Sunday, September 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Texans 30, Titans 24 (OT)
By Paul Kuharsky
HOUSTON -- A few thoughts on the Tennessee Titans' 30-24 overtime loss to the Houston Texans:
What it means: A team that looked to have a terribly scheduled two-game start nearly started 2-0 but ultimately made too many mistakes to win. We were skeptical of the defense last week because the Steelers were so bad on offense. But the Texans are a far more dangerous offense, and Tennessee handled them for a good while, too. Still, they need more balance and can’t disappear on offense for long stretches, and that’s what did them in here. They simply didn’t make enough plays. The defense gave up a touchdown drive to open overtime, so the Tennessee offense didn't get a possession in the extra period.
Stock watch: When the Titans needed him most, Jake Locker didn’t deliver. They got the ball with 1:53 left in regulation and did nothing. Locker threw a wobbler to Nate Washington and had Kenny Britt open as a big blitz came at him. Both throws were too high and the Titans had to punt the ball back to Houston with roughly a minute left. The Texans had a crack at a game-winning 46-yard field goal, but Randy Bullock hit the left upright.
Crusher: Cornerback Jason McCourty spearheaded a nice effort against Andre Johnson, but on the play that set up the Texans for the winning score, he couldn't find the ball as rookie DeAndre Hopkins plucked it just before the right front pylon for a 25-yard gain. Hopkins then caught the 3-yard game winner on McCourty three plays later on the right side of the end zone.
Wake-up call: The Titans' offense couldn’t get out of the shadow of its own goal line for 20 minutes in the second half. Then they put together an incredible 99-yard touchdown drive to take the 17-16 lead with 6:37 on the game clock. After that the defense ramped up its efforts, swarming Matt Schaub even more effectively. But they let up and allowed a tying TD drive and two-point conversion and we wound up with overtime.
Injury update: Defensive tackle Sammie Hill left the game in the first half with an ankle injury and didn’t return. They signed him to be a run-stopping force but he’s hardly been a force through two games, with limited snaps Week 1 and the injury Sunday.
Fourth-quarter reversals: Gary Kubiak won two challenges in the fourth quarter, earning his team a safety and a 21-yard reception by Johnson. The safety and the two-point conversion that tied the game were crucial plays.
What’s next: The Titans play their home opener at LP Field against the San Diego Chargers, who beat the Eagles on Sunday and are 1-1.