SEATTLE -- The ball was in Zach Brown's hands, with an open field ahead of him.
He looked at all the green, and the ball slid up and off of those hands and right back to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who was stripped of the ball by Moise Fokou, was off the hook.
Instead of a 91-yard fumble recovery and a 17-10 Titans lead, Tennessee watched the Seahawks gather themselves and kick a field goal for a 13-10 advantage en route to a 20-13 decision.
“I looked up,” Brown said with a grimace. “I was thinking about scoring before I scooped the ball. It could have been a big difference in the game.
"Touchdown for sure. I mean, I’m not letting Russell Wilson tackle me, I wouldn’t hear the end of it from my teammates. I probably would have slowed down, because I had two guys right behind me. I would have just let them block. I think big [Antonio] Mook Johnson was going for the quarterback right then.”
It’s the sort of play the Titans can’t afford to let slip away and the sort of play that will leave them sleepless.
“We’re putting ourselves in situations where you have to be perfect,” coach Mike Munchak said, “and you can’t make one mistake.”
It’s hard to put much blame on the Titans defense, though that one mistake amounted to a 10-point swing.
They held Seattle to 20 points and key defenders on special teams produced Tennessee’s lone touchdown, a 77-yard fumble return by Jason McCourty after he and Michael Griffin forced a fumble by substitute holder Chris Maragos.
“The defense was phenomenal, they did a great job.” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “They played well enough to win.”