The Texans have caught some national attention for playing excruciatingly close games against Dallas and Kansas City. They finally got a reward for their hard work by knocking off the Tennessee Titans 19-14, serving notice that they are not in any mood to make life easy for opponents.
We were wondering how the Texans would handle Derrick Henry. By now you know that he had run for over 200 yards the last four times he had faced the Texans. That streak is over now but things didn't look great early on as he ran for a 48-yard TD on the Titans' second possession.
It wasn't a pretty first half but it was effective. A Davis Mills fumble was recovered in the end zone, by Rex Burkhead, for a score to tie the game. And another drive stalled but yielded points after the Texans got as deep as the nine yard line but ultimately settled for a Ka'imi Fairbairn 25-yard field goal.
Tennessee got the ball two more times in the first half after that, the second of those possessions ending out of field goal range with a Blake Cashman sack (one of four overall) of Malik Willis on a scramble.
A 10-7 halftime lead was nice but adding to it on the opening third quarter drive would have been even better. The Texans drove into Tennessee territory but turned it over on downs. That set up a short field that the Titans navigated for a go-ahead drive, ending with a Willis 14-yard touchdown run.
Mills was picked off on the ensuing possession but the Texans didn't flinch, forcing a fourth-down stop of their own followed by a punt and a Derrick Henry fumble forced by rookie Jake Hansen. They put together a fourth quarter field-goal drive to cut the lead to one midway through the final frame.
After a Titans three-and-out, the Texans constructed the drive of the day. Mills went four-for-four including a 20-yard pass to Phillip Dorsett and a 37-yard strike to Amari Rodgers to get Houston in a goal-to-go situation. His six-yarder to Brandin Cooks grabbed the lead.
The Tennessee response was thwarted by a Christian Harris pick. Jalen Pitre iced the game with an interception on a Hail Mary.
This was a fun one to get, and in the division, upping that record to 2-1-1. The Titans' playoff hopes are on life support with five losses in a row. Meanwhile, the Texans see their nine-game losing streak come to an end while gearing up for AFC South leading Jacksonville on New Year's Day.
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