In a performance that could probably be used to prove whatever point you want to make, the Tennessee Titans blew an 8-point fourth quarter lead and fell to the Houston Texans, 30-24, in overtime.
For the first almost 56 minutes, this was the exact type of game the Titans wanted, an ugly slugfest between two teams that could sort of run the ball but not quite as well as they wanted and couldn't pass the ball with much effectiveness. The Titans held a 17-16 lead thanks to a 99-yard drive that could have been epic where Jake Locker was 7-8 for 84 yards and the score to Delanie Walker. Matt Schaub's second awful-looking interception of the game let Alterraun Verner stroll into the end zone for a 24-16 lead. A further Texans three-and-out later, the Titans had a chance to seal the game.
But an offense that struggled for most of the game outside the first drive and that 99-yard march went three-and-out, a sputtering Texans offense finally found DeAndre Hopkins, and after a two-point conversion the game was tied. The Titans had a chance inside the last 2 minutes to re-take the lie but went three-and-out again. The Texans in the final minute had a chance to win, but Randy Bullock's field goal attempt that counted (after three that didn't) went wide. The Texans won the toss, though, and marched down the field for the game-winning score.
I don't know what to say about this game. Locker made some good throws, but finished with 148 yards passing on 30 dropbacks (not counting four sacks). The Titans did a great job of opening up holes in the run game, for the most part, but Jackie Battle was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 and Chris Johnson failed to crack 100 yards despite 25 carries and was safetied. The defense was great for most of the game after the opening drive score. Zach Brown was completely unblockable and blowing up plays right after left for much of the game, but he only showed up for tackles late in the game for tackles downfield. The coverage was great for much of the game, then the Texans made about all the plays late.
Where do the Titans go from here? If you told me before the season started the Titans would be 1-1 and the loss came in overtime, I would have been happy. If you told me the Titans would be 1-1 when they were up 24-16 getting the ball with 4 minutes to play I would be disappointed. The first home game is next week, against a San Diego team that's 1-1 with both games coming down to a field goal at the end. More on whatever happened today later this week.
I was really hoping that this would be one of those defining moments for this team, and for Locker, and when that blitz came on 3rd and 1 and Kenny was open I jumped up in excitement when Jake let the ball loose...
This one will sting for a while, but I think just about everybody would have taken 1-1 with a bitter OT loss had you offered it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately it's not the beginning of the year, and even after that terribly inept offensive performance (2 drives withstanding) we should have won. I am very interested to see how they rebound from this, maybe it's one of those losses that fires everybody up.
Tom, what are your thoughts on the offensive play calling so far? I understand field position had a lot to do with it, but I think every man and his dog could see what was coming once the team was lined up. To be honest I was expecting to see a lot more bootlegs, rollouts, PA shots downfield, read option this season. It still seems quite vanilla.
Very disappointed at the offensive play calling - Dowell seemed to be daring the Texans to stuff the box and they gladly did. Midway 2nd quarter through midway 3rd quarter it seemed like TEN called interminable (run,run,run,punt) drives. As soon as Locker started throwing, it put the HOU defense on their heels. Hindsight is always 30-24, but no point having all those receivers and not trusting your QB to use his toys. Disgusted at the outcome - a game they should have had!