LenDale White reached the 1,000-yard plateau for the season in the first quarter of Sunday’s 10-6 victory over the New York Jets.
But it was a seven-yard run with less than two minutes to play that wound up being his biggest carry of the day for the second-year running back.
That carry not only pushed White to 103 yards for the day, but it also gave Tennessee the critical first down it needed to run out the clock against the New York Jets and preserve the Titans’ critical victory.
“We were in the huddle, and I heard ’26 power,’ and that’s my favorite play,” White said. “That’s the one I want them to call, and they called it. They said, ‘Do you have six yards in you?’ I told them, ‘Yeah, I can get eight if they block.’ … So Ahmard [Hall] made a great block. I just bounced off of him and looked to the sideline to see where I [needed to get]. Once I knew we had the first down, I knew it was ice.”
Not only did White have the first down, the Titans had the victory that puts them in control of their playoff destiny heading into the season’s final week against the Indianapolis Colts.
RESTING COLTS?: It remains to be seen exactly how much the Colts, who have been riddled with key injuries, will play their starters when the Titans head there for the regular-season finale.
Game time was moved from noon Central time to 7:15 p.m. to put the game in primetime.
While the Titans’ playoff existence hinges on the outcome of the game, the Colts have nothing to gain or lose by the result.
At 13-2, Indianapolis has already sewn up the AFC South and a first-round playoff bye. However, the Colts cannot catch No. 1 seed New England with a win, nor fall into the wild-card round with a loss.
Still, the Titans won’t take their division rival for granted, no matter what might be their situation. Last year, the Titans had hoped the New England Patriots would rest their starters, but they wound up playing full bore and winning 40-23, preventing Tennessee from getting into the postseason.
“We’ve got a tough task ahead of us with those Colts. At the beginning of the year, I kind of figured it would come down to the last game with something,” linebacker Keith Bulluck said.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said he expects the Colts to rest players as the game progresses, but that doesn’t change the Titans’ mission.
“It’ll probably be like a preseason game, play the first quarter and then sit and rest. We’re going to play to win, and no matter who is back there, we’re going to try and put them down,” Haynesworth said.
INJURIES: The Titans kept center Kevin Mawae (calf) inactive in the game, opting to rest the veteran for next week against the Colts and allowing a healthy Eugene Amano to start at center.
The Titans lost cornerback Nick Harper to a pre-game groin injury, forcing the to deactivate him as well.
With Harper out, the Titans started Reynaldo Hill, who played the first half and had an interception. In the second half, Kelly Herndon played at cornerback.
Hill admitted some brief dizziness, but was perplexed at being replaced.
“There was nothing wrong with me. I was a dizzy a little bit, and I was ready to go back in the game, and I didn’t,” Hill said. “There’s nothing wrong with me, still nothing wrong with me. If there was something wrong with me, I’d be in the training room, right?”
During the game, the Titans lost nickelback Eric King, who was subbing for a banged-up Vincent Fuller, to an arm injury.
PROMISE KEEPERS: The Titans got a major assist from the Cincinnati Bengals, who upset the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The players and coaches found out about Cincinnati’s 19-14 victory just about the time they came out of the tunnel and onto the field.
Receiver Eric Moulds wasn’t surprised by the upset, as he spoke to Bengals receiver Chad Johnson early in the week.
“I had a conversation with Chad Johnson early in the week, and he told me they weren’t going to quit that they were going to play hard. He kept his promise, and now it’s time for us to keep our end of the bargain,” Moulds said.