans' end zone, Ware caught up to him and brought him down for the sack at the 1-yard line, forcing Tennessee to punt out of their own end zone. With Kalif Raymond's 21-yard return coupled with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty, the Broncos quickly got deep into Titans territory again.

-Ben Swanson

  1. On the road back

Just about five minutes after the Broncos came up empty on the Titans' goal line, Trevor Siemian and Emmanuel Sanders made sure they wouldn't leave empty handed again. On second-and-goal from the Titans 3-yard line, Siemian threw a dart of a crossing route into Sanders' chest. The wide receiver, who had a tough game in the early going, hauled in the pass to draw the Broncos within one score with 9:58 to play in the contest. The Broncos would add a Brandon McManus field goal later in the fourth quarter and get a chance with just over two minutes to play to drive down the field for the tie or the win. Tight end A.J. Derby fumbled, however, at the Denver 41-yard line with 1:04 to play. The Titans recovered and the Broncos well to 8-5.


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