Tennessee at Houston

McNair on game as Titans give Fisher 100th career victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher wanted to see his young team execute. On Sunday he got his wish and a nice bonus: his 100th career victory.

Steve McNair threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the NFL's youngest team to a 34-20 win over the hapless Houston Texans.

"I'm not thinking about that," Fisher said, downplaying his milestone. "This is number two that's what this is all about -- getting a second win. We're not stopping here. We've got a lot to go."

The performance gave McNair more than 25,000 career yards passing. He is the second player in franchise history and the 49th player to reach the mark. Warren Moon became the first when the team was still in Houston.

The Titans didn't have any turnovers in a much better outing than last week's 31-10 loss to Indianapolis, thought it was against a much less formidable opponent. Rob Bironas kicked a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 49-yarder in the fourth after missing a 38-yard attempt against the Colts.

The Texans continued their downward spiral, converting none of their 13 third downs and managing just one touchdown. They are the only winless team in the league and are 0-4 for the first time in their short history.

Tennessee's defensive players said stopping Houston on third down as a priority.

"It probably killed a little momentum for them at times," said Titans defensive end Antwan Odom. "Anytime you can control a team like that on third down, it says a lot about your team."

Houston Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson left with a strained right calf in the first quarter and never returned.

Tennessee (2-3) led 10-9 early in the third quarter when McNair found Drew Bennett on a 41-yard pass to reach the 25,000-yard mark and get the Titans to the Houston 17.

Two plays later, Jarrett Payton -- son of the late Walter Payton and in just his second game after being elevated from the practice squad -- bulled in from 5 yards for his first career touchdown. He filled the spot left open by Travis Henry's four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Payton finished with eight carries for 11 yards.

"Whatever they ask me to do, I'm ready and willing," Payton said. "It's always big team, little me. I'm just going to keep that motto through and through."

The Titans got the ball back after a sack by AFC leader Kyle Vanden Bosch forced Houston to punt. McNair led them on a 58-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bennett to stretch the lead to 24-9. Bennett had five receptions for 99 yards.

Early on, it looked as if the Titans would again be foiled by mistakes and costly penalties. On their first drive, a 3-yard touchdown run by Chris Brown was brought back for holding. But they were able to rebound and McNair found Ben Troupe on a 10-yard pass for an early 7-0 lead.

"We overcame some things in that drive," Fisher said. "(It was) big because it helped to take the crowd out of the game."

David Carr went 18-of-27 for 131 yards with an interception that Tennessee converted into a field goal in the fourth quarter. He was sacked seven times, bringing his season total to 27.

"You want more than anything else to win a football game," Carr said. "Just one. We can't go much lower than this."

Kris Brown kicked four field goals for Houston. Carr threw a largely irrelevant 3-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford with 3:12 remaining.

"David didn't have much of a chance today (Sunday)," said Texans coach Dom Capers.

The Texans also failed to get a takeaway, leaving them with zero this season.

The fans roundly booed the team beginning in the second quarter and most were gone by the beginning of the fourth. The only time the crowd got lively was in the second half, when an update of the Houston Astros' playoff game against the Atlanta Braves was announced. Fans stood up and cheered and then a chorus of "Let's go Astros" could be heard in the cavernous stadium.

Notes

  • Just before halftime the Titans attempted the seldom used fair catch kick. NFL supervisor of officials Ron Baynes said it's the first time he's seen that type of field goal attempt, where the ball is kicked like a kickoff, in 20 years of officiating. The attempt failed.
  • Johnson left the game before catching a pass, which broke his streak of receptions in each of his 35 career games.
  • Texans running back Domanick Davis became the first Houston running back to gain more than 100 yards this season and finished with 130.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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This reception by Drew Bennett gives Titans QB Steve McNair more than 25,000 career passing yards.
 
This reception by Drew Bennett gives Titans QB Steve McNair more than 25,000 career passing yards. (AP)
 

 

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Sun. Oct. 9Final
73141034
Houston
(0-4)
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Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDBen Troupe, 10 Yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good), 5:54. Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards in 9:06.
2ND QUARTER
FGKris Brown 32 Yd, 14:38. Drive: 13 plays, 69 yards in 6:16.
FGKris Brown 38 Yd, 7:09. Drive: 10 plays, 54 yards in 5:38.
FGRob Bironas 52 Yd, 2:20. Drive: 10 plays, 47 yards in 4:49.
3RD QUARTER
FGKris Brown 43 Yd, 12:26. Drive: 7 plays, 37 yards in 2:34.
TDJarrett Payton, 5 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 6:06. Drive: 7 plays, 76 yards in 2:58.
TDDrew Bennett, 16 Yd pass from Steve McNair (Rob Bironas kick is good), 2:16. Drive: 5 plays, 58 yards in 2:21.
4TH QUARTER
FGRob Bironas 49 Yd, 14:06. Drive: 5 plays, 6 yards in 1:37.
FGKris Brown 47 Yd, 11:32. Drive: 6 plays, 37 yards in 2:34.
TDSteve McNair, 1 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 7:45. Drive: 7 plays, 23 yards in 3:47.
TDCorey Bradford, 3 Yd pass from David Carr (David Carr pass to Corey Bradford for 2 Pt. Conversion), 1:55. Drive: 8 plays, 52 yards in 2:42.
Players of the Game

D. Davis
Rush 19
Yds 130
Avg 6.8
TD 0

D. Bennett
Rec 5
Yds 99
Avg 19.8
TD 1
 
Tennessee
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
S. McNair22/3122020
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Brown2278011
J. Payton81116
S. McNair1111
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Bennett599141
B. Troupe867114
E. Kinney427013
B. Jones321014
C. Brown113013
M. Roos1-70-7
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Carr18/2713111
RushingATTYDSTDLG
D. Davis19130044
D. Carr52407
J. Wells3705
J. Gaffney1000
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Davis843015
C. Bradford435115
J. Gaffney224016
J. Mathis21508
M. Rivers1707
J. Wells1707
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
PIT 24 Final
SD 22
CIN 20 Final
JAC 23
WAS 19 Final
DEN 21
PHI 10 Final
DAL 33
CAR 24 Final
ARI 20
IND 28 Final
SF 3
SEA 37 Final
STL 31
TB 12 Final
NYJ 14
NO 3 Final
GB 52
BAL 17 Final
DET 35
CHI 10 Final
CLE 20
MIA 14 Final
BUF 20
NE 31 Final
ATL 28