Chris Johnson ran for two touchdowns and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals as the Tennessee Titans capitalized on some early turnovers...
TAMPA, Fla. — Chris Johnson ran for two touchdowns and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals as the Tennessee Titans capitalized on some early turnovers to earn a 30-7 exhibition victory over the Tampa Buccaneers on Friday night.
Jake Locker, Tennessee’s second-year quarterback from Washington, didn’t have an ideal outing in his first NFL start, completing 4 of 11 passes for 21 yards and an interception.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said Locker “made a bad decision” on the interception, which was returned to the 2, but bounced back well.
Locker did have a few highlights, his biggest coming two series after his pick when he scrambled 21 yards on a broken play to set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Johnson to make it 7-7 late in the first quarter.
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“I think today was a little sloppy,” Locker said. “We need to clean up, but the encouraging part was that we were able to put points on the board.”
The Titans got an early boost from their defense, turning two first-half turnovers by the Bucs into points. Tennessee linebacker Zach Brown and tackle Jurrell Casey led the way with six tackles, while linebacker Dekoda Watson had four stops and a sack for Tampa Bay.
The bigger issue for the Bucs was seeing running back LeGarrette Blount leave the game late in the first half with a groin injury. But afterward coach Greg Schiano said he didn’t expect the third-year back to miss much time.
At Cardinals 31, Raiders 27
John Skelton made a brief appearance in his battle with Kevin Kolb for Arizona’s starting quarterback job, just long enough to throw the first touchdown pass for either player during this exhibition season.
Jaguars 27, at Saints 24
Jordan Palmer hit Kevin Elliott with an 11-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 13 seconds left, lifting Jacksonville over New Orleans.
Lions 27, at Ravens 12
Matthew Stafford threw two TD passes and Calvin Johnson had five catches for 111 yards and a score as Detroit prevailed.
At Panthers 23, Dolphins 17
Cam Newton outplayed rookie Ryan Tannehill in a matchup of young quarterbacks as Carolina defeated Miami.
At Vikings 36, Bills 14
Christian Ponder threw a first-quarter touchdown pass in a sharp three-possession appearance, and Minnesota breezed past Buffalo, which received a decent performance from backup quarterback candidate Vince Young.
• The New England Patriots have reportedly agreed to terms with Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps, who played running back at Florida but was not drafted by an NFL team.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers made a surprise move in activating nose tackle Casey Hampton and running back Rashard Mendenhall from the physically unable to perform list. Each veteran is rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered in January.
• Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said wide receiver Greg Jennings has made significant steps in his recovery from a concussion and may be able to return to practice Sunday.
• Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe signed his franchise tender after skipping Kansas City’s entire offseason program and the beginning of training camp. He will make $9.5 million this season.
• Veteran offensive tackle Ray Willis has told the Chiefs that he is retiring. Willis made 26 starts and played in 44 games in five seasons, mostly with the Seahawks.
• The NFL Players Association filed documents in federal court disputing commissioner Roger Goodell’s sworn statement that he was prepared to discipline players for their involvement in the Saints bounty pool back in March but waited until May as a courtesy to the union.