Houston Texans: Defense comes up short in OT loss to Titans

Houston Texans, Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry (22) scores touchdown to beat the Houston Texans.
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The Houston Texans defense wasted another great effort by Deshaun Watson in an OT loss to the Titans.

“Bless their hearts” is about the only nice way to describe the play of the Houston Texans defense against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The offense of the Texans exploded in the second half, the special teams had a clutch field goal block, but the defense broke when they were needed the most.

It took until overtime, but the Houston Texans lost to the Titans by a 42-36 score, when the game-winning play was a “Wildcat” formation play where everyone knew the ball was going to be snapped to Derrick Henry and there was no stopping him for the 5-yard game-winning touchdown run.

Henry dominated the Texans on the ground, rushing for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He also had two receptions for 52 yards on five targets. It is safe to say the 3.9 yards per carry Henry was averaging before the game is now longer that low of a number.

Leave it to the Texans run defense to help a rival out, because that is exactly what they did. The Houston Texans secondary needs some work too, with the Titans having many touchdown passes from Ryan Tannehill. The Titans starting quarterback was 30-of-41 for 364 yards with four touchdown passes and one interception.

Before this game the Toro Times wrote about how the Texans needed to watch A.J. Brown, and he was solid yet again with five receptions for 56 yards and two touchdowns, and his second score came with seconds remaining to help force overtime. Again, it was the Houston Texans secondary failing to show up when they when all they needed was one stop.

A couple positives for the Houston defense were sacks by Tyrell Adams and J.J. Watt, plus an interception by Bradley Roby.

Houston Texans: Offense has a great second half vs. Titans

Also a positive was the Houston Texans offense in the second half, and once they got rolling they were tough to slow down. The Texans had just 10 points in the first half, but rallied in the second half for 26 points to make it a competitive game, and gave themselves a chance to win.

There were to big throws by Deshaun Watson with him making a big-time clutch play when he found Randall Cobb in the end zone in the third quarter for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Deshaun Watson also had a 53-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller in the fourth quarter.

Watson finished 28-of-37 for 335 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. He was also the second leading rusher for Houston with four rushes for 26 yards.

David Johnson totaled 19 carries for 57 yards with one touchdown, averaging just three yards per carry. Fuller led all Texans receivers with six receptions on 11 targets for 123 yards and the one touchdown. Also with a good game was Darren Fells, with the tight end having six receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown as he was targeted seven times.

Even Brandin Cooks totaled 68 yards on nine receptions with one touchdowns, catching all nine targets that went his way.

A loss in OT is never any fun, but the plus was we’ve all seen what this offense is capable of achieving, but there are parts that need improvement. Once this team can put together two good halves against good teams, that is when things will really start to change.

Check back to the Toro Times for more coverage of the Texans overtime loss to the Titans.