published Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Hasselbeck’s 3 TD passes lift Titans over Browns

CLEVELAND — Matt Hasselbeck’s fresh start in Tennessee has the Titans off to an unexpected one.

The 13-year veteran quarterback, who left Seattle as a free agent after a playoff-filled decade, threw three touchdown passes in the first half and safety Jordan Babineaux returned an interception 97 yards for a TD as the Titans thumped the Cleveland Browns 31-13 on Sunday for their third straight win under first-year coach Mike Munchak.

Hasselbeck picked apart Cleveland’s secondary in the opening half, throwing for 194 yards while helping the Titans (3-1) build a 21-6 lead.

The 36-year-old finished 10 of 20 for 220 yards — 26 on just two completions after halftime.

The Titans were playing with heavy hearts. On Saturday, they learned that Mike Heimerdinger, their beloved former offensive coordinator known as “Dinger” died of cancer at 58.

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