Final

Titans 34

(2-3, 1-2 away)

Texans 20

(0-4, 0-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 9, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
TEN 7 3 14 1034
HOU 0 6 3 1120

Top Performers

Passing: S. McNair (TEN) - 220 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: D. Williams (HOU) - 19 CAR, 130 YDS

Receiving: D. Bennett (TEN) - 5 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD

Titans' McNair picks apart Texans

HOUSTON (AP) -- Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher wanted to see his young team execute. On Sunday he got his wish and a nice bonus -- his 100th career victory.

It was over when ...
Steve McNair found Drew Bennett on a 41-yard pass to get the Titans to the Houston 17 early in the third quarter. Two plays later Jarrett Payton, son of the late Walter Payton and in just his second game after being elevated from the practice squad, bulled in from 5 yards for his first career touchdown.
Game ball goes to ...
McNair, who reached 25,000 career passing yards. He became the second player in franchise history (behind Warren Moon) and the 49th player overall to reach the mark.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen It may be time for the Texans to start looking at their head coach after this loss. This team has already switched offensive coordinators after firing Chris Palmer a few weeks ago and they were thought to be a potential sleeper this season because of their offensive firepower. Instead we've seen a Texans' team that seems lost at times offensively with David Carr behind center. At a certain point some of the blame has to go not only on the quarterback, but also the coaching staff.
-- Eric Allen

Steve McNair threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the NFL's youngest team to a 34-20 win over the hapless Houston Texans.

"I'm not thinking about that," Fisher said, downplaying his milestone. "This is No. 2, that's what this is all about -- getting a second win. We're not stopping here. We've got a lot to go."

The performance gave McNair more than 25,000 career yards passing. He is the second player in franchise history and the 49th player to reach the mark. Warren Moon became the first when the team was still in Houston.

The Titans didn't have any turnovers in a much better outing than last week's 31-10 loss to Indianapolis, though it was against a much less formidable opponent. Rob Bironas kicked a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 49-yarder in the fourth after missing a 38-yard attempt against the Colts.

The Texans continued their downward spiral, converting none of their 13 third downs and managing just one touchdown. They are the only winless team in the league and are 0-4 for the first time in their short history.

Tennessee's defense came in with stopping Houston on third down as a priority.

"It probably killed a little momentum for them at times," said Titans defensive end Antwan Odom. "Anytime you can control a team like that on third down it says a lot about your team."

Houston Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson left with a strained right calf in the first quarter and never returned.

Tennessee (2-3) led 10-9 early in the third quarter when McNair found Drew Bennett on a 41-yard pass to reach the 25,000-yard mark and get the Titans to the Houston 17.

Two plays later Jarrett Payton, son of the late Walter Payton and in just his second game after being elevated from the practice squad, bulled in from 5 yards for his first career touchdown. He filled the spot left open by Travis Henry's four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Payton finished with eight carries for 11 yards.

"Whatever they ask me to do I'm ready and willing," Payton said. "It's always big team, little me. I'm just going to keep that motto through and through."

The Titans got the ball back after a sack by AFC sacks leader Kyle Vanden Bosch forced Houston to punt. McNair led them on a 58-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bennett to stretch the lead to 24-9. Bennett had five receptions for 99 yards.

Early on, it looked as if the Titans would again be foiled by mistakes and costly penalties. On their first drive, a 3-yard touchdown run by Chris Brown was brought back for holding. But they were able to rebound and McNair found Ben Troupe on a 10-yard pass for an early 7-0 lead.

"We overcame some things in that drive," Fisher said. "[It was] big because it helped to take the crowd out of the game."

David Carr went 18-of-27 for 131 yards with an interception that Tennessee converted into a field goal in the fourth quarter. He was sacked seven times, bringing his season total to 27.

"You want more than anything else to win a football game," Carr said. "Just one. We can't go much lower than this."

Kris Brown kicked four field goals for Houston. Carr threw a largely irrelevant 3-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford with 3:12 remaining.

"David didn't have much of a chance today [Sunday]," said Texans coach Dom Capers.

The Texans also failed to get a takeaway, leaving them with zero this season.

The fans roundly booed the team beginning in the second quarter and most were gone by the beginning of the fourth. The only time the crowd got lively was in the second half, when an update of the Houston Astros' playoff game against the Atlanta Braves was announced. Fans stood up and cheered and then a chorus of "Let's go Astros" could be heard in the cavernous stadium.

Game notes


Just before halftime the Titans attempted the seldom-used fair catch kick. NFL supervisor of officials Ron Baynes said it's the first time he's seen that type of field-goal attempt, where the ball is kicked like a kickoff, in 20 years of officiating. The attempt failed. ... Johnson left the game before catching a pass, which broke his streak of receptions in each of his 35 career games. ...Texans running back Domanick Davis became the first Houston running back to gain more than 100 yards this season and finished with 130.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TEN
HOU
1st Downs2214
Passing 1st downs
157
Rushing 1st downs
55
1st downs from penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
4-110-13
4th down efficiency
0-11-2
Total Plays6262
Total Yards310257
Yards per play5.04.1
Total Drives1312
Passing22096
Comp-Att
22-3118-27
Yards per pass
7.12.8
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-07-35
Rushing90161
Rushing Attempts
3128
Yards per rush
2.95.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-40-3
Penalties7-656-39
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:0928:51

Passing Leaders

TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McNair22/312207.1200-0
HOUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Carr18/271314.9117-35

Rushing Leaders

TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown22783.5011
Payton8111.416
HOUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Williams191306.8044
Carr5244.807

Receiving Leaders

TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bennett59919.8141
Troupe8678.4114
HOURECYDSAVGTDLG
Williams8435.4015
Bradford4358.8115

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTENHOU
tenTD6:02Ben Troupe, 10 yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 16 plays, 70 yds, 8:51
70
SECOND QUARTERTENHOU
houFG14:43Kris Brown 23 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 69 yds, 8:59
73
houFG7:13Kris Brown 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 54 yds, 5:34
76
tenFG2:24Rob Bironas 44 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 47 yds, 4:36
106
THIRD QUARTERTENHOU
houFG12:31Kris Brown 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 37 yds, 2:23
109
tenTD6:11Jarrett Payton, 5 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 76 yds, 2:53
179
tenTD2:23Drew Bennett, 16 yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 58 yds, 2:14
249
FOURTH QUARTERTENHOU
tenFG14:11Rob Bironas 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 6 yds, 13:28
279
houFG11:37Kris Brown 39 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 37 yds, 2:22
2712
tenTD7:50Steve McNair, 1 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 23 yds, 3:30
3412
houTD2:00Corey Bradford, 3 yd pass from David Carr( for 2pt conversion)
Drive info: 8 plays, 52 yds, 2:37
3420