Week 14 Game Recap: Houston Texans 10, Tennessee Titans 13
What you need to know
The Texans continue to find creative ways of losing football games. The Texans missed two fourth quarter field goals and allowed a punt return for a touchdown as they blew a halftime 10-3 lead.
Their offensive line continues to be the major source of their scoring problem, as QB David Carr hardly has time to think before getting tackled by the defense. In Week 14, he was sacked six times, five of them coming in the first half. Carr could not complete a pass of 20 yards or more as a result, and managed to post just 116 yards passing on 17 completions. Carr did well to not turn the ball over, throwing no interceptions, and also throwing for the only Texans’ touchdown of the game to RB Domanick Davis.
Davis was the keystone of the Texans’ offense, rushing for 139 yards and receiving for 50 more. He touched the ball 29 times for Houston, carrying the ball on 22 of 26 Texans’ run plays and also catching more passes than any other two Texans combined.
After playing a solid defensive game, special teams were the story for Houston. Tennessee ran back a punt for a touchdown to knot the game at ten, and PK Kris Brown missed a 36 yard opportunity to tie the game at 13. WR/KR Jerome Mathis set up PK Kris Brown for a 31 yard field goal attempt to try and tie the game with no time left on the clock, but Brown missed by a mile to the left.
The Titans continue to utilize two running backs, starting RB Chris Brown and bringing in RB Travis Henry from the bench. Brown ran the ball with speed and power as he led all Titan ball carriers with 53 yards.
QB Steve McNair managed to throw for over 200 yards, but could not find the end zone. He missed a few open receivers, but he also did not get much help from his receiving corps who dropped four passes, including two in the end zone. His two leading receivers were his two running backs, as McNair appeared to miss his leading receiver, TE Erron Kinney, who was sidelined due to a knee injury last week. McNair completed passes to nine different receivers, as both backs and TE Ben Troupe led the way with three catches.
DB Adam “Pacman” Jones scored for the first time, running back a punt for 52 yards for the only Tennessee touchdown of the game.
What you ought to know
Carr was under constant pressure, especially in the first half of the game. His offensive line did little to protect him, and Carr was sacked six times by the Titans, five times in the first half. As a result of the pressure, Carr did not have much time to make decisions as to where to throw the ball. Carr’s longest pass went for just 16 yards as he was restricted to getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible. He could not check off of his primary read or wait for receivers to come open. His only touchdown pass came on a short pass to RB Domanick Davis out of the backfield for three yards.
Davis was the juggernaut for the Texans, touching the ball 29 times for 189 total yards and the lone Houston touchdown. Davis pounded the ball all afternoon, mostly for short yardage but managed to break four carries for ten or more yards – exactly one in each quarter. Davis’s biggest gains came in the first quarter on a 44 yard sprint, and later he added an 18 yard run just before the half that set up his touchdown catch three plays later.
Davis was nearly perfect catching the ball out of the backfield, catching seven of eight targets for 50 yards and a touchdown. The only ball he did not catch was a toss from QB David Carr that was ankle high.
Wells spelled RB Domanick Davis briefly, carrying the ball twice when Davis needed a play off.
Johnson got on track in the second quarter, catching two of five targets for 22 total yards before halftime. He was also responsible for drawing a pass interference call that gained the Texans 29 yards. Johnson added one more catch for the game of six yards in the final period. Even though he only caught three of nine targets, only one ball was truly a dropped pass and should have been caught.
Bradford caught three short passes in Week 14. He had six yard catches in both the second and fourth quarters to compliment his longest catch of eight yards, also in the second quarter.
Gaffney caught just one pass for one yard in the first quarter. He slipped and fell on his other target, a short pass of about seven yards that skipped off the ground right by him. Gaffney also ran an end around for six yards in the second quarter.
Mathis dropped a pass of about eight yards in the first quarter on his only target of the game.
Rivers caught all three passes that came his way for a combined 18 yards. Rivers caught a seven yard pass for a first down in the second quarter, and added his longest reception of just nine yards before halftime. Rivers finished his production by catching a two yard pass in the fourth quarter.
Bruener dropped a pass of about eight yards in the third quarter on his only target of the game.
Brown’s afternoon started fine, as he connected on a 30 yard field goal in the first quarter. He missed his two very important fourth quarter attempts. Both kicks were make able, the first from 36 and the final one from 31 yards. The last attempt would have tied the game if Brown had converted the chance.
Brown also contributed to the offense by carrying the ball on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter for five yards and a first down.
Tennessee ran the ball 30 times but for just 93 yards, five first downs and no scores. Houston held both RB Chris Brown and RB Travis Henry in check all afternoon.
QB Steve McNair failed to throw a touchdown and collected just over 200 yards passing. However, the Texans did not put much pressure on McNair as they recorded no turnovers or sacks.
|QB Steve McNair, Pass: 18 - 30 - 208 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0|
McNair was unable to practice most of the week before the game with Texans, and his accuracy and timing with his receivers looked off kilter. While completing 60% of his passes for over 200 yards could be considered respectable, McNair was capable of much more. He had four of his passes dropped by Titans’ receivers, and McNair was also guilty of missing a few open receivers. He also failed to throw a touchdown for the second week in a row. In fairness to McNair, he had to play without his favorite receiver, the injured TE Erron Kinney, who leads the Titans in receptions with 54.
McNair showed that he can still run when he needs to, as he scrambled for 18 yards and a first down in the fourth quarter to keep a drive alive.
|RB Chris Brown, Rush: 16 - 53 - 0, Rec: 3 - 49 - 0 (4 targets)|
Brown started the game for the Titans as the starting running back, and he looked quicker and more powerful than his fellow running back Travis Henry. Brown averaged less than four yards a carry. While he had five runs of six yards or more, Brown also had eight carries for three yards or less. He ran for a long of 11 yards twice, including his last carry that picked up a first down and continued the winning drive for Tennessee.
Brown was also proficient catching passes out of the backfield. Brown caught three passes for 49 total yards, including two for 20 or more.
|RB Travis Henry, Rush: 8 - 19 - 0, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (3 targets)|
Henry entered the game in the second quarter, replacing RB Chris Brown. Henry had only eight carries for a scant 19 yards, as none of his rushes went for over six yards. Henry’s bigger contributions came as a receiver, as he caught three passes for 54 yards in the second quarter.
Henry would most likely have been more involved with the offense had it not been for his leaving the game in the second quarter. Henry was tackled and his knee folded under him on his last carry in Week 14. The damage to his knee could have been far worse that it later appeared, as Henry was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Payton was used in the game as a complimentary back to RB Chris Brown once RB Travis Henry left the game with an injury. Whenever Brown needed a play off, Payton stepped in. Payton finished the game with three touches and 11 total yards.
Fleming caught one pass for 15 yards and a first down in the first quarter.
Calico started his Week 14 with two consecutive dropped passes, the second of which came on a fourth down attempt. Calico had beaten the cornerback deep and had the ball skip off of his fingers at the Texan five yard line. Calico later added two catches for 20 total yards in the second half.
Bennett was the most targeted Titans’ receiver, getting seven chances to make a reception against Houston. He was closely defended by the Texans, as they knew that QB Steve McNair would look at Bennett often. With three of his targets getting tipped or batted away, Bennett only missed one catchable ball. Unfortunately, that miss came in the end zone, and would have been a five yard score.
Troupe was elevated to the number one tight end option with the loss of TE Erron Kinney last week. Troupe caught three passes, which just so happens to be the first three balls that were directed his way. Only one of the receptions went for any significant yardage, as Troupe’s third and final catch went for 25 yards and a first down in the second quarter.
Scaife was afforded more opportunities by the Titans due in part to the injured TE Erron Kinney’s recent injury. Scaife finished with two catches of six yards each, occurring in the first and last quarter of the game. He also caught a third pass of six yards in the fourth quarter, but he lost credit for it due to a penalty.
Guenther caught one pass for eight yards in the fourth quarter on the Titan’s game winning scoring drive.
Bironas missed his first field goal attempt as his kick from 46 yards sailed wide right in the opening quarter. Bironas was perfect after that miss, making two short field goals of 23 and 21 yards and adding a single extra point.
Houston ran for 152 yards, 139 from RB Domanick Davis. The Titans allowed nearly six yards a carry, bolstered by four Davis runs of over ten yards highlighted by a 44 yard run in the opening period.
QB David Carr was under constant pressure the entire game. The Titans collected six sacks, five in the first half, and yielded just 116 yards. However, Tennessee did allow the only touchdown via the air and did not force any turnovers.