Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) completed 29 of 43 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Denver Broncos Monday in Denver. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed three field goals before he drilled a final attempt with 20 seconds remaining for a narrow win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
"It's definitely an opportunity I didn't deserve, but I'm grateful I got it for my team and the guys that went out there and busted their butt," Gostkowski told reporters after the 16-14 win Monday in Denver.
"I'd rather we put them in a tough spot. You don't always get that lucky to have a chance to redeem yourself."
Gostkowski missed wide right on a 47-yard attempt in the first quarter. The Broncos answered with a 10-play, 50-yard scoring drive. Broncos quarterback Drew Lock threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah Fant for that score with 33 seconds left in the quarter.
The Titans finally got on the scoreboard with a five-play, 19-yard scoring drive after the Tennessee defense recovered a fumble to give the offense stellar field position. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a one-yard touchdown toss to MyCole Pruitt 9:27 before halftime to end that drive and tie the score at 7-7.
Gostkowski had another field goal blocked 12 seconds before the half.
The Broncos went three-and-out on the first drive of the second half. The Titans then used a 13-play drive to march to the Denver 24-yard line. Gostkowski capped off that drive by pushing a 42-yard attempt wide left.
The Titans defense forced another three-and-out on the Broncos next drive. Tannehill then orchestrated a 15-play, 67-yard scoring drive. The Titans quarterback threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith to end the drive about a minute into the fourth quarter.
Denver responded with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Broncos running back Melvin Gordon ended that drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give Denver a 14-13 lead with 9:12 remaining.
The next four drives resulted in punts before the Titans got the ball back for their final drive of the game. The Titans used short passes from Tannehill and bruising runs from Derrick Henry to get the ball to the Denver 7-yard line before Gostkowski kicked a 25-yard attempt right between the uprights.
The Titans defense then held off the Broncos for the final 17 seconds to secure the victory.
"They [the Broncos] were banking on him missing," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Gostkowski. "We've all got to do our job. It's not on just one player. We'll get this stuff fixed.
"We've got a lot of faith in our players. We're excited to get out of here with a win, this is a tough place to play."
Tannehill completed 29 of 43 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Henry had 116 yards on 31 carries. Corey Davis had a game-high 101 yards on seven catches for the Titans.
Titans safety Kevin Byard had eight tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed in the win.
Lock completed 22 of 33 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Gordon had 78 yards, a score and lost a fumble on 15 carries. Fant had 81 yards and a score on five receptions.
"Obviously, we're happy to win," Tannehill said. "Any win the NFL is a good win. They don't put any asterisks on them in the win column. It's a win, it's a W and we'll take it.
"We're 1-0, but we do have a lot to work on and a lot to clean up. I think we're excited. We didn't play the way we wanted to, but we're excited to be able to come back next week and clean up some things and put a good football game together."
The Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The Broncos battle the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
"There's just a lot of little things that we could have done better," Lock said. "I feel like it was promising. Made some plays, but we want to be an elite offense. [Monday], with some of the things that we did, including some of the things I did myself, it just wasn't elite for us."
Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (L) celebrates with Logan Thomas after defeating
the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17, in Landover, Md., on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo