The Houston Texans fell, 42-36, to the Tennessee Titans after a scoring shootout in Nashville with lead changes, momentum-shifting plays and a dramatic finish that led to overtime.
"Every loss is very tough," Deshaun Watson said. "Then, of course, being a division opponent on the road where we had them, it's even a little bit more tough. So, yeah, this one this one definitely hurts, but we've got to just keep pushing forward. There's still a long season. It's game five and so we got, you know, eleven more. So we've got to continue to pile them up and see what happens."
After trailing by two touchdowns in first quarter, the Texans got a spark in the third quarter. Justin Reid's blocked field goal and a strip sack by J.J. Watt helped fuel a 13-0 run by Houston. A walk-off touchdown run by Derrick Henry kept the Texans offense off the field in overtime and the comeback fell short in Nashville.
"We've got to tackle," Watt said. "We had situations where we're there, we don't make a tackle. If you don't tackle, the guy's going to run and score, especially a guy that talented, that good. So we did not do that, they had a good game plan. Obviously, Henry had a great game, Tannehill had a great game and we did not."
Deshaun Watson completed 28-of-37 passes for 335 yards and a season-high four touchdowns, with no interceptions and a 138.9 passer rating. He also added four carries for 26 yards on the ground.
"Well, he had a great performance and he does unbelievable things on the field," Crennel said of Watson's performance. "He can get out of trouble. And, you know, it is it is tough when you were not able to take advantage of a performance like that. And that's the thing that we wanted to do, we thought we had a chance to do, but we didn't do. So we've got to go back and hopefully he can have more performances like that. And then defensively, we can do a better job to help him out."
Will Fuller, V finished with a team-high 123 yards on six catches plus a touchdown. David Johnson carried 19 times for 57 yards and a score.
Houston's defense came up with two takeaways (one fumble recovery, one interception) for the second-straight week. Tyrell Adams and Zach Cunningham each had a team-high eight tackles. Adams also recorded a sack, a quarterback hit and two passes defensed. Watt finished with four tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, a tackle for loss, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. However, the defense struggled to contain Henry who rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
We've got to tackle. We had situations where we're there. We don't make a tackle. If you don't tackle, the guy's going to run and score, especially a guy that talented, that good. So we did not do that, they had a good game plan. Obviously, Henry had a great game, Tannehill had a great game and we did not.
It didn't take long for the Titans to get off to a 14-0 lead after Ryan Tannehill threw touchdown passes to tight end Anthony Firkser and wideout A.J. Brown in the first quarter.
The Texans responded with back-to-back scoring drives in the second quarter. Watson led the offense down the field with big throws to Darren Fells and Fuller for 18 and 17 yard gains, respectively. On 4th-and-Goal, Watson tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Fells. The Texans cut the Titans lead in half, down 14-7 with 8:56 left in the second quarter.
Tannehill had just one offensive series in the second quarter, but capped it off with his third touchdown pass of the day, a 22-yard strike to Adam Humphries.
Ka'imi Fairbairn added a 38-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter and the Texans headed into halftime trailing 21-10.
On Tennessee's first possession of the third quarter, Reid blocked Stephen Gostkowki's 27-yard field goal attempt. Michael Thomas recovered it.
Watson and the offense took over, as Fells added catches for 11 and 35 yards, but a defensive pass interference on the Titans gave Houston 1st-and-goal. Johnson scored on a 1-yard run up the middle just two plays later.
Tannehill's next series ended in a rare turnover as Watt's sack caused a fumble, which was recovered by Jacob Martin at the Tennessee 4-yard line.
The big plays continued in the fourth quarter with lead changes and another big takeaway for the Texans.
Watson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb and the Texans took their first lead of the game, up 23-21 with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
The Titans had their own big play, a 94-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry. After Tannehill's successful two-point conversion play, Tennessee regained a 29-23 lead.
Watson connected on a 22-yard pass to Pharaoh Brown, setting up a 53-yard touchdown pass to Fuller on the next play.
Bradley Roby picked off Tannehill for the Texans' first interception of 2020. A fourth-quarter run by Johnson kept the drive alive and 1-yard touchdown catch by Brandin Cooks gave Houston a 36-29 lead following a failed two-point conversion.
"Well I wanted to go ahead and get the two points," Crennel said. "I felt like that would kind of put it out of reach for them. And if we gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. As it turned out, we didn't get it. And then with the touchdown and the extra point, they tied it up and then we were in overtime and then we didn't perform in overtime and they win the game."
The Titans forced overtime following Tannehill's touchdown pass to A.J. Brown with 0:04 remaining in regulation. Tennessee won the coin toss and the only possession of overtime. After taking a direct snap, Henry scored on a five-yard touchdown run.
The Texans fall to 1-5 on the season and will host the Green Bay Packers in Week 7.