So much for that whole taking control of the division thing.
After Sunday’s 57-14 fiasco in Houston, the Titans will need a lot of work and preparation just to regain control of themselves after Sunday’s beatdown.
The Titans allowed rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson to shred them for five touchdown passes and another on the ground en route to a complete disaster courtesy of the Texans.
Watson, who was 25 of 34 for 283 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, engineered scoring drive on each of the Texans’ first five possessions as Houston dominated the game from the outset.
The Titans not only lost their grip on division dominance, they also lost quarterback Marcus Mariota to a hamstring injury sometime after the first half. Mariota, who had two rushing touchdowns in the first half, went to the locker room in the third quarter before the Titans offense ever got on the field. Mariota was also intercepted twice in the first half, both times by Texans defensive back Andre Hal.
Sunday’s poor performance knocked the Titans back to .500 both for the season and in the AFC South, where they botched an opportunity to establish themselves as the class of the division.
The Titans now have to wonder exactly what type of team they are, especially with a defense that did not force a punt the entire game, and allowed xxx yards to a Texans team that limped into the game 1-2 on the year.
Just as it was in 2016, the Texans jumped out to an early lead at home against the Titans.
Mariota’s first pass of the game was picked off by Hal, and the Texans took advantage of the short field with Lamar Miller capping the drive to give Houston a 7-0 lead.
The Texans didn’t stop until they led 21-0, as Watson hooked up with Hopkins on an 8-yard touchdown pass on the next possession.
Watson struck again, hooking up with Will Fuller, just back from a broken collarbone, for a 16-yard TD pass on the first play of the second quarter.
For a bit, it looked as if the Titans might have life, as Mariota engineered a pair of touchdown drives sandwiched around a Texans field goal that pulled Tennessee as close as 24-14.
But Watson added two more scoring drives, scoring on a 1-yard run after a 45-yard pass interference call on Adoree’ Jackson and then hooking up with Fuller from 10 yards out after Mariota’s second interception.
The Titans had issues on defense all game long, as their cornerbacks were repeatedly burned by Watson and the Texans receivers. The run defense struggled as well, allowing Houston to run for 173 yards.
Long after the outcome was decided, Watson tossed a fifth touchdown pass in the second half to push the lead to 44-14.
The Texans added another field goal and got an interception return for a touchdown from Devin Cole, the fourth Titans turnover of the day. A Matt Cassel fumble was then turned into a field goal to account for the final margin.