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Comeback fails, Cardinals beat Titans 37-34 in OT
By: Staff  Writer - AP
Published: 12/15/2013  at  9:09:34 PM
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Coach Mike Munchak decided to play for overtime by kicking an extra point that may have cost the Titans a win.

Whether it helps cost his job will only be known after the season.

The Titans rallied, scoring 17 straight points with no timeouts left in the final 3:12 of regulation and were in Arizona territory in overtime when Antoine Cason intercepted his second pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Jay Feely kicked a 41-yard field goal capping the Cardinals' lone possession for a 37-34 victory Sunday.

''Now you sit here and think, `We might as well have done it. We had a better chance to win,''' Munchak said. ''I felt the momentum was on our side. We go the ball, which I hoped we would. We were in position to take over the game. We have to make plays there and win it. Now that we didn't get it done, I wish we did go for it.''

The Titans (5-9) lost their third straight and eighth in 10 games, and they have lost five consecutive home games for the first time since moving to Tennessee in 1997.

New president and CEO Tommy Smith was on hand for this latest game that featured thousands of empty seats, a number that increased when Arizona scored 21 straight points, taking a 34-17 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter.

Smith spoke to reporters before kickoff in his first news conference since taking over the team Oct. 29 following the death of owner Bud Adams.

Smith said he will meet with Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster after the season ends to evaluate what's next, but also sees the Titans still playing hard.

The Titans did, even if they came up short again.

Fitzpatrick threw for 402 yards, and two of his four touchdowns came in Tennessee's rally. With receivers Justin Hunter and Damian Williams deactivated for violating team rules, Fitzpatrick found Michael Preston with a 10-yard TD pass with 3:12 left and an 8-yarder with 10 seconds to go for the first scores of the receiver's NFL career in regulation setting up Munchak's decision.

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and the rest of the Titans wanted to go for the 2-point conversion and the win.

Munchak said Loggains' confidence almost swayed him. The decision to tie the game looked good as Fitzpatrick found Nate Washington on a 33-yard pass down to the Cardinals 43.

Fitzpatrick didn't adjust for a blitzer on the next play that affected his throw, and Cason picked off a pass intended for Preston.

''When you have a comeback like that, you're not supposed to lose,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''We felt like we had things rolling there.''

The Titans recovered an onside kick when Jackie Battle knocked the ball away from Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald with 44 seconds left to set up the final touchdown.

They failed to recover two onside kicks last month in losing to Jacksonville and Indianapolis, and Patrick Bailey dropped a short kickoff to open the third quarter that Cason recovered as well.

''It has been strange the way the ball has bounced against us in plays or plays made or plays not made,'' Munchak said. ''It just seems like we've been finding a different way to lose games that we've had a great chance of winning.''

Arizona turned Tennessee's mistakes into 13 points with Cason also intercepting Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter and running it 20 yards for a touchdown in a 21-point spurt by the Cardinals to take that 34-17 lead.

The Cardinals (9-5) won their sixth in seven games. With San Francisco and Carolina winning, they remain a game back of both for a NFC wild-card berth. The Cardinals visit Seattle and then host the 49ers on Dec. 29 in the season finale.

''It's not like the BCS,'' Feely said. ''You don't get style points. You've just got to win a game and move onto the next one and, hopefully, keep winning.''

Notes: The Cardinals went 4-0 against the AFC South with the win, their first interconference sweep since realignment in 2002. ... Arizona improved to 3-4 on the road this season. ... Cardinals LB John Abraham had a half sack, giving him 11 1/2 for the season. ... With Hunter and Williams scratched, Kenny Britt played and caught his first pass since Oct. 20. He finished with three catches giving him 11 for the season.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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