Well, folks, this one was ugly.
In a game that looked like a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC South, the division-leading Tennessee Titans were decisively beaten today at home in Nasville by the Houston Texans, 41-7, in a game that was about as close as the score indicates. The game started slowly for both teams, with both teams starting with a pair of punts.
After that exchange, though, the Texans would never punt again. They scored on their next five possessions to take a 27-0 lead before the Titans got on the board, then another touchdown and a Hasselbeck interception returned for a touchdown provided the final margin.
In a normal game, I’d say some nice things about some players before going on to the brickbats. Unfortunately, it’s tough to find many nice things to say. Jake Locker had his first NFL completion. The Titans scored a touchdown on all of their red zone possessions. Chris Johnson had a couple catches lined up at wide receiver. Donnie Avery drew a big pass interference penalty. Javon Ringer had some nice work on the drive that led to the TD. Jason Jones had a good stop on a fourth-down play. Huh, that was a longer list than I expected.
Beyond those, virtually everything went poorly. Coverage busts by different players gave the Texans big plays. Both Arian Foster and Ben Tate went over 100 yards rushing. Chris Johnson left a lot of yards on the field in his 10 carries for only 18 yards. None of the non-primary wide receivers had anything like a decent game. Matt Schaub had virtually no pressure on him all day. Zone coverage wasn’t up to the challenge of Schaub. Chris Johnson’s six catches netted only 27 yards.
At least it’s only one game. The Titans need to lick their wounds and should have a good chance to recover with another game next week at LP Field, that one against the (at least so far) winless Colts. Take 24 hours, fix what you need to fix, and move on.