Titans still an unsolved problem

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The Texans had trouble containing quarterback Vince Young.

The Texans' defense still hasn't figured out Chris Johnson and now they have Vince Young to worry about, too.

Johnson rammed through the Texans' defense for the second time this season and Young, who sat on the bench in the two teams' first meeting, added his running ability to the mix Monday night for a 20-17 victory over the Texans.

"You've got to expect that," linebacker Brian Cushing said. "He's (Young) a very versatile athlete. That's his key weapon. He doesn't see anything, he's going to tuck it and run. You have to be careful with both of those guys. It is frustrating."

Johnson rushed for 151 yards on 29 carries, and Young contributed 73 yards on 11 carries. Both were effective in the fourth quarter when the Titans drove to Houston's 35 where Rob Bironas kicked a 53-yard field goal with 52 seconds left to give Tennessee the victory.

Johnson had 38 yards in the drive and Young scrambled 12 yards on third down to keep the drive going.

Young, who sat on the bench when the Texans beat the Titans earlier this season, added a dimension the Texans expected but couldn't stop.

"He moves around a lot," defensive end Mario Williams said. "Once you get there, he moves around and squeezes through the holes. We've got to deal with it."

{QUOTE}The Texans dropped to 5-5 on the season and for the second week in a row, the game ended on a missed Kris Brown field goal. Still, no one blamed Brown for the loss.

"Unfortunately, he was the last person on the field, but it never should have come down to that," Williams said. "He was the last person out there and everyone is going to look at him. If we'd made a play here and there on offense and defense, it wouldn't have happened.

"It was devastating; we just have to bounce back. It happened. We definitely don't want to go in that direction, but we've got to stay focused as a team and not get divided. We as a team lost that game, no matter who thinks they did something wrong."

Cornerback Dunta Robinson had a Young pass on his fingertips that could have helped the Texans' cause.

"We did a lot of uncharacteristic things," Robinson said. "I dropped an interception and that doesn't happen. We dropped balls we normally don't do. We didn't play as well as we're capable. You've got to bring you're 'A' game. We knew that coming into this game and it didn't happen."

Coach Gary Kubiak called it a great game that went the wrong way.

"Give them credit, they're a hell of a football team and they played a great game tonight and we played pretty good ourselves," Kubiak said. "We had our chance to keep going in the game but we didn't get it done. We didn't finish right there and stay on the field. We worked very hard and expected a different outcome."

Cushing finished with 10 tackles, but conceded it wasn't enough to stop the Johnson-Young combination.

"It was the second week in a row, similar finishes," Cushing said. "It hasn't gone our way yet. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got a game in six days against arguably the best team in football.

"It's a rivalry game (against Tennessee). You can see how close it was. They are a lot better football team than people think. That 0-6 is not them. They are still the 13-3 team they were last year. They have talent everywhere. You have to give them credit but we were right there with them."

Brown also missed a field goal to end last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

"We've got to be better at the end of the half and the end of games," right tackle Eric Winston said. "We've been in every game. You look back and all the games we've lost we're losing at the end. We've got to be better.

"The big thing is to learn from it and keep moving forward. I hope the ball starts bouncing our way. It seems like we've been on the wrong side of the bounce."

The Texans don't have a lot of time to dwell on the loss.

"You can gnaw on it tonight and tomorrow you've got to get ready for the Colts," Winston said. "It's not just him (Brown). It just seems like it. We could have made other plays."

Winston might have had the most positive statement of the depressed post-game locker room: "Win out and you're in (the playoffs)."

Robinson knows the Texans will keep fighting.

"Eventually, it will go our way," he said. "We're going to keep fighting. We've got Indy coming in, 10-0. We've got to be sure we're ready to play. They aren't going to take it easy on us."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky., Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro teams.

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