“AJ is fantastic. We wait for these things from AJ ‘

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In his post-game press conference, Brown admitted that returning to the pitch was difficult and that there had been a lot of hard work. Perhaps symbolically, Brown’s big night didn’t come out of the doors.

The Titans were outplayed in the first half, but still only had a 10-0 deficit as the 49ers couldn’t cash their dominance.

In the first half, the Titans had just 55 attacking yards, with Brown scoring 24 of those yards on five receptions and seven targets. However, that all changed for the Titans in the second half.

“Our motto at halftime was just to make a play,” said Brown, who had six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown in the second half. “And then do another one, then do another. That’s what it was about, making games. Just do your job and let the chips drop where they can.”

Coins have piled up for Brown.

Tennessee came in for 55 yards for a field goal in the opening practice of the second half with Brown carrying the two biggest plays – 18-yard receptions and 13 yards for third-down conversions. Brown was extraordinary on the third down, recording eight third down catches.

“It’s the money at the bottom. It’s the money at the bottom,” he said. “You have to convert and keep training. It’s a tough league and it was a tough defense. They welcomed me again. Very physical, especially in the first half.”

After a second interception of the game by Jimmy Garoppolo on the drive that followed, the Titans recovered the ball and tied the game on a touchdown from D’Onta Foreman.

Then Brown took the spotlight.

First, he picked up a huge ball 42 yards deep to convert to third and 23 points on the final play of the third quarter. Three plays later, Brown grabbed 12 yards on third and 10, then finished with a nice 18 yard touchdown.

Ultimately, a Randy Bullock clutch field goal won it for the Titans, but without Brown’s return and his stellar contributions, it’s hard to imagine Tennessee winning in the final installment of 2021 from Thursday night football.

The Tennessee offensive has been listless of late. Much of that is attributed to the loss of running back Derrick Henry. However, the commission-based racing game has fared well.

From Week 11, when Brown left until Week 15, the Titans were 1-3 and averaged just 14.8 points per game after starting 8-2 with 27.8 per game.

“We understand how important he is for our football team,” said Vrabel. “Love him as a person. Glad to find him.”

On Thursday Brown returned and did so in exemplary form. He was the spark that started the Titans’ offense and eventually caught fire and got back into play.

“They just kept welcoming us in the middle of the game and going on, on going, on carrying us, on carrying us,” Brown said when asked what his teammates were saying when he returned. “I was just thankful to be back to play the game I love.”


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