**Watch the live streaming video of coach Gary Kubiak's weekly press conference Monday at 3:30 p.m. CT.
*NASHVILLE –The Texans' slim playoff hopes disappeared on Sunday at LP Field.
Houston trailed 24-3 at halftime and never caught up in a 31-17 loss to their AFC South rival Tennessee Titans, who avenged a 20-0 loss at Reliant Stadium three weeks ago. The Texans fell to 5-9 and are officially out of contention for the postseason, while the Titans stayed alive with a 6-8 record.
"We got it handed to us pretty good today," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "They beat us across the board physically up front."
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was 35-of-54 for 325 yards, but the Titans outrushed the Texans 147-30. Titans running back Chris Johnson had 130 rushing yards, while Tennessee limited league-leading rusher Arian Foster to a season-low 15 yards on 11 carries. Foster injured his ankle during the game and did not play for much of the fourth quarter.
"We usually play physical games with them, and whoever does the best job of that usually finds a way to win," Kubiak said. "I thought we looked slow today, just slow moving around. (It's) hard to understand because practice-wise, I thought we did everything we could to get (players) fresh. We did not play as fast as the Tennessee Titans, I know that."
The Texans were penalized nine times for 66 yards, all in the first half, including a 15-yard penalty after linebacker Brian Cushing's helmet came off during a dispute with defensive end Antonio Smith.
The Titans led the entire way after scoring on the game's opening possession. Quarterback Kerry Collins threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington two plays after throwing a 39-yard pass to Damian Williams on fourth-and-eight from the 42-yard line.
Steve Slaton responded for the Texans by returning the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Tennessee 44, but the Texans turned the ball over on downs after Foster was stuffed for a four-yard loss on fourth-and-one from the 35.
On the next play, Titans receiver Kenny Britt turned a near-interception into a 52-yard gain to the two-yard line. Cornerback Glover Quin was primed to pick off Collins' pass before safety Troy Nolan tipped it and the ball bounced right to Britt. Four plays later, Collins threw a one-yard touchdown pass to receiver Justin Gage on fourth-and-goal.
"We are there, we just have to execute and make the play," cornerback Jason Allen said. "That ball was tipped up in the air and he caught the ball. We are there; we just have to make the plays. That has kind of been the story since I have been here on how it is going. We are there to make the plays; we have just got to make it."
After a 23-yard punt by Matt Turk, the Titans only had to go 44 yards to make it 21-0 with an 11-yard run by Chris Johnson. A 21-yard pass from Collins to Britt keyed the short scoring drive.
The Texans got on the scoreboard with a 37-yard field goal by Neil Rackers late in the second quarter. The Titans answered with a field goal of their own, a 30-yarder from Rob Bironas, on the last play of the first half.
On the first series of the third quarter, wide receiver Andre Johnson got the Texans within 24-10 with the 50th touchdown catch of his career. It came on a 12-yard score one play after Schaub was sacked for a 10-yard loss.
Texans cornerback Jason Allen intercepted Collins at the Texans' 15-yard line on the ensuing series. But the Texans were unable to capitalize after Schaub was sacked for a nine-yard loss on third-and-three at the Titans' 33-yard line.
The Titans went up 31-10 with a seven-yard touchdown run by Javon Ringer near the end of the third quarter. Johnson had a 42-yard run to set up the score on an 80-yard drive.
With 6:28 left in the game, the Texans made it 31-17 after a four-yard touchdown pass from Schaub to Kevin Walter. That was as close as they would get, as a fourth-down pass from Schaub to Dorin Dickerson went incomplete in the end zone with less than four minutes remaining. The Titans ran out the final few minutes to end the game.
The loss was the Texans' seventh in their last eight games after a 4-2 start to the season.
"I am extremely disappointed about how the season went," Schaub said. "We had high hopes, and expectations were high. We still have expectation for this team and organization. We just need to find a way to play better football for 60 minutes for 16 weeks."