Tennessee Titans (4-7) vs. Houston Texans (10-1)
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 • Noon CT
LP Field • Nashville, TN • TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – This week the Tennessee Titans (4-7) play their second of three consecutive games against AFC South opponents, as they host the division-leading Houston Texans (10-1). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CT on Sunday, December 2nd.
The clubs played their first of two annual contests on September 30th at Reliant Stadium. The Texans prevailed by a final score of 38-14, despite 141 rushing yards by Titans running back Chris Johnson—his first of four 100-yard efforts over the last eight games.
The Titans were forced to play the majority of the contest without starting quarterback Jake Locker, who suffered a left shoulder injury on the team’s second offensive series. Matt Hasselbeck stepped in and passed for 193 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. However, the Titans were unable to overcome three costly turnovers that the Texans turned into 17 total points.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties while Solomon Wilcots 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 visited the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and lost by a final score of 24-19.
Despite throwing an interception on his first pass attempt of the game, Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne went on to complete 17 of 26 passes for 261 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win. Henne, who was starting for the first time in a Jaguars uniform, helped end the team’s seven game losing skid.
The Titans defense managed seven sacks in the contest, the most by the team since the 2008 season opener (September 7th, 2008 vs. Jacksonville). Rookie linebacker Zach Brown led the way with two sacks, and the team received one sack each from linebacker Akeem Ayers, safety Michael Griffin, defensive end Kamerion Wimbley and defensive tackles Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug.
On offense, Titans quarterback Jake Locker, who made his sixth start of the season, completed 23 of 40 passes for 261 yards, one touchdown and a pair of late interceptions. He found wide receiver Kenny Britt for a six-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Other than Britt’s touchdown, the team’s remaining 13 points were scored by Rob Bironas, who made four of five field goal attempts and an extra point.
The Texans, who are tied with the Atlanta Falcons (10-1) this week for the NFL’s best record, will have 10 days to prepare for the Titans. Last week they visited the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and escaped with a 34-31 overtime victory—their fifth consecutive win and their second overtime win in five days. In their previous game, they defeated the Jaguars 43-37 in extra time.
Against the Lions, Shayne Graham’s game-winning 32-yard field goal capped a day in which Arian Foster ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns; Matt Schaub passed for 315 yards and a score; Andre Johnson had 188 receiving yards; and J.J. Watt had three sacks.
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” Drive
Prior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve stationed outside of the gates at LP Field. All toys collected during the drive will be used in the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program and distributed to children in Middle Tennessee.
Titans-Texans Series At A Glance
- Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 14-7
- Regular season series: Titans lead 14-7
- Postseason series: None
- Total points: Titans 462, Texans 447
- Current streak: One win by Texans
- Titans at home vs. Texans: 7-3
- Titans on road vs. Texans: 7-4
- 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: 7-4
- Last time at Reliant Stadium: Titans 14 at TEXANS 38 (9/30/12)
- First time: Texans 10 at TITANS 17 (11/10/02)
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Texans: 1-2
- Gary Kubiak’s record vs. Titans: 5-8
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Gary Kubiak: 1-2
A Titans Victory Would
- Give the Titans an all-time record of 68-42 in regular season games at LP Field, including a 3-3 mark in 2012.
- Improve the Titans’ all-time record against Houston to 15-7.
- Improve Mike Munchak’s career record as a head coach to 14-14.
- Give Jake Locker a 3-4 career record as a starting quarterback.
What To Look For This Week
K Rob Bironas (890 career points) needs 10 points to become the second player in franchise history (Al Del Greco) to reach 900 career points.
RB Chris Johnson can record the 33rd 100-yard rushing game of his career and his fifth of 2012.
RB Chris Johnson (942 rushing yards in 2012) needs 58 rushing yards to record his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season to begin his career. He would be the third rusher in franchise history to reach five 1,000-yard seasons (Eddie George, Earl Campbell) and the second to do so in five consecutive seasons (George).
RB Chris Johnson (8,188 scrimmage yards) needs 93 scrimmage yards to pass Ernest Givins (8,280) for third place on the team’s all-time career scrimmage yards list.
WR Nate Washington can extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 74 (60 games with the Titans).
WR Kendall Wright (48 receptions) needs eight receptions to tie Sid Blanks (56 in 1964) for third place on the team’s all-time rookie receptions list.
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 21 games, the Titans are 14-7 against the Texans, including a 7-3 mark at LP Field. The teams have split the regular-season series in each of the last four years.
In the first matchup of 2012, played September 30th at Reliant Stadium, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub passed for two touchdowns, and the Houston defense returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns to defeat the Titans 38-14.
The last time the Titans and Texans met at LP Field was October 23rd, 2011. In that matchup, Texans running back Arian Foster recorded 115 yards on the ground and 119 as a receiver.
In the January 1st, 2012 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. 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.
Titans-Texans: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 14 at Houston Texans 38
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
In Week 4, the Texans used two Matt Schaub touchdown passes and a pair of interception returns for touchdowns to defeat the Titans 38-14 at Reliant Stadium.
Schaub was an efficient 20-of-28 for 202 yards and did not throw an interception in the contest. He and the Texans controlled the football for more than 32 minutes, helped also by Arian Foster’s 86 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.
The Titans offense outgained the Texans 325 to 297 and were effective in the rushing attack for much of the afternoon. Running back Chris Johnson totaled 141 yards on 25 carries (5.6 average).
For most of the game, the Titans played without starting quarterback Jake Locker, whose shoulder injury forced him out after the offense’s second drive. In relief, Matt Hasselbeck completed 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
But the Texans recorded four sacks, including a pair by defensive end J.J. Watt. They scored 17 total points off three takeaways versus Hasselbeck and were able to pull away in the second half.
Locker suffered a left shoulder injury less than nine minutes into the game. On third-and-seven from the Tennessee 12-yard line, safety Glover Quin came on a blitz and recorded a sack. Locker stayed on the field for several minutes before being escorted to the sideline.
On the ensuing possession, the Texans went up 14-0 after a 10-play, 47-yard drive. The series included a fourth-and-one conversion and a thirdand-one conversion that was initially ruled short of the first down. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak challenged the spot on the Keshawn Martin reception, and the call was reversed. Two plays later, they scored on a four-yard run by Arian Foster.
With Hasselbeck directing the offense, the Titans cut the Texans’ lead in half during the second quarter. Hasselbeck completed consecutive passes of 13 yards to wideout Nate Washington and 17 yards to fullback Quinn Johnson, and Chris Johnson rushed for a 19-yard gain. On the next play, tight end Craig Stevens caught a pass and fought his way across the goal line for a 19-yard touchdown reception to cap the 78-yard drive.
In the second half, the Texans scored 24 consecutive points. Their defense put the lead back at 14 points when a long pass by Hasselbeck was tipped by tight end Taylor Thompson, and safety Danieal Manning ran under the ball for an interception. Manning then raced 55 yards for the score.
In the fourth quarter, Watt recovered a Hasselbeck fumble after Antonio Smith’s sack and forced fumble. Shayne Graham turned the takeaway into points with a 33-yard field goal.
When the Titans got the ball back, they were victimized a third and final time. Cornerback Kareem Jackson picked off a Hasselbeck pass intended for Damian Williams and raced 63 yards for a touchdown.
The Titans scored in the final two minutes on an 11-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Kendall Wright.