The Titans won the toss in overtime and moved to the Steelers’ 16 yard line as Steve McNair found Justin McCareins with passes of 31 and 22 yards to the Pittsburgh 16.
After Robert Holcombe ran for three yards, Titans coach Jeff Fisher called on Nedney to kick a 31-yard field goal on second down. Nedney missed, but was clipped by Pittsburgh’s Dewayne Washington, and the running-into-the-kicker penalty gave Nedney a second chance from 26 yards.
He drilled it to send the Titans into a meeting with either Oakland or the New York Jets in the AFC championship game.
Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher, whose signal for time out before Nedney’s kick either went unnoticed or came too late, sprinted angrily toward officials as the Titans celebrated.
“For a game to be decided on that call is ludicrous,” Cowher said. “A game can’t be decided because a kicker takes two steps and we have someone slide into him. We had some chances to win, but we had some taken away from us, too.”
There was less drama in Philadelphia, where Donovan McNabb made a triumphant return from a broken ankle and led the Eagles to a 20-6 victory over Atlanta.
The Eagles defence contained Falcons’ electrifying quarterback, Michael Vick, as Philadelphia booked a return trip to the NFC championship game.
McNabb missed the final six games of the regular season, and there were plenty of questions surrounding how rusty he would be in his first action since November 17.
McNabb made the biggest play of the night with his arm in the fourth quarter while the Eagles were clinging to a 13-6 lead with 6.34 remaining.
On 4th-and-1 from the Atlanta 35, McNabb picked up a key block from running back Duce Staley, moved right and found Thrash with a short pass. Thrash raced untouched to the end zone for a touchdown.
McNabb completed 20-of-30 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. He rushed three times for 25 yards.
The Eagles will host San Francisco or Tampa Bay next week for a Super Bowl berth.