American Football: McNair and Anderson inspire Titans

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The Independent Online

Gary Anderson, the NFL's all-time leading points scorer, kicked a 46-yard field goal with 29 seconds left after a courageous effort by a limping Steve McNair, to give the Tennessee Titans a 20-17 victory at the Baltimore Ravens in their first-round play-off game on Saturday.

McNair engineered an eight-play, 35-yard drive to set up the winning kick, and Eddie George finished with 88 yards on 25 carries despite playing with a dislocated shoulder. In the process, Tennessee ended a five-game losing streak against the Ravens.

The Titans performed outstandingly in defense, holding the 2003 NFL rushing champion, Jamal Lewis, to a season-low 35 yards on 14 carries. Lewis ran for 2,066 yards during the regular season, the second-best total in league history. But he was rendered ineffective against the determined Titans.

The Titans will now play either Kansas City or New England for a spot in the AFC championship game. Tennessee have not been to the Super Bowl since the 1999 season, when they lost to St Louis.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Jake Delhomme threw for 273 yards and a touchdown, and Stephen Davis ran for 104 yards and a score as the Carolina Panthers beat the Dallas Cowboys 29-10. Although the Cowboys came into the game with the league's top-ranked defense, the Panthers made them look ordinary. The game was a complete reversal of the regular-season meeting, when the Cowboys stifled Davis and held him to 59 yards rushing.