It’s an AFC South showdown between the hometown Titans (4-0) and the visiting Texans (1-4).
The Titans will have to be focused in this one, as division games are never the same as the matchup statistics would indicate.
Throughout the season, you can count on us to have threads like this one, which will be updated frequently during each and every game.
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Let’s get ready for some football!
The Titans are on the field warming up now.
Think Jadeveon Clowney is excited to play against Houston?
The Titans opened the game with possession, but a false start penalty on the first play and an incompletion on 3rd and 9 led to a quick three-and-out. The Texans took over at their own 20.
After allowing a conversion on 3rd and 12 (set up by a DaQuan Jones sack), the Titans defense managed to get a stop with pressure from Kenny Vaccaro on a blitz and Clowney around the edge, forcing a quick, inaccurate throw from Deshaun Watson.
On their next possession, the Titans started clicking. Picking up first down after first down on runs by Henry and receptions by A.J. Brown, Cameron Batson, and Anthony Firkser, Tannehill moved the Titans 80 yards to inside the 10-yard line over 4 minutes. On 2nd and goal from the six, he found Firkser in the end zone for the game’s first score.
The Texans opened their next drive with a nice run by David Johnson for a pickup of eight, but a loss on second down led to a 3rd and 4. Vaccaro got his hand on a pass to force the incompletion, and the Texans punted back to Tennessee.
Starting at their own 29, the Titans went back to Henry, who kickstarted the drive with a 34-yard run, his longest yet of the season. The Titans moved the ball deep into Texans territory with a mix of more Henry and completions to Firkser and Adam Humphries, the latter on a 3rd and 10. From the six-yard line, Tannehill took the snap, rolled to his right to buy time, and found Brown in the flat for the touchdown. Titans go up by two scores with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
End 1Q — Titans 14, Texans 0
The Texans offense finally started to wake up. A big completion over the middle and another to Will Fuller set the Texans up in good position. Johnson ripped off a nice run in the red zone to get inside the 10. The Titans nearly managed one of their signature goal line stands, but on 4th and goal from the 1, Watson found Darren Fells in the end zone to cut the lead in half, Titans 14, Texans 7.
Tannehill continued to orchestrate his masterpiece of a day with immense help from Henry. The Titans drove right back down the field with some nice runs by the rushing champ and a few pinpoint throws from the quarterback. Then, from just outside the red zone (so unfortunately won’t count towards the streak of 10 straight red zone touchdowns), Tannehill found Humphries on a wheel route for a 22-yard score. Titans went up 21-7.
The Texans had one last possession in the half, taking over with a little over three minutes to play. Watson managed to work the ball down the field and set the Texans up for a field goal try. Kaimi Fairbairn knocked it through from 38 yards to make it 21-10.
Halftime: Titans 21, Texans 10
Houston began the second half with the ball, but the Titans forced a quick three and out. A big tackle by Malcolm Butler on second down and a pass breakup by Jayon Brown on 3rd-and-3 brought the Texans punting unit onto the field only 1:16 into the half.
On the next drive, Tannehill relied on his arm a bit more, hitting Firkser over the middle for 45 yards on a 2nd and 20 to put the Titans back in the red zone. Things then turned in the Texans favor, as Tyrell Adams got to Tannehill for the sack, and two plays later, the Titans field goal attempt from 27 yards out was blocked, snapping the Titans red zone touchdown streak and scoring streak. Texans gained possession at their own 21 yard line, still trailing by 11 points.
The Texans responded quickly riding their newfound momentum. A big play to Fells for 35 yards moved the ball into scoring position. A pass interference against rookie Kristian Fulton put the Texans at the one yard line, and two plays later, Johnson took it in for the score. The Texans had stormed back, now trailing 21-17.
The Titans came back looking sloppy, perhaps rattled by the recent chain of events. Taylor Lewan went down with a knee injury, and Jonnu Smith was sidelined with an ankle, questionable to return. On 3rd down, J.J. Watt beat replacement tackle Ty Sambrailo around the edge and forced a fumble.
After a mad scramble for the ball, the Texans came out with it at the Titans four-yard line. They scored three plays later on a 3rd and goal pass to Randall Cobb after Watson danced around the pocket and made an incredible sideline throw to the receiver, who got both feet down inbounds (upheld after a lengthy review). The Texans took their first lead of the game, 23-21, after Fairbairn missed the extra point.
The Titans got in trouble early on their next drive, but a threaded needle to Firkser by Tannehill on 3rd and 7 sparked some movement. The Titans worked it across midfield on an explosive run by backup running back Jeremy McNichols. The third quarter wound to a close with the Titans facing a 3rd and 13 from Houston’s 29-yard line.
End 3Q — Titans 21, Texans 23
The Titans opened the third quarter with a chance to take a one-point lead, but Stephen Gostkowski’s 37-yard field goal missed wide right. Texans take over possession at their own 27-yard line.
Watson found Cooks three times in four plays to move the ball near the Tennessee 40. Jadeveon Clowney finally made a play, taking down Johnson for a two-yard loss. On 3rd-and-8 two plays later, Jeffery Simmons made his presence felt, combining with Clowney and Derick Roberson to take down Watson way back in Houston territory, a huge play for the defense. Titans were able to try again this time from their own six-yard line, still trailing by two points.
One. Play. Later. Derrick Henry finally did what Titans fans have been waiting for all season: he busted the big one. Henry crossed over the 200-yard mark for the game with a 94-yard touchdown run. Titans took a 29-23 lead with a two-point conversion to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
But the Texans would respond. On just the second play of their ensuing drive, Fuller got behind Butler. Watson hit him for a 53-yard touchdown, and the Texans went back up 30-29.
With the Titans looking for an answer, the team opened things up on their next possession with disaster. Tannehill misfired down the field looking for Kalif Raymond, throwing just his second interception of the year. The Texans would take back over at their own 31-yard line with the pressure firmly on the Titans defense.
The Texans were able to control the clock and drive the ball down the field, eating valuable time in the process. With two minutes left in the game, the Texans made it down to the Titans’ one-yard line, and Rashaan Evans came up with a stop on 3rd down. But on 4th and goal from the one, Watson made a nice play in the pocket to avoid the rush and found Cooks in the end zone for lead-extending touchdown. The Texans went for two to try to ice the contest and make it a nine-point game, but the Titans got the stop there with a batted ball by Simmons.
Trailing by a touchdown 36-29, the Titans would have one more chance to even the score with one timeout and 1:50 remaining. Tannehill was surgical on the final drive. Taking as much time as they needed but no more than they had, with the clock winding down, Tannehill found A.J. Brown in the back corner of the end zone for an incredible toe-tapping, game-tying touchdown catch. The play was reviewed and upheld, Titans tied things up 36-36 with 4 seconds to play.
The game was headed to overtime.
End 4Q — Titans 36, Texans 36
The Titans won the toss and elected to take the ball (of course). A huge catch-and-run play to Henry put the Titans inside the Houston 30. Another big run by McNichols put them at the 10. Two plays later, on 3rd and goal from the 5, Henry took the wildcat snap and powered his way into the end zone behind a block by Firkser.
Titans won by six, covered the spread, and moved to 5-0 on the season in a thrilling 42-36 victory over their division rivals.
FINAL: Titans 42, Texans 36