Titans
Texans
20 - 17 Final
  for this game

Titans-Texans Preview

Nov 18, 2009 - 11:55 PM By MIKE LIPKA STATS Writer

While the Houston Texans emerge from their bye week firmly in the hunt for the first playoff berth in franchise history, their next opponent is already relishing its role as a spoiler.

The Texans will be the latest team to attempt to slow down the NFL's leading rusher, but Chris Johnson hopes to carry the Tennessee Titans to a fourth straight victory in Monday night's AFC South matchup.

An improved defense and a prolific passing game led by Matt Schaub have helped Houston (5-4) to a winning record through nine games for the first time in its eight seasons.

Perhaps the biggest sign of progress was the Texans' reaction following a 20-17 loss at Indianapolis on Nov. 8 before their week off. Kris Brown missed a 42-yard field goal as time expired, and Houston wasn't happy merely coming close to beating the undefeated Colts.

"There are no moral victories," wide receiver Andre Johnson said. "Are we getting better? I think we are. The biggest thing is just winning. You can get better all you want, but if you're not winning, it really doesn't matter."

Houston needs victories in order to keep pace in a crowded wild-card race, but a win over the Titans looks like a much tougher task than it did a few weeks ago.

Tennessee (3-6) has gotten healthier on defense and regained its confidence after a disastrous start, going 3-0 since Vince Young replaced Kerry Collins at quarterback.

"Right now we are in a situation where we just have to play the rest of our games and if we win them all, maybe something good will happen," linebacker Keith Bulluck said. "We're trying to stand in anyone's way who is trying to go to the postseason, so it makes it fun for us."

The matchup may hinge on Houston's ability to contain Johnson, who has totaled 495 rushing yards, 136 receiving yards and six touchdowns during the winning streak.

The Texans are well aware after Johnson racked up 197 yards on 16 carries and added nine catches for 87 yards against them in Week 2, also scoring three touchdowns. Houston still managed a 34-31 victory, thanks to Schaub's 357 passing yards and four touchdowns.

The Texans would prefer to prevent a similar effort by Johnson, which seems possible considering they have held their last six opponents to an average of 60.5 rushing yards - the fewest in the NFL in that stretch.

"The defense, they've come a long way," coach Gary Kubiak said. "To me, they're just getting better and better. They're the strength of our football team right now, the way they're playing."

Schaub has also gained attention for his strong play, ranking third in the NFL behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in passing yards. The only drawback has been his nine interceptions, contributing to Houston's 16 turnovers - six of which have come in the last two games.

Steve Slaton was benched due to fumbling problems Nov. 1 at Buffalo, leaving the Texans' running back situation complicated after Ryan Moats was held to 38 yards on 16 carries by Indianapolis.

"The turnovers have to be fixed in order for us to get where we want to go," Johnson said. "It's kind of crazy. We are turning the ball over, but we are still putting ourselves in situations to win games."

Tennessee has an 8-1 edge in turnover margin during its win streak, with Young playing responsibly. After struggling with interceptions earlier in his career, the Houston native and former Texas star has been picked off once in 62 attempts since getting the starting job back.

While his numbers haven't been prolific, his total of passing yards has increased each week and he has completed 71.0 percent of his throws.

That has been enough with Johnson in the backfield. Johnson is the third player in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and average at least 6.4 per carry through nine games, joining Jim Brown (1963) and Adrian Peterson (2007).

He had 132 rushing yards and 100 receiving in last Sunday's 41-17 home win over Buffalo.

"I would say I'm the best back in the league, but that is not my situation to argue about that," Johnson said. "I just got to go out there on the field and prove that."

Young won his only previous professional start in his hometown with a 39-yard touchdown run in overtime for a 26-20 Titans victory Dec. 10, 2006. Since the Texans' inception, Tennessee is 5-2 in the city that the former Oilers used to call home.

Titans owner Bud Adams, who founded the franchise and moved it to Nashville in 1997, was fined $250,000 this week after cameras showed the 86-year-old making obscene gestures toward Bills fans last Sunday.






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    Titans 20, Texans 17  FinalNov 24 5:10 AM
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    Titans 20, Texans 17  FinalNov 24 2:05 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE 0 14 3 3 20
    HOUSTON 7 7 3 0 17 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: HST - TD, STEVE SLATON 3 YD PASS FROM
    MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN
    KICK), 8:24. HOUSTON 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: TEN - TD, KENNY BRITT 13 YD PASS FROM
    VINCE YOUNG (ROB BIRONAS
    KICK), 2:10.

    Nov 23 11:45 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 20
    HOUSTON 17 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Nov 23 11:45 PM



  • FG TEN ROB BIRONAS 53 YD





    Titans 20, Texans 17  4th - 0:47Nov 23 11:38 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 20
    HOUSTON 17 0:47 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Titans 20, Texans 17  4th - 0:47Nov 23 11:38 PM
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    Titans 17, Texans 17  4th - 3:00Nov 23 11:23 PM
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    Titans 17, Texans 17  4th - 5:14Nov 23 11:18 PM
  • 123
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    Titans 17, Texans 17  4th - 5:14Nov 23 11:18 PM
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    Titans 17, Texans 17  4th - 8:55Nov 23 11:07 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 17
    HOUSTON 17 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Nov 23 10:51 PM



  • FG HST KRIS BROWN 26 YD





    Titans 17, Texans 17  3rd - 0:02Nov 23 10:51 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 17
    HOUSTON 17 0:02 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Titans 17, Texans 17  3rd - 0:02Nov 23 10:51 PM



  • FG TEN ROB BIRONAS 50 YD





    Titans 17, Texans 14  3rd - 2:49Nov 23 10:41 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 17
    HOUSTON 14 2:49 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Titans 17, Texans 14  3rd - 2:49Nov 23 10:41 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 14
    HOUSTON 14 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Nov 23 10:05 PM
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    Titans 14, Texans 14  HalfNov 23 10:05 PM



  • TD TEN LENDALE WHITE 1 YD RUN (ROB BIRONAS KICK)






    Titans 14, Texans 14  2nd - 0:50Nov 23 10:01 PM



  • TD TEN LENDALE WHITE 1 YD RUN (ROB BIRONAS KICK)






    Titans 14, Texans 14  2nd - 0:50Nov 23 10:01 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 14
    HOUSTON 14 0:50 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Titans 14, Texans 14  2nd - 0:50Nov 23 10:01 PM
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    Titans 7, Texans 14  2nd - 4:01Nov 23 9:55 PM



  • TD HST ANDRE JOHNSON 12 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 14  2nd - 4:01Nov 23 9:50 PM



  • TD HST ANDRE JOHNSON 12 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 14  2nd - 4:01Nov 23 9:50 PM



  • TD HST ANDRE JOHNSON 12 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 14  2nd - 4:01Nov 23 9:50 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 7
    HOUSTON 14 4:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Titans 7, Texans 14  2nd - 4:01Nov 23 9:50 PM



  • TD TEN KENNY BRITT 13 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (ROB BIRONAS KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 7  2nd - 12:50Nov 23 9:27 PM



  • TD TEN KENNY BRITT 13 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (ROB BIRONAS KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 7  2nd - 12:50Nov 23 9:27 PM



  • TD TEN KENNY BRITT 13 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (ROB BIRONAS KICK)







    Titans 7, Texans 7  2nd - 12:50Nov 23 9:27 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 7
    HOUSTON 7 12:50 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Titans 7, Texans 7  2nd - 12:50Nov 23 9:27 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 0
    HOUSTON 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Nov 23 9:22 PM



  • TD HST STEVE SLATON 3 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 0, Texans 7  1st - 6:36Nov 23 8:56 PM



  • TD HST STEVE SLATON 3 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 0, Texans 7  1st - 6:36Nov 23 8:56 PM



  • TD HST STEVE SLATON 3 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB (KRIS BROWN KICK)







    Titans 0, Texans 7  1st - 6:36Nov 23 8:56 PM


  • NFL
    TENNESSEE 0
    HOUSTON 7 6:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Titans 0, Texans 7  1st - 6:36Nov 23 8:56 PM
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    Titans vs. TexansNov 23 6:41 PM
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    Titans vs. TexansNov 23 10:52 AM