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 edge Texans but miss playoffs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans talked all week about the importance of beating Tennessee on Sunday to enter the playoffs on the right track.

In the end, coach Gary Kubiak decided keeping his key players healthy entering next week was more important than a victory.

Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes and the Titans kept alive their playoff hopes briefly with a 23-22 victory over Houston on Sunday after the Texans failed to convert a 2-point conversion attempt that would have won the game.

More on Titans-Texans
Video
NFL coverage on the go

Houston (10-6) will head into its first postseason on a three-game losing streak. The Texans were locked into the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs and Kubiak played mostly reserves in the second half.

"You would never go for two there in any other situation ... but I had to get them to next week," Kubiak said.

The Titans (9-7) earned their first winning record since 2008 in Mike Munchak's first season, but their postseason fate depended on the outcome of later games in Cincinnati, Oakland and Denver.

Tennessee got some early help when the New York Jets lost in Miami, but was knocked out of playoff contention when the Broncos lost to Kansas City in a late game.

Rookie starter T.J. Yates left the game after one series and was replaced by Jake Delhomme. Kubiak said Yates had a bruised left shoulder but could've returned if necessary.

"Obviously, I didn't want him to go back in the game," Kubiak said. "We'll know better where we're at (Monday) at this point."

The 36-year-old Delhomme, signed Nov. 29 in the wake of season-ending injuries to starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart, completed 18 of 28 passes, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson with 14 seconds left.

Kubiak called for a 2-point conversion at the end. But after a false start penalty, backup center Thomas Austin snapped the ball over Delhomme's head and the game was over.

The Texans certainly weren't happy about losing, but won't spend any time thinking about what happened on Sunday.

"We're ripping off the rear-view mirror," tight end Joel Dreessen said. "The regular season is over with, and the Texans are officially invited to the postseason. We open up at home, in one week. And that's our focus right now. It's a whole new season, and we have to play at our best."

Chris Johnson ran for 61 yards, and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals for Tennessee. The Titans needed a Bengals loss and victories by Oakland and Denver to earn a postseason rematch with the Texans back in Houston next week.

The Texans had other concerns after the loss.

CBSSports.com Grades
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
B+
With their playoff destiny at stake, the Titans rose up and delivered. QB Matt Hasselbeck was pounded much of the afternoon, yet stayed upright long enough to throw for 297 yards and a pair of scores. Even though the Texans sat most of their offensive starters, the defense shook off an opening scoring punch and kept Houston out of the end zone until the game's final 14 seconds. P Brett Kern was an unsung hero with his placements deep in Texans territory.
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
C-
The team played it close to the vest by either pulling or sitting out starters, but going into their first postseason with a three-game losing streak is the last thing coach Gary Kubiak wanted. While QB T.J. Yates' status remains a concern, two bigger issues are 1) an offense that has scored just three touchdowns in the last 12 quarters and 2) a defense which has lost its game-changing spark, forcing only two turnovers in the same span.
By Brandon Williams
RapidReports Correspondent

Yates was sacked on Houston's first snap by Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan. He completed passes to Joel Dreessen and James Casey for first downs, before Tate and Derrick Ward started alternating touches for the rest of the drive.

Tate finished that drive with a touchdown, but Yates came off the field favoring his left shoulder and went to the locker room.

Titans defensive end Dave Ball sacked Delhomme and knocked the ball loose, and safety Chris Hope recovered at the Texans 33. Hasselbeck threw a 25-yard pass to Jared Cook, then found Donnie Avery in the corner of the end zone to move Tennessee in front.

Delhomme threw a 16-yard pass to Andre Johnson to get Houston moving again. Johnson caught two passes and sat out the second half after missing the previous three games with a strained left hamstring.

Neil Rackers kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the first half, but Bironas booted a 43-yarder on the final play before the break to put Tennessee up 13-10. Bironas extended his own NFL record by kicking a field goal of 40 yards or longer for the 10th consecutive game.

The Texans rallied to tie it at 16-all, but Kubiak had most of his defensive starters on the bench in the fourth quarter. Nate Washington got behind rookie cornerback Brandon Harris and third-string safety Quintin Demps for a 23-yard touchdown with 4:31 remaining.

Texans linebacker Jesse Nading recovered a fumble by Ahmard Hall with less than two minutes left, and Delhomme completed 5 of 6 passes to drive Houston for the late touchdown.

Notes: Andre Johnson played about 20 snaps. Kubiak said he isn't ready to play 70 plays next week, but that he should be able to go 45-50. ... Kubiak said Houston OLB Bryan Braman has a stinger. ... Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips worked from the press box after missing two games following kidney and gall bladder surgery.eld favoring his left shoulder and went to the locker room.

Titans defensive end Dave Ball sacked Delhomme and knocked the ball loose, and safety Chris Hope recovered at the Texans 33. Hasselbeck threw a 25-yard pass to Jared Cook, then found Donnie Avery in the corner of the end zone to move Tennessee in front.

Delhomme threw a 16-yard pass to Andre Johnson to get Houston moving again. Johnson caught two passes and sat out the second half after missing the previous three games with a strained left hamstring.

Neil Rackers kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the first half, but Bironas booted a 43-yarder on the final play before the break to put Tennessee up 13-10. Bironas extended his own NFL record by kicking a field goal of 40 yards or longer for the 10th consecutive game.

The Texans rallied to tie it at 16-all, but Kubiak had most of his defensive starters on the bench in the fourth quarter. Nate Washington got behind rookie cornerback Brandon Harris and third-string safety Quintin Demps for a 23-yard touchdown with 4:31 remaining.

Texans linebacker Jesse Nading recovered a fumble by Ahmard Hall with less than two minutes left, and Delhomme completed 5 of 6 passes to drive Houston for the late touchdown.

Notes
  • Hall and Titans LT Mike Otto left with "probable" concussions, Munchak said. WR Damian Williams has a rib injury, Munchak said, and would be re-evaluated Monday.
  • Chris Johnson is the third player in Titans history to reach 1,000 yards rushing in at least four straight seasons, joining Eddie George (1996-2000) and Earl Campbell (1978-81)..
  • Bironas extended his own NFL record by kicking a field goal of at least 40 yards in his 10th consecutive game.
  • The Texans dropped to 5-1 in season finales under Kubiak.
  • Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips worked from the press box after missing two games following kidney and gall bladder surgery.
Copyright 2014 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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Latest Video

August 17, 2014
Tennessee Titans 2014 team preview (5:28)
1 August 7, 2014
Pat Kirwan from Titans training camp
(2:24)
2 August 6, 2014
Jim Rome Newsmaker: Wesley Woodyard
(4:50)
3 July 22, 2014
Mettenberger punched by Alabama fan
(1:28)
Sun. Jan. 1Final
0133723
Houston
(10-6)
733922
TitansTexans
Pass: M. Hasselbeck (22-35, 297) J. Delhomme (18-28, 211)
Rush: C. Johnson (15-61) B. Tate (16-97)
Rec: N. Washington (4-92) J. Casey (7-91)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDBen Tate, 4 Yd run (Neil Rackers kick is good), 5:15. Drive: 13 plays, 90 yards in 6:43.
2ND QUARTER
FGRob Bironas, 21 Yd, 13:06. Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards in 4:20.
TDDonnie Avery, 1 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Rob Bironas kick is good), 3:48. Drive: 5 plays, 33 yards in 2:41.
FGNeil Rackers, 52 Yd, 1:09. Drive: 7 plays, 46 yards in 2:39.
FGRob Bironas, 43 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 7 plays, 55 yards in 1:09.
3RD QUARTER
FGNeil Rackers, 37 Yd, 11:46. Drive: 5 plays, 61 yards in 3:14.
FGRob Bironas, 33 Yd, 7:22. Drive: 5 plays, 62 yards in 1:46.
4TH QUARTER
FGNeil Rackers, 22 Yd, 14:57. Drive: 12 plays, 76 yards in 7:25.
TDNate Washington, 23 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Rob Bironas kick is good), 4:31. Drive: 6 plays, 56 yards in 2:32.
TDBryant Johnson, 5 Yd pass from Jake Delhomme (Jake Delhomme Run for 2 Pt. Conversion failed), 0:14. Drive: 7 plays, 36 yards in 1:35.
Players of the Game
Cleveland

B. Tate
Rush 16
Yds 97
Avg 6.1
TD 1
Indianapolis

M. Hasselbeck
Att 35
Comp 22
Yds 297
TD 2
 
Tennessee
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Hasselbeck22/3529720
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Johnson1561027
J. Harper419012
A. Hall2704
M. Hasselbeck1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
N. Washington492155
J. Cook463025
C. Johnson449020
D. Avery345123
D. Williams221011
L. Hawkins31907
A. Hall1404
J. Harper1404
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Delhomme18/2821110
T. Yates4/44700
RushingATTYDSTDLG
B. Tate1697156
D. Ward1250015
J. Jones1404
B. Johnson1101
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Casey791021
B. Johnson245140
J. Jones335020
B. Tate42409
G. Graham124024
A. Johnson221016
J. Dreessen318015
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
TB 24 Final
ATL 45
BAL 24 Final
CIN 16
PIT 13 Final
CLE 9
DET 41 Final
GB 45
IND 13 Final
JAC 19
NYJ 17 Final
MIA 19
CHI 17 Final
MIN 13
BUF 21 Final
NE 49
CAR 17 Final
NO 45
DAL 14 Final
NYG 31
WAS 10 Final
PHI 34
SF 34 Final
STL 27
SEA 20 Final
ARI 23
KC 7 Final
DEN 3
SD 38 Final
OAK 26