The adage that football is always won in the trenches took a beating int Houston’s 34-31 upset win over the Titans.
The Texans rushed 29 times, for a 2.9 yards-per-carry average.
They couldn’t stop the run either, giving up 284 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to Chris Johnson, including a 91-yard rushing score.
Johnson’s insane day also included nine catches and 87 yards, including a 69-yard gainer.
Aside from Adrian Peterson, there hasn’t been a more exciting running back to enter the league in the last five years. The kid can take any play the distance, and the Titans did a great job blocking for him. (He had three scores over 55 yards.)
Which makes this loss all the more frustrating.
The Texans showed a team-wise toughness usually unseen in the Gary Kubiak era, bouncing back from a Week One shellacking to the Jets and an early 21-7 deficit to the Titans. Not surprisingly, they did it through the air.
Matt Schaub threw for 357 yards and four touchdowns, two to the incomparable Andre Johnson. (And let’s stop comparing Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan to Darrelle Revis. Look at the difference in Johnson’s performance the last two weeks.)
The Titans offense moved the ball plenty, but Houston held Tennessee scoreless in the fourth quarter. Kerry Collins fumbled a ball without getting hit as Tennessee was driving for the possible tying score.
Tennessee has now lost two games after going 13-3 a season ago. Their pass defense was shredded for a second straight week and they lost another game they “should” have won; the Texans hadn’t won in Nashville since 2004.
These Texans aren’t predictable, but this win is a sign they may hang around in the AFC South race longer than usual.
And the Titans loss is a reminder that last year doesn’t mean anything. No matter how special Chris Johnson is.