Nashville, TN – In Week 2 of the 2018 season the Tennessee Titans faced the Houston Texans in the two-toned blue’s home opener, and won the first game for Mike Vrabel by a score of 20-17.
On Houston’s first possession, DT Jurrell Casey sacked Texans QB Deshaun Watson for his 40th career sack. Casey became 10th player in franchise history to reach this milestone, while also forcing Houston to punt.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) passes against the Houston Texans during the first half at Nissan Stadium on September 16th, 2018. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
On the Titans’ opening drive, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt incurred a neutral zone infraction which gave the Titans a first-and-five. RB Derrick Henry rushed for five yards and a first down.
On fourth down, with Tennessee in punt formation, LS Beau Brinkley snapped the ball directly to S Kevin Byard, who proceeded to throw a 66-yard touchdown pass to DB Dane Cruikshank. Byard’s 66-yard touchdown toss to Cruikshank was the longest by a defensive player in the Super Bowl era, and got Tennessee on the board first with a score of 7-0.
Houston took the field on the following drive, but dug themselves into a third-and-27 hole with help by CB Logan Ryan’s seven-yard sack of Watson. Houston attempted a 54-yard field goal, but missed.
As the Tennessee offense stepped back onto the field, Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur dipped into his creativity. With Henry in the wildcat formation, and QB Blaine Gabbert split out wide, Henry amassed 17 yards on the ground good for two first downs, and pitched the ball once to WR Taywan Taylor for a gain of eight. Gabbert stepped back under center and connected with Taylor for an 18-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Titans lead.
Tennessee Titans kicker Ryan Succop (4) celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal during the second half against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
With Houston driving on their ensuing possession, Watson connected with Texans TE Ryan Griffin for a 19-yard first down and WR Bruce Ellington for a 17-yard catch. With Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins as the intended receiver, Watson aired the ball out only to have CB Adoree’ Jackson intercept the pass for his first career pick.
With 58 seconds remaining in the first half, Watson hit Hopkins for a 28-yard touchdown to cut Tennessee’s lead heading into halftime, 14-7.
In the third quarter, with the Texans driving and in the red zone, Casey recorded his second sack of the day on third down. Houston was forced to settle for a field goal as Texans K Ka’imi Fairbairn converted a 34-yard attempt, 14-10 Titans.
Houston took a 17-14 lead, their first of the contest, in the fourth quarter as Watson threw his second touchdown pass, a 39-yarder to Texans Will Fuller V. On the following Tennessee possession, the Titans tied the score 17-17 on a 42-yard field goal by K Ryan Succop.
On the Titans’ final drive of the fourth quarter, with the score still tied, the team took possession with 6:41 remaining in regulation. Gabbert constructed a 12-play, 62-yard scoring drive that consumed 5:41 off of the clock. Succop tacked on another field goal to put the Titans ahead 20-17. With only one minute left to play, Houston was unable to score. Tennessee got its first win of the 2018 season and won the home opener by a score of 20-17.
Titans 20, Texans 17
2018 Week 2 | Sunday, September 16th, 2018 | 12:00pm CT | Nissan Stadium
SectionsFeatured Story, Football, NFL, Professional Teams, Sports, Sports Leagues, Tennessee Titans
TopicsAdoree' Jackson, Beau Brinkley, Blaine Gabbert, Bruce Ellington, Dane Cruikshank, DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, J.J. Watt, Jurrell Casey, Ka'imi Fairbairn, Kevin Byard, Logan Ryan, Matt LaFleur, Mike Vrabel, Nashville TN, National Football League, NFL, Nissan Stadium, Ryan Griffin, Ryan Succop, Taywan Tayulor, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Will Fuller V