Defense? Who Needs Defense? Texans Take Down Titans in Offensive Showcase
In 2006, former Titans starting quarterback Vince Young had a 39-yard TD run to beat the Texans in his hometown of Houston. In 2007, the Texans staged a 29-point 4th quarter comeback, only to have Collins engineer a drive that ended with a field goal with two seconds left. In 2008, the Texans beat the Titans in a hard-fought, low-scoring 13-12 game where fans wondered why Jeff Fisher went for a long 4th-down pass instead of going for a long field goal late in the 4th. This year's game could not have been much stranger:
• Though the offensive yards were fairly even between the teams, the Texans won the time of possession, 34:03 to 25:57. This strange phenomenon resulted from the Texans defense allowing the Titans to score so quickly. Titans running back Chris Johnson had touchdown runs of 57 yards and 91 yards and a 69-yard touchdown reception where the Texans inexplicably left him completely uncovered. Quite a unique defense to not cover the best offensive player for the opposing team.
• Last week, Matt Schaub had zero touchdowns, one interception and passed for only 166 yards. This week, against a defense that is traditionally difficult to move the ball on, especially at home, he went for three TDs, no INTs and passed for 357 yards. He did this without his No. 2 receiver, Kevin Walter, and his No. 3 receiver, André Davis, who were out due to injury.
• There was a sideline fight. A big one. Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones was ejected in the 4th quarter for throwing a punch. The Texans players had been getting a ton of grief after their blowout loss to the Jets about not being a physical team, and they took exception to it.
• Extraordinarily inconsistent returner Jacoby Jones appeared to muff a fair catch at the Houston 9-yard line right before the 4th quarter. Titans ball, right? After the commercial break, the Texans offense was back on the field on the Houston 24. In the interim, the referees penalized Titans defender Jason McCourty for interfering with the opportunity to make a fair catch because, after Jones bobbled the ball, McCourty grabbed it before it hit the ground.
• Titans punter Craig Hentrich suffered what was described as a calf injury during the strange Jones non-fumble. Kicker Rob Bironas later was forced take punting duties, connecting with a 40-yard boot late in the fourth quarter.
When it was all over, the Texans had a huge statement win on the road -- but it was an exhausting game just to watch.