Using, not losing, heads

titans notebook

Tennessee looks to avoid penalties that cost it in last meeting

January 09, 2009|By Bill Ordine | Bill Ordine,bill.ordine@baltsun.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The last time the Ravens and Tennessee Titans met, at M&T Bank Stadium in October, the two teams were flagged a combined nine times for unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness and personal foul penalties.

While Ravens fans will fixate on the questionable roughing-the-passer penalty whistled on Terrell Suggs that kept alive the game-winning drive for the Titans in the fourth quarter, Tennessee also helped the Ravens score points with personal foul-type transgressions.

In the Titans' 13-10 win, the Ravens' first-quarter field-goal drive was pushed along by Tennessee safety Chris Hope's unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty, and the Ravens' third-quarter touchdown march was marked by a personal foul and unnecessary roughness committed by cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

Yesterday, Finnegan said he hopes not to give a repeat performance.

"You play the game at a high level, and sometimes that stuff happens. You try to avoid it in the playoffs big time, but it's part of the game," said Finnegan, who acknowledges having been fined by the NFL about seven times this year for overly aggressive play.

"One play can make this game. ... I'm going to be definitely smart, not get baited into anything, and still play at a high level," he said.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he didn't warn any of his players in particular about personal fouls, but he made it clear how he feels.

"I think they all understand the importance of playing between the snap and the whistle," Fisher said. "They understand how devastating a 15-yard penalty could be in a game like this."

Center in doubt

Starting Titans center Kevin Mawae (elbow) did not practice again yesterday. Also a nonparticipant was backup defensive end Dave Ball (back), who has been a key part of the rotation on the defensive line. If Mawae cannot play, he'll be replaced by Leroy Harris.

Showing true colors

The Titans will be handing out blue "Titan Towels" to fans tomorrow, so expect to see those being waved on TV.

Weather-wise

The forecast for tomorrow has the temperature moving to the low 40s by game time with a possibility of rain and even snow showers.

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