|Date of game: 10/5/2014
Recap: Tennessee vs. Cleveland
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.
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 comeback effort.
"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.
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.
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 28-15.
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 together."
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- goal.Game Notes
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.