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Postgame notebook: Texans at Titans


Jacoby Jones made two huge plays for the Texans after starting in place of Kevin Walter.

NASHVILLE - The Texans overcame a second-quarter 21-7 deficit and beat the Titans 34-31 on the road to even up their 2009 record at 1-1.

Brian's big day: Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing finished with a team-high 10 total tackles in his first NFL road game. The 2009 first rounder notched two tackles for loss as well as a pass deflection. A physical performer in an extremely physical game, Cushing relished the chance to play so well in front of such a hostile crowd at LP Field.

"I love this kind of environment," Cushing said. "I love getting booed. I actually like getting booed better than being at home and being cheered. It just makes you feel like you need to stick together as a unit. I think the team gets closer. You have to fight and you have your backs against each other."

Cushing added that there's certainly no love lost between the two franchises.

"These are two teams that don't really like each other too much," Cushing said. "We are pretty happy right now, but I don't know about them. It was a very hostile environment out there and we know we had to match their intensity."

Fight to the finish: The Texans and Titans mixed it up in a fourth-quarter brawl, as defensive tackle Jason Jones of Tennessee was ejected and Texans receiver David Anderson was flagged for a personal foul as well. Those two penalties were the end result of a fracas that began when wide receiver Andre Johnson and cornerback Cortland Finnegan were blocking each other away from the play.

"I was very concerned," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "It was a heck of a battle going on and it could get out of control over there with not much room (in the bench area). I think the players were just playing hard."

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said the ejection of Jones, who finished with a solo tackle and a pass deflection, was likely justified.

{QUOTE}"I was told he went into the bench swinging and if he does, he should have been kicked out," Fisher said. "He should be fined substantially if he did it. I have to find out. I didn't see it."

Jacoby's start: Because Kevin Walter was unable to start, backup Jacoby Jones got the call for the fourth time in his career. Jones started three games as a rookie in 2007.

Today in Nashville, Jones answered the call with just two receptions, but they both were big ones.

His first was a 29-yard scoring strike early in the second quarter that helped the Texans tie the game at 21-all. The play before the touchdown, Jones dropped a pass that would've gone for a first down.

"I got a chance to make a play," Jones said of his first-career scoring reception. "The coaches called on me to step up, and I had to pick up the slack for those guys."

Jones' second catch was a 44-yard reception on the first play of the Texans' final scoring drive. He hauled in a Schaub pass and was brought down at the Titans' 24-yard line, and eight plays later, Kris Brown split the uprights for the game-winning 23-yard field goal.

"Coach (Kubiak) made a statement last night in our meetings, that we should play for each other," Jones said. "My adrenaline's still pumping. My heart's beating. We're going to take the plane ride home and feel good, then go back to work and get another win."

A day of firsts: In addition to Jones getting his first start in 2009, this afternoon's game saw numerous other firsts. It's also the first time Matt Schaub threw four touchdown passes in a game, and his first-quarter pitch-and-catch for a score to Andre Johnson was his first touchdown pass of the season.

Defensively, when Mario Williams brought down Kerry Collins for a seven-yard sack in the second quarter, it was his first and the team's first sack of 2009.

The first victory of 2009 also means the Texans are 1-0 in the AFC South, and it's the club's first victory in Nashville since the 2004 season.

Home, sweet home: The Texans come back to Houston and play consecutive home contests, starting next Sunday with a Week 3 matchup against Jacksonville. The showdown with the division rival Jaguars takes place on Battle Red Day and pits the 1-1 Texans against a Jacksonville squad that fell 31-17 at home to the Cardinals. Texans fans in attendance for the Jacksonville game are encouraged to wear red.

The Raiders come calling in Week 4, and Oakland evened up its record on Sunday with a 13-10 road triumph in Kansas City. Before traveling to Houston, Oakland hosts Denver in Week 3.

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