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Tennessee at Houston

Johnson's big show helps Texans tame Titans; Haynesworth hurt

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Never mind that they've already clinched the AFC South and a first-round playoff bye, the Tennessee Titans are miffed about their 13-12 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.

A letdown could be expected after securing their playoff spot last week, but a win against Houston and a Pittsburgh loss later Sunday would have secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Now, next week's game against the Steelers will have much more meaning.

"Hopefully we'll be up for the challenge and guys will come back from vacation," linebacker Keith Bulluck said. "I think we were on vacation this week, knowing we got a bye and whatever other good stuff happened for us last week. But I know as a team we need to get our heads out of our (expletive) and come out and play football. Pittsburgh is playing for way more than us next week."

Andre Johnson had a career-high 207 yards receiving and a touchdown, and Kris Brown added a pair of field goals to lead the Texans to their fourth straight win.

Already eliminated from playoff contention, the Texans (7-7) are shooting for the first winning season in franchise history. Sunday marked the first time they've won four games in a row, and the victory snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Titans.

"They weren't doing that well, but it was their Super Bowl and credit them for being the good team today," Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan said.

Johnson struggled in Houston's first game against Tennessee (12-2), finishing with just 29 yards receiving and dropping two would-be touchdown passes. On Sunday, Johnson got going early, with eight catches for 154 yards before halftime. It was the most first-half yards receiving in the NFL this season.

Johnson put the Texans up 10-3 with a 13-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. He set that up when he got in front of Michael Griffin for a 65-yard catch-and-run four plays earlier.

He has a career-high 1,408 yards receiving this season.

"Andre was special today," coach Gary Kubiak said. "The reason he's special is because I can move him all over the place and it doesn't bother him."

Johnson had more than a little help from his defense. The Texans held Tennessee to 100 yards rushing after the Titans had gained 527 in the previous two games. It was the first time they didn't score a touchdown since a 17-6 loss to the Chargers in last year's AFC wild card playoff game.

With two minutes left, the Titans went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Houston 32, but Kerry Collins' deep pass to Justin McCareins flew just out of his reach.

"That field goal may have won us the game, but I think we did a lot of things to lose the game before that," Bulluck said. "I think Coach (Jeff Fisher) made the decision he needed to make."

Fisher said he thought the kick wasn't in Rob Bironas' range.

"It was not a good coaching decision," Fisher said.

Tennessee's LenDale White put the loss in perspective.

"It's a big win for them as an organization," White said. "(But) no matter what they do, they'll still go home (during the) playoffs. We have a lot to look forward to."

Steve Slaton's runs helped the Texans to one more first down and Houston ran out the clock. Slaton had 24 carries for 100 yards. He had 116 yards rushing in the teams' first meeting, making him the only player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Titans this season.

"The thing that has impressed us so much about this kid is that he seems to run better at the end of games," Kubiak said. "For a small player he gets stronger as the game goes on."

The Titans had to settle for a 34-yard field goal that made it 13-12 when Mario Williams tackled Collins short of the first down on third-and-12 with about 5½ minutes to play.

Brown's 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter pushed Houston's lead to 13-9. Finnegan had two costly penalties on that drive, one for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Matt Schaub and another for spearing when he jumped head first to make a tackle.

Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was injured near the end of the game when his left leg was caught under the pile. He remained on the turf for several minutes while Titans officials looked at him. He finally got up and hobbled off the field.

Fisher didn't have an update, but his teammates were concerned.

"We shouldn't have lost this game," defensive end Jevon Kearse said. "We had plenty of chances to win this game and then for one of our big defensive players to go down ... hopefully if he's not able to go next week we have somebody else who can step in and pick up the slack."


  • Texans CB Antwaun Molden broke his ankle and will miss the last two games.
  • Slaton has 1,124 yards rushing this season to set the franchise record for yards rushing by a rookie.
Copyright 2016 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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Andre Johnson's monster game helps the Texans' bid for their first winning season.
Andre Johnson's monster game helps the Texans' bid for their first winning season. (Getty Images)


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Sun. Dec. 14Final
TEN - Pass: K. Collins (15-33, 181), Rec: J. Gage (3-76)
HOU - Pass: M. Schaub (23-39, 284), Rec: A. Johnson (11-207)
Scoring Summary
FGRob Bironas 26 Yd, 8:38. Drive: 6 plays, 24 yards in 2:57.
FGKris Brown 32 Yd, 14:57. Drive: 16 plays, 60 yards in 8:41.
TDAndre Johnson, 13 Yd pass from Matt Schaub (Kris Brown kick is good), 11:03. Drive: 5 plays, 89 yards in 2:50.
FGRob Bironas 23 Yd, 0:02. Drive: 4 plays, 93 yards in 0:37.
FGRob Bironas 51 Yd, 9:40. Drive: 9 plays, 30 yards in 3:48.
FGKris Brown 24 Yd, 11:45. Drive: 7 plays, 58 yards in 2:47.
FGRob Bironas 34 Yd, 5:23. Drive: 6 plays, 45 yards in 2:53.
Players of the Game

A. Johnson
Rec 11
Yds 207
Avg 18.8
TD 1

J. Gage
Rec 3
Yds 76
Avg 25.3
TD 0
K. Collins15/3318101
C. Johnson1365016
L. White826012
K. Collins2506
J. McCareins1404
J. Gage376034
B. Jones351040
J. McCareins336017
B. Scaife31109
A. Hall1505
C. Johnson2201
M. Schaub23/3928410
S. Slaton24100034
M. Schaub4708
C. Sapp1000
A. Johnson11207165
O. Daniels441019
S. Slaton31508
J. Dreessen2905
K. Walter2805
D. Anderson1404
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
CLE 10 Final
PHI 30
NYG 8 Final
DAL 20
NE 49 Final
OAK 26
MIN 35 Final
ARI 14
SEA 23 Final
STL 20
BUF 27 Final
NYJ 31
SF 9 Final
MIA 14
SD 22 Final
KC 21
GB 16 Final
JAC 20
DET 21 Final
IND 31
WAS 13 Final
CIN 20
DEN 10 Final
CAR 30
PIT 13 Final
TB 10 Final
ATL 13
NO 24 Final
CHI 27