The Tennessee Titans red zone offense, missing in action virtually all season, cashed in on all four opportunities for touchdowns Sunday in defeating the Houston Texans 28-20 at LP Field.
Tennessee stopped a three-game losing streak and its hemorrhaging in the standings as well, improving to 7-5 to stay in the AFC wild-card race.
Quarterback Vince Young turned in a strong second half, putting the Titans ahead in the third quarter with a 43-yard touchdown toss to Roydell Williams. That 14-10 advantage was Tennessee’s first lead since its Nov. 4 win against Carolina.
The Titans added two more second-half touchdowns, getting another third quarter score on Young’s 11-yard toss to Justin Gage and Chris Brown’s 7-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter.
Brown’s touchdown was set up when Eric King knocked the ball free from Texans punt returner Jacoby Jones, and teammate Donnie Nickey recovered at the Houston 29. From there, Brown ran 22 yards to the seven just before his touchdown.
In all, Young enjoyed a strong day through the air, completing 21 of 31 passes for 248 yards passing. He had two touchdowns and one interception.
The Texans took a 10-7 lead on the Tennessee Titans on Kris Brown’s 45-yard field goal with 1:04 in the first half.
The Texans and Titans each scored on their first offensive series in Sunday’s AFC South battle at LP Field.
The Titans got a boost with the return of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth back from a hamstring injury for the first time after he missed three games.
However, the Texans marched 74 yards in nine plays, gashing the Titans defense in much the same way it had been hurt with Haynesworth out. Ron Dayne’s 25-yard run set up first-and-goal at the 1, and Dayne scored three plays later on a controversial call that survived replay challenge as he stuck the ball just over the goal line while in the pile.
The Titans answered with a 12-play, 72-yard drive of their own with LenDale White scoring from a yard out.
Injury-wise, the Titans lost wide receiver Brandon Jones to an undisclosed injury in the first quarter, while the Texans lost starting quarterback Matt Schaub to a left shoulder injury on a sack by Antwan Odom. Houston also lost starting guard Fred Weary to an apparent left leg injury in the second period.
Brown’s kick capped a 10-play, 54-yard march for the Texans.
The Titans drove back downfield in the final minute, but Rob Bironas’ 53-yard field goal attempt was short into the wind, ending his consecutive field goals made streak at 19.