Titans lead 10-3 after sloppy first half


The NFL is only using pink penalty flags in Sunday’s game between the Jets and Dolphins, but they should have shipped a few boxes to Nashville if they wanted to create maximum awareness for breast cancer.

Penalties loomed large for both teams in the first half, although the Titans were able to stop shooting themselves in the foot long enough to get a touchdown just before halftime. Matt Hasselbeck hit Kendall Wright for a 23-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter to put the team up 10-3. The score also allowed them to get past three offensive pass interference penalties that hindered them in the first half. One wiped out a 43-yard catch by Kenny Britt and the second erased a touchdown just before Wright scored one that counted.

They almost gave back some of that lead thanks to a roughing the passer penalty on defensive lineman Mike Martin as Andrew Luck tried to rally the Colts down the field. The yardage lost hurt the Titans, but so did the fact that the penalty allowed to Colts to avoid using their final timeout on the play. They were able to use it after a Coby Fleener catch with 10 seconds left in the half, but the Titans blocked Adam Vinatieri’s field goal attempt.

The Colts weren’t immune to the penalty problems, either. They jumped offside on a third-and-five and cornerback Jerraud Powers later picked up an illegal contact flag that added five yards to a first down scramble by Hasselbeck. They also had a promising drive stopped in its tracks thanks to an illegal crackback block penalty on wide receiver Donnie Avery.