It seems as if a slow start is going to be a trend for the Tennessee Titans this season. After immediately handing the Pittsburgh Steelers two points last week, the Titans gave up 79 yards on the ground leading to a Houston touchdown on their opening drive Sunday.
Though down a touchdown to start their opening drive, Jake Locker connected with former first-round pick, Kendall Wright, for Locker’s first of two scores in the ball game. The drive was kept alive after a J.J. Watt hands to the face penalty against rookie guard, Chance Warmack.
With the score even for most of the game, these two teams slugged it out by rushing the football and delivering bone-crunching blows on the defensive side of the ball.
Leading 10-7 at the half, it looked like Tennessee was in control of the game. However, a strong Texans defensive front continued to hammer Locker all afternoon by only giving up 148 yards through the air and recording four sacks.
The Texans regained the lead in the third quarter after Matt Schaub connected with Owen Daniels for the second touchdown by a Houston tight end on the day. Tennessee answered with a score of their own when Locker connected with Delanie Walker for a 10-yard touchdown pass and Walker’s first touchdown as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Stifling the Texans offense for most of the day, the Tennessee defense attempted to put the game away late in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted a ball and returned it for a touchdown with just over 4 minutes to play to put the Titans up by 8.
Although they didn’t look like it, the Texans are a veteran team that won the AFC South just a season ago so a late surge was to be expected. After driving down the field and scoring a touchdown, the Texans were forced to go for two to tie the game. Running hard up the right side, running back Arian Foster stretched the ball over the goal line to tie the game at 24.
This game was headed to overtime…or was it?
Houston was able to stop the Tennessee offense and regain possession of the ball for one last drive. Second year kicker, Randy Bullock, who already missed two kicks on the day was set to win the game for his team for the second consecutive week. After an attempt to “ice” the kicker, Bullock was set to tee off again. This time, safety Michael Griffin dove from the left side to block the field goal. Luckily for Bullock, a flag was thrown as Griffin crossed the line of scrimmage before the ball was snapped resulting in a 46-yard field goal attempt instead of a 51-yarder. Tennessee used their final timeout in an attempt to ice Bullock one final time. On to try number 4…
As the kicked sailed over the line of scrimmage, it began to curve, hit the left upright and was no good. The game remained tied at 24 and was headed to overtime after all.
After winning the toss and electing to receive, rookie receiver, DeAndre Hopkins decided it was time for him to take over the game. The rookie out of Clemson had a game high 117 yards and scored the winning touchdown to complete the comeback and give the Texans the edge over the Titans, 30-24.
Even with a valiant effort from Tennessee, which was unexpected to say the least, the Texans won a game that went down to the wire after trailing for the second week in a row.
Jake Locker did throw for two touchdowns but threw for less than 150 yards while Chris Johnson touched the ball 25 times for less than 100 yards. With a defense that was able to hold the Texans off for most of this contest, the Titans need to figure out a way to win football games through the air and not rely solely on their ground game to carry the team week after week. The Titans are 1-1 and the season is still young but you cannot give away a game to a division rival in overtime this early in the season.