Ryan Fitzpatrick's return as starting quarterback ended in a 45-21 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Texans offense scored three touchdowns and took an early 24-0 lead before halftime.
"It was a good win," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game. "I thought that all three phaes contributed to the win and we played good complementary football. We did a lot of good things in the game so I was very, very happy for the guys in the locker room. The guys in the locker room work extremely hard. I felt great for them and I felt really good for the coaching staff."
Fitzpatrick scored a personal best and franchise-high six touchdowns, completing 24-of-33 passes for 358 yards, and a passer rating of 147.5. DeAndre Hopkins set career highs with two touchdowns and 238 receiving yards on nine catches. J.J. Watt forced and recovered a fumble, then scored his fifth touchdown of the season after lining up in the goal-line package on offense. Four different Texans players forced a turnover against the Titans: Johnathan Joseph, Jumal Rolle, A.J. Bouye, and Watt.
Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger was 13-of-19 for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception before he left the game with a shoulder injury. Jake Locker took over for Mettenberger but was intercepted twice, completing 6-of-12 for 91 yards and one touchdown.
The Texans scored first on their opening possession following an eight-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin. Fitzpatrick scrambled for 14 yards to extend the Texans opening series on fourth-and-2. Foster rushed for 35 yards on 6 carries.
Zach Mettenberger threw an interception on his first pass of the game, intended for Justin Hunter. Johnathan Joseph picked off Mettenberger and returned it 25 yards to give Houston possession at the Tennessee 20-yard line. Four plays and 1:20 later, Fitzpatrick threw his second touchdown of the day, a 7-yard pass to Arian Foster. Houston took a 14-0 lead with 4:50 left in the first quarter.
The Texans started at their own one-yard line on Tennessee's second punt of the day. Fitzpatrick threw a deep 31-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins to get out of the Texans endzone on the drive. Completions to Andre Johnson and Foster and rushing by the Texans trio of running backs put Houston in field goal range. Randy Bullock's 37-yard kick gave the Texans a 17-0 lead with 3:30 left in the second quarter.
Fitzpatrick added his third touchdown pass of the day on the Texans final possession of the half. Hopkins caught a deep pass for a 58-yard touchdown to give Houston a 24-0 lead heading into halftime.
Mettenberger and the Titans scored 14 unanswered point to start the third quarter. On the opening drive of the second half, Kendall Wright caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Mettenberger.
Jake Locker took over on the next possession for Mettenberger who suffered a shoulder injury and did not return. Two turnovers occurred on back-to-back plays. Jumal Rolle picked off Locker's pass, intended for Wright. The Titans then forced a turnover on Houston as Titans cornerback Jason McCourty forced the fumble, recovered, and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. The Titans trailed 24-14.
Fitzpatrick fired back with three more touchdowns to three different receivers. Hopkins caught his second score, a 34-yard score to seal an 80-yard drive for Houston. Andre Johnson added a four-yard touchdown catch. J.J. Watt lined up on offense after forcing a fumble and returning it 14-yards. Watt scored on a one-yard touchdown catch, his fifth score of the season. The Texans took a 45-14 lead with left in the fourth quarter.
A.J. Bouye intercepted Locker and returned it 67 yards. Tom Savage took over for Fitzpatrick for the final two series.
The Texans improve to 6-6 on the season and will travel to Jacksonville in Week 14.