Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL

Tennessee at Houston

Titans return to Texas, handle Texans to clinch playoff bye

SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- Although it's been six years since owner Bud Adams moved the Houston Oilers to Tennessee, fans haven't forgotten.

While tailgaters mocked Adams outside Reliant Stadium, the Titans blocked a punt and field goal and Eddie George scored the game's only touchdown with 5:14 to play as they beat the Houston Texans 13-3 Sunday.

Jevon Kearse, who left early with an injury, shows his displeasure for a penalty flag. 
Jevon Kearse, who left early with an injury, shows his displeasure for a penalty flag.(AP) 
The Titans (11-5), already the AFC South champions, gained a first-round bye with the victory, their 10th in 11 games. The Texans (4-12) closed out their first NFL season with three consecutive losses.

Adams, blamed by most fans for moving the Oilers, visited both locker rooms after the game.

"It's a business and we had to win this game to be the second seed in the American Football Conference," Adams said. "Outside of that, I love the Texans."

A record crowd of 70,694 booed the Titans as they came on the field to play in Houston for the first time since moving to Tennessee after the 1996 season. The Oilers spent the franchise's first 37 years in Houston.

"This team has the potential of going all the way," Adams said of his team.

Adams was a favorite target for pregame tailgaters. His likeness appeared on one dart board, and another fan pounded on a piInata dressed as Adams.

The Oilers played their last game in Houston on Dec. 15, 1996 in a 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in a half-filled Astrodome. The Titans defeated the Texans 17-10 in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 10 in their first ever meeting.

Adams, who remains a Houston resident and neighbor of Texans owner Bob McNair, also visited the Texans locker room.

"I was watching you guys at the half, and it had me worried," Adams joked. "It was so close, I had to go to the wine bottle."

The Titans led 6-3 on Joe Nedney's first-half field goals of 28 and 26 yards. They put together the game's only touchdown drive that was kept alive by a 53-yard pass from Steve McNair to Drew Bennett to the Texans 18.

George scored on a 4-yard run and finished the game with 102 yards on 25 carries. McNair completed 8 of 22 passes for 148 yards.

"We felt like it could be a field position game we made the plays at the end of the ball game," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "Any time you win 10 of 11 games there will be some like this, and we'll take this.

"Our philosophy wasn't to keep it close offensively. Their defense did that."

The Titans led 6-3 on Joe Nedney's first-half field goals of 28 and 26 yards. They put together the game's only touchdown drive that was kept alive by a 53-yard pass from Steve McNair to Drew Bennett to the Texans 18.

George scored on a 4-yard run and finished the game with 102 yards on 25 carries. McNair completed 8 of 22 passes for 148 yards.

The Titans scratched out a 6-0 halftime lead on the two field goals, although Tennessee was outgained in total yards 159-115 and in first downs 9-5 in the first two quarters.

McNair's 36-yard pass to Justin McCareins helped set up Nedney's 28-yarder for a 3-0 first-quarter lead.

Rocky Boiman gave Tennessee a first down at Houston's 22-yard line when he blocked Chad Stanley's punt in the second quarter, prior to Nedney's 26-yarder.

Kris Brown missed a 50-yard field-goal attempt to end the Texans' first drive, snapping a string of seven straight successful kicks. His second attempt, a 19-yard try in the second quarter, was blocked by Tank Williams.

Brown kicked a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter, but an unsportsmanlike penalty against defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth gave the Texans a first down at the Titans 6, and coach Dom Capers took the points off the board.

Houston settled for Brown's 42-yarder moments later after David Carr was sacked on consecutive plays by Kevin Carter and Lance Schulters.

Carr completed 21 of 40 passes for 214 yards and one interception. He was sacked three times, increasing his NFL record for times sacked to 76 for the season.

Notes

  • Derrick Mason did not catch a pass, leaving him one reception short of a career high. He has 79 catches this season.
  • For the first time in their 42-year history, the Titans have a 3,000-yard passer (McNair), 1,000-yard rusher (George) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Mason).
  • McNair has been sacked only 19 times this season.
  • Jevon Kearse aggravated a left foot injury that caused him to miss all but two plays of the first 13 games this season. Fisher said afterward x-rays were negative and Kearse was fine.
AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2002, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest Video

Related Links
 
QTR,
----0
----0
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGJoe Nedney 28 Yd, 3:58. Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards in 3:37.
2ND QUARTER
FGJoe Nedney 26 Yd, 2:54. Drive: 5 plays, 14 yards in 1:31.
3RD QUARTER
FGKris Brown 42 Yd, 0:52. Drive: 14 plays, 29 yards in 7:06.
4TH QUARTER
TDEddie George, 4 Yd run (Joe Nedney kick is good), 5:10. Drive: 8 plays, 57 yards in 4:25.
Tennessee
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
S. McNair8/2214800
F. Wycheck0/1000
RushingATTYDSTDLG
E. George25102112
R. Holcombe735014
S. McNair3305
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Bennett258053
J. McCareins246036
R. Holcombe226018
E. George218010
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Carr21/4021401
J. Allen0/1000
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Allen62006
D. Carr3704
J. Wells13107
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Gaffney673018
J. Allen646021
B. Miller342025
C. Bradford218014
J. Holloway114014
J. Dawson21307
A. Harris1808
Complete Player Stats