The quirky end of regulation included:
1) A timeout just before Randy Bullock’s attempt of a 51-yard field goal that went through the uprights.
2) A blocked field goal by
3) Another Titans timeout just before Bullock tried from that distance and missed wide left.
4) Bullock hitting the left upright on the attempt that counted.
It was a tough ending for the Titans, who led their AFC South rivals 24-16 with 4:59. Tennessee’s offense claimed a 17-16 lead with 6:37 left in the game after a 99-yard scoring drive that ended with a 10-yard TD pass from
Tennessee’s defense forced a three-and-punt on the ensuing possession, including a sack of Schaub by
A boot by
The game opened with each team scoring on its opening drive. Houston received the opening kickoff and scored in 2:30 with four rushes (including a 60-yarder by Ben Tate) and a short TD pass from Schaub to Garrett Graham.
The Titans responded with a balanced drive that combined efficient passing by Locker, including a pair of third-down completions, and six rushes for 27 yards by Chris Johnson and a nine-yard bulldozing run by
Chris Johnson opened the possession with a 16-yard run, and added a six-yard gain after Houston’s J.J. Watt was penalized for illegal use of hands to the face while working against first-round pick
Locker connected with Wright on a quick screen for 14 yards, then with fullback
After a pass was batted down, and a short gain by Chris Johnson, Locker drilled a throw to Wright into tight coverage that the 2012 first-round pick snagged despite contact for a 6-yard touchdown. Officials flagged Tennessee for a penalty when Johnson and
The penalty forced Tennessee to kick off from its own 20 and gave Houston the ball at its 41-yard line, but the Titans forced the first of two 50-yard field goal attempts missed by Randy Bullock in the first half.
Locker was sacked by Brian Cushing on the opening play of that possession, but the Titans were able to get four yards back before the boot by Bironas, who narrowly missed a 48 yarder with 4:43 left in the first half.
Houston clamped down on Tennessee in the third quarter, allowing the Titans 10 yards on 12 plays during the period and kept winning the field position battle until it claimed a 14-10 lead on a touchdown drive that was aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty against
The Texans’ lead grew to 16-10 early in the fourth quarter on a safety that was awarded when officials reviewed a play and decided Chris Johnson had been knocked down before moving the ball beyond the goal line.
The Titans suffered three penalties in a span of four plays to pin themselves against their goal line:
1) What appeared to be a successful screen pass from Locker to Chris Johnson for a gain of 13 to the Tennessee 25 was erased by a “peel back” block called on
2) A play that appeared to be a nine-yard gain by Chris Johnson on first-and-16 was wiped away because Turner was called for holding.
3) Johnson lost a yard on the resulting first-and-19.
4) Locker was unable to get the snap from Turner in time on a play that appeared to be a deep completion to Britt, resulting in a delay of game penalty.
5) Johnson was hit in the end zone on second-and-21, resulting in the safety.
Tennessee opted to throw its way out of the danger zone. Locker opened with a 6-yard pass to Kenny Britt and followed with a 31-yarder to Nate Washington. Going no-huddle, Locker quickly fired to Britt for a gain of nine. Locker went back to Britt for a short gain after a penalty, then found
Chris Johnson added a gain of 15 on the next play, picking up blocks by Chance Warmack and
Locker went back to Wright for a short tough catch that included a helmet-to-helmet penalty against Kareem Jackson. Locker then found Walker, who broke a tackle attempt by Jackson just shy of the goal line.
Momentum appeared to be shifting to Tennessee when
Locker finished 17-for-30 for 148 yards and was sacked four times. The two TD passes, combined with no interceptions, helped him post a passer rating of 92.1. Chris Johnson led all rushers with 96 yards and carried the ball 25 times for the second straight week.