Oilers ready for Bengals

Sunday, August 30, 1998

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Quarterback Steve McNair wrapped up the kind of summer the Tennessee Oilers needed in Saturday's 16-13 victory over the Denver Broncos.

McNair connected on four of five attempts for 42 yards and a touchdown against Denver's front-line defense in front of 33,194 at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Sure, it was the preseason. But with the victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, the Oilers are feeling good about McNair, about finishing 3-1 and raring to get to Cincinnati next Sunday.

"Obviously this is a confidence-builder," H-back Frank Wycheck said. "I think this team is ready to go. In the back of our minds, we were thinking Cincinnati all week. With this game over with, it's real bullets now."

In four preseason games, McNair connected on 62 percent of his passes, averaged nearly 13 yards per completion and threw two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was cool and collected again Saturday, spreading the ball around to his receivers and forcing nothing.

"His understanding of the offense, his leadership, his anticipation -- we were hoping he would continue to grow in those areas, and I think he has," offensive coordinator Les Steckel said.

On the opening series, the Oilers' offense moved 77 yards in 10 plays and scored the game's first points on a nicely executed 9-yard touch pass from McNair to running back Eddie George over seven-time Pro Bowl safety Steve Atwater.

   Denver      7  3  3  0 - 13 
   Tennessee   7  3  6  0 - 16 
First Quarter
Ten_George 9 pass from McNair (Del Greco kick), 9:37.
Den_Sharpe 26 pass from Elway (Elam kick), 2:08.
Second Quarter
Ten_FG Del Greco 26, 3:58.
Den_FG Elam 19, 1:57
Third Quarter
Ten_FG Del Greco 51, 13:38.
Ten_FG Del Greco 26, 10:58.
Den_FG Elam 33, 3:15.

RUSHING - Denver, Davis 3-53, Howard 11-36, Griese 6-28, Loville 9-18, Brister 1-6, Smith 1-0. Tennessee, S. George 10-33, E. George 6-19, McNair 1-5, Ritchey 4-4, Archie 3-4, S. Matthews 3-4, Thomas 6-(minus 2), Krieg 1-(minus 1).
PASSING - Denver, Griese 11-25-1-117, Brister 8-12-0-78, Elway 1-2-0-26. Tennessee, Krieg 8-11-0-68, McNair 4-5-0-42, Ritchey 1-3-0-16, S. Matthews 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING - Denver, Chamberlain 5-73, Loville 5-41, Armour 3-31, Carswell 3-23, Sharpe 1-26, Nash 1-18, Smith 1-6, Howard 1-3. Tennessee, Wycheck 3-33, Dyson 2-25, Thigpen 2-18, Thomas 2-13, Kent 1-16, E. George 1-9, Harris 1-9, Mason 1-3.

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