Titans vs. Steelers: Week 1 Studs, Duds, Grades & Reaction

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Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tennessee Titans kick returner Darius Reynaud (25) downs the ball on the opening kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The play was called a safety as he picked the ball up and backed into the end zone. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Reynaud
Three seconds.

That’s how long it took before the Titans faced their first deficit of the 2013-14 NFL season. Darius Reynaud took the opening kickoff in the end zone, stepped outside of it, went back in and knelt down for what he believed was a touchback.

The problem? If a return specialist steps outside of the end zone, he can’t return. If he does and he’s tackled there or he kneels down, then it’s a safety. 2-0 Steelers.

This isn’t the first time that this happened. In Jan. 2012, a similar situation happened with ex-Green Bay Packers cornerback Pat Lee. Check out what happened with him at this video (if it works). Then check out what Reynaud did here.

Give Reynaud some credit: he did return a punt inside the Steelers’ 15-yard-line late in the fourth quarter. That set up one of two field goals that stretched the Titans’ lead and put the game out of reach.

David Stewart
Respect to David Stewart, who played with a calf injury. The problem came during the fourth quarter. In a 10-2 game, Stewart got flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That almost knocked the Titans out of field-goal range.

The Titans managed to get enough yards back so Bironas could attempt a reasonable field goal, making it a two-possession game.

No harm done—this time.