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The Titans were convinced they should have won it long before then, especially after leading 10-7 in the fourth. However, Rob Bironas missed two field-goal attempts inside the 40, a 37-yarder after a bad snap and a 31-yarder that was blocked by Aaron Smith.
"The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't beat the Tennessee Titans, the Tennessee Titans beat the Tennessee Titans," said wide receiver Nate Washington, the former Steelers player.
Kerry Collins was 22 of 35 for 244 yards, including a 14-yard scoring pass to Justin Gage, but, like Roethlisberger, didn't have a reliable running game. Chris Johnson carried 15 times for 57 yards, but more than half of those came on a 32-yard run.
Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck compared it to the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fights of the 1970s, back when the Titans' predecessors, the Oilers, played numerous physical, punishing games against Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain.
"It's pretty much like one of those old-school boxing matches that used to go 15 rounds," Bulluck said. "Two defenses showed up, the offenses made plays here and there."
Mostly, the Steelers made them when Roethlisberger was in desperation mode.
"He did it in the Super Bowl and now in this first overtime," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said of his quarterback. "Yeah, I would think people would start giving him his due as a player."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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