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Titans-Texans Flashback: Offense Surges Early, Defense Protects Lead

Posted Dec 27, 2013

Dec. 19, 2010: Titans 31, Texans 17 | Click here to download the gamebook.

This flashback goes to the 2010 home finale for the Titans in which Tennessee stormed out of the gate for 21 points in the first quarter and maintained the lead throughout the game.

Chris Johnson and Nate Washington celebrate Washington's short TD in the first quarter.
Click here for the slideshow from the game.

Kerry Collins came out firing on the first possession with completions to Kenny Britt (11 yards), Jared Cook (7), Damian Williams (39) and a 3-yard TD pass to Nate Washington as Tennessee marched 60 yards on nine plays in 4:40. The drive was set up by a 23-yard kickoff return from Marc Mariani to the Tennessee 25 and a 15-yard penalty against Houston.

Steve Slaton returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Tennessee 44, but Tim Shaw tackled Arian Foster for a 4-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the 35.

Collins hit Britt for a gain of 59 to the Houston 2 on the following play. The Texans stymied the Titans for three plays, but Collins hit Justin Gage for 1-yard TD on fourth-and-goal for a 14-0 lead with 6:38 remaining.

Tennessee forced a three-and-punt on Houston’s next possession and took the ball at the Texans’ 44 after a 23-yard punt. Chris Johnson had gains of 9 and 3 before Collins connected with Britt for 21, and Johnson scored on an 11-yard run a play later to go up 21-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.

Houston mustered a field goal in the second quarter, but Rob Bironas answered with a 30-yarder on the final play of the first half. The Texans scored a touchdown on their opening possession of the second half with a 12-yard pass from Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson.

Tennessee added its final touchdown of the day—a 7-yard run by Javon Ringer—after a drive that included passes of 17 to Washington and 13 to Britt and a 42-yard run by Johnson.

Schaub added a short touchdown pass to Kevin Walter in the fourth quarter, but Tennessee protected its lead, despite having an 87-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jason McCourty nullified by a defensive offside penalty on a third-and-10 with 4:02 remaining. The Titans forced two incompletions to take back the ball and ran out the clock.

Collins finished 14-of-24 passing for 237 yards with two TDs and one interception for a passer rating of 102.3. Johnson led all rushers with 24 carries for 130 yards and the TD, and Britt led receivers with six catches for 128 yards.

Tennessee held Houston to 30 yards rushing on 17 carries, including just four yards on eight carries in the first half and sacked Schaub four times (two by Jason Babin and one each by Gerald McRath and Jason Jones).

Bernard Pollard led the Texans with six tackles that day, and Alterraun Verner led the Titans with 10 tackles and had an interception.

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