Tennessee rallied from an early deficit with 16 straight points and came up with a stop against its own end zone to force a field goal. A late interception by
The victory led to a more energetic buzz in the locker room after the game and gave the Titans (7-9) one more win than a season ago.
Tennessee finished two games out of the final spot in the AFC playoffs but was also able to:
|Chris Johnson and |
— Enable Kendall Wright to become the fifth player in Titans/Oilers franchise history to have 90 or more catches in a season. Wright joined Charlie Hennigan (101 in 1964), Haywood Jeffires (100 in 1991, 90 in 1992), Derrick Mason (96 in 2004, 95 in 2003) and Drew Hill (90 in 1991) on the list.
The offensive milestones were products of a season-long effort and combined with a defense that forced four turnovers, and solid play on special teams. The Titans had field goals of 42, 55 and 37 by
“We didn’t want to end the season with the record we have. Our goal was to get to the playoffs and that didn’t happen, so to end the season with winning two divisional games is the way we wanted to end it,” Walker said. “That just gives us a head start going into next year. We know we want things to get better, we’ve got to finish, we’ve got to make plays when they come to us, and that goes for everybody. I don’t know what’s going to happen and the situation with coaches and players, I’m just looking forward to coming in next year and hitting the ground running.”
“That was crazy,” Ayers said. “I saw the quarterback throw the ball and I’m running to it like I usually do in case it’s a tipped ball or a situation where he might break lose or something like that. I was just running to the ball and there it was.”
“I got busted in the face. It kind of scared me a little bit because I was going to make the tackle. I shouldn’t say it scared me, but it surprised me,” Pollard said. “Those are just plays. As long as I got my pass deflection, I’m cool.”
Titans defensive tackle
BIG DAY FOR CJ: Johnson rushed 27 times for 127 yards and an 11-yard TD that gave Tennessee a 13-7 lead with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter. It was his second-highest rushing total of the season and gave him 1,077 rushing yards on the year.
“He did a great job today, breaking tackles, making guys miss, getting up the field and getting first downs when we needed it, and that just shows the type of guy he is,” Walker said. “He’s a little guy but he’s very tough and he comes to play. He did that today.”
Wright concurred, saying “CJ ran like a big back today.”
Johnson also sprung loose for a 23-yarder that helped Tennessee add a field goal as the first half expired.
“It felt good out there. It was very important to get the win, and we just knew if we were able to get the ball and keep our offensive line pushing those guys back like we did last week … we knew we would be pretty successful,” Johnson said.
SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE: Titans coach Mike Munchak successfully challenged a play that was initially ruled a completion from Schaub to DeAndre Hopkins and a fumble caused by
After review, officials determined Verner knocked the ball free before Hopkins could make “a football move” to satisfy that component of what constitutes a reception. Instead of having first-and-10 at the two-minute warning of the first half, the Texans faced third-and-10 from their own 41, and the Titans forced a punt.
“That was good to get that one. That one was a tough call. You never know how they’re going to go with those. Did he catch it? Did he not? We’ve lost some on that,” Munchak explained. “I’ve had some reviews come back and they told me I should have won the reviews. I never look at those as being, we’re too afraid, so that means we’ve made six bad decisions. It’s more, which ones do we challenge? Was it smart to challenge them? What did it cost us by challenging? You take a risk. A lot of those things, that category to me is more, take a look inside the numbers and seeing which ones were a good decision or bad. I thought this was an easy decision to make, because I definitely don’t think he caught it.”
2014 OPPONENTS SET: A win by the New York Jets over the Dolphins Sunday gave them a second-place finish in the AFC East over Miami, determining that the Jets will visit LP Field next year. The Titans will also host Pittsburgh and Cleveland from the AFC North, and the New York Giants and Dallas from the NFC East.
Tennessee will visit Baltimore and Cincinnati from the AFC North, Kansas City from the AFC West, Washington and Philadelphia from the NFC East, and have home-and-away contests against AFC South rivals Houston, Indianapolis and Jacksonville.
DRAFT ORDER ALSO SET: The outcomes of Sunday’s games also determined that the Titans will have the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Tennessee picked