Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (3-0)
Sunday, Sept. 30th, 2012 • Noon CDT • Reliant Stadium • Houston, Texas • TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (1-2) play their first divisional game of the season this week, traveling to Houston to face the reigning AFC South Champion Houston Texans (3-0).
Kickoff at Reliant Stadium (capacity 71,054) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, September 30th. In 20 all-time meetings between the two clubs, the Titans hold a 14-6 advantage, including a 23-22 win in the 2011 regular season finale (January 1st). The rivals split the series in each of the last four seasons.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties while Dan Fouts provides analysis.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The game can be heard locally on 1400am WJZM.
The Titans are coming off their first win of the season after last week’s 44-41 overtime victory at LP Field over the Detroit Lions.
In the win, the Titans became the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a game. Their touchdowns included Tommie Campbell’s 65-yard punt return, Jared Cook’s 61-yard reception, Darius Reynaud’s 105-yard kickoff return, Nate Washington’s 71-yard reception and Alterraun Verner’s 72-yard fumble return.
The Titans’ three total return touchdowns tied a franchise record. Additionally, the game marked the first time in club history the Titans/Oilers scored two touchdowns on punt returns and/or kickoff returns in the same game.
Rob Bironas booted a 26-yard field goal in overtime—what proved to be his 10th career game-winner—and the defense stopped the Lions on fourth-and-one from the Tennessee seven-yard line to preserve the win.
The Houston Texans
The Texans are attempting to win their second consecutive division title. Their 10-6 record in 2011 edged the second-place Titans, who were 9-7. It marked the Texans’ first playoff appearance since entering the league in 2002.
Last week at the Denver Broncos, Houston built a commanding 20-point lead in the third quarter and hung on to beat the Broncos by a final score of 31-25. Former University of Tennessee star Arian Foster recorded his second consecutive 100-yard rushing effort, and Matt Schaub passed for 290 yards and four touchdowns in the Texans win.
The Texans are 3-0 for the first time in franchise history. Prior to their game in Denver, they began the season with a pair of convincing wins, starting with a 30-10 victory at home over the Miami Dolphins. In their second game, they defeated the Jaguars in Jacksonville 27-7.
Titans-Texans Series At A Glance
- Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 14-6
- Regular season series: Titans lead 14-6
- Postseason series: None
- Total points: Titans 448, Texans 409
- Current streak: One win by Titans
- Titans at home vs. Texans: 7-3
- Titans on road vs. Texans: 7-3
- Longest winning streak by Titans: 7 (2005-08)
- Longest losing streak by Titans: 2 (2004, 2008-09)
- Titans vs. Texans at LP Field: 7-3
- Last time at LP Field: TEXANS 41 at Titans 7 (10/23/11)
- Titans vs. Texans at Reliant Stadium: 7-3
- Last time at Reliant Stadium: TITANS 23 at Texans 22 (1/1/12)
- First time: Texans 10 at TITANS 17 (11/10/02)
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Texans: 1-1
- Gary Kubiak’s record vs. Titans: 4-8
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Gary Kubiak: 1-1
A Titans Victory Would
- Give the Titans their second consecutive victory against the Texans.
- Improve the Titans’ all-time record in the AFC South to 33-28.
- Improve Mike Munchak’s career record as a head coach to 11-9.
- Give Jake Locker a 2-2 career record as a starting quarterback.
What To Look For This Week
- The Titans have played back-to-back games without allowing a sack for the first time since 2009 (November 15th vs. Buffalo, November 23rd at Houston). The last time they went three games without allowing a sack was 2008 (five games in a row from September 21st to October 27th).
- K Rob Bironas has made a field goal in 13 consecutive games. The streak is the third-longest in franchise history, trailing only his previous streaks of 20 games (2009-10) and 19 games (2006-07).
- RB Chris Johnson can record the 29th 100-yard rushing game of his career.
- QB Jake Locker can record back-to-back 300-yard games for the first time in his career and the first time for the franchise since Matt Hasselbeck accomplished the feat in 2011 (September 18th and September 25th).
- T Michael Roos can notch is 116th consecutive start.
- WR Nate Washington can extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 66 (52 games with the Titans).
- WR Nate Washington can record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games for the first time in his career.
Titans-Texans Series History
The Titans-Texans rivalry is in its 11th year since the expansion Texans began play and the AFC South was formed in 2002. In 20 games, the Titans are 14-6 against the Texans, including identical 7-3 marks at LP Field and Reliant Stadium. The teams have split the regular-season series in each of the last four years.
In the January 1st rematch at Reliant Stadium, the Titans needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the Texans had already secured the AFC South title. As a result, the Texans rested several starters, and the Titans took advantage with a 23-22 victory. Matt Hasselbeck passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown strike to Nate Washington in the fourth quarter. Trailing by one point with 14 seconds remaining, the Texans attempted a two-point conversion and failed rather than kicking an extra point. Despite the win, the Titans learned later in the day they would not earn the AFC’s final Wild Card berth.
The Titans have separate winning streaks of four games and seven games in the series, the latter of which was ended at Reliant Stadium on December 14th, 2008.
The Titans franchise has a rich and storied history with the city of Houston. Under owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr., the Titans existed as the Houston Oilers from 1960-96. In Houston, the Oilers won the first two American Football League Championships and made a total of 15 playoff appearances. Eight players that wore a Houston Oilers uniform are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including most recently former quarterback Warren Moon and offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, who currently serves as Titans offensive line coach.
The team moved to Tennessee in 1997 and in 1999 adopted the “Titans” moniker. Adams still makes his home in Houston.
The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 23 at Houston Texans 22
Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Reliant Stadium, Houston Texas
The Titans’ concluded their 2011 season with a 23-22 victory over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Despite improving their record to 9-7, the Titans narrowly missed out on a playoff berth, finishing just behind the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC’s sixth and final playoff seed.
However, after a false start penalty by Texans tight end Joel Dreessen, which put the ball on the seven-yard line, the snap from center went over the head of quarterback Jake Delhomme. The Titans recovered the ball, and Lavelle Hawkins recovered the ensuing onside kick by Neil Rackers to seal the victory.
The Titans appeared to have the game in hand only moments earlier. Ahead 23-16 with the Texans out of timeouts, fullback Ahmard Hall took a handoff on a second-and-eight on the first play after the two-minute warning. After gaining three yards, Hall, who was injured on the play, was tackled by linebacker Tim Dobbins and lost the football. It was recovered by linebacker Jesse Nading at the Tennessee 36-yard line, and seven plays later, Delhomme found receiver Bryant Johnson for a five-yard touchdown.
Instead of kicking an extra point, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak elected to try for the two-point conversion. The Texans’ third seed in the upcoming playoffs had been secured regardless of the game’s outcome. Early in the game, the Texans jumped out to a lead after beginning their first offensive series on their own 10-yard line. Rookie starting quarterback T.J. Yates completed all four passes on the drive for 47 yards, and Ben Tate scored on a four-yard run.
However, after Houston’s touchdown, Yates exited the game with an injury and did not return. Delhomme entered in relief and completed 18 of 28 passes for 211 yards with no interceptions.
Delhomme was out-dueled by Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was 22-of-35 for 297 yards, a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. Early in the second quarter, the Titans cut into the Texans’ lead with a 21-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. The score capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive that featured a 27-yard run by Chris Johnson.
In the final two minutes of the first half, the teams exchanged field goals, the first being a 52-yarder by Rackers with 1:14 on the clock.
Hasselbeck then directed the offense 55 yards in seven plays, leading to a 43-yard field goal by Bironas to put the Titans back in front 13-10. It took little time for the Texans to tie the score once again at the start of the second half. Following a 56-yard run by Tate, Rackers made a 37-yard field goal.
Later in the third quarter, Hasselbeck found Nate Washington for a 55-yard pass, but the Titans’ drive stalled once again. They settled for a 33-yard field goal by Bironas, making the score 16-13.
The Texans responded with a 12-play, 76-yard march that consumed more than seven minutes. Like the Titans, however, they were kept out of the end zone, and Rackers made a 22-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The score remained 16-16 until less than five minutes remained in the game. Avery caught a 21-yard pass, and then Hasselbeck hit Washington for what would prove to be the game-winning, 23-yard touchdown pass.