Penalties cost the Tennessee Titans more than yards on Sunday. A player and a touchdown also were lost to violations.
Then starting quarterback Vince Young was lost to a left leg injury with just over six minutes remaining.
Not surprisingly, the Titans once again lost to the San Diego Chargers, this time 33-25 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The Chargers have won the last eight in the series – a streak that dates back to 1992 – and remained the only NFL team Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher has not beaten.
Kerry Collins drove the Titans to the San Diego 15 in the final minutes. With 37 seconds to go Chris Johnson dropped a fourth-down pass that ended the threat.
Collins was 8-for-15 52 yards. Young was 10-for-21 for 253 yards and two touchdowns before he was hurt.
It looked as if Tennessee (5-3) extended a two-point, third quarter lead when Michael Griffin intercepted a pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown. The takeaway was nullified by a holding call against Griffin.
Two plays later – a 36-yard run by Mike Tolbert and a 48-yard touchdown reception by Antonio Gates – the Chargers led 24-19.
Gates’ touchdown was part of a run of 20 straight points that put San Diego (3-5) ahead to stay. The Titans ended the run on Nate Washington’s 71-yard touchdown reception with 11:53 remaining in the fourth quarter but missed on a game-tying two-point conversion.
Donnie Nickey was ejected with 11:35 to play when it was ruled he hit an official in the chest. It appeared Nickey took a swing at a San Diego player as he got up from the ground but instead struck referee Bill Levy.
Overall, the Titans were penalized 10 times for 80 yards, the most on both accounts since a Week 4 loss against Denver.
Washington had a team-high 117 receiving yards for Tennessee, which played most of the contest without leading receiver Kenny Britt, who left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Britt did not have a catch and lost his streak of five straight games with a touchdown reception
Johnson rushed for 59 yards on 15 carries. Much of that came on a 29-yard, start-one-way, go-the-other run.