The Titans came into this week 15 matchup with the Houston Texans riding a massive high following one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history against the Miami Dolphins. After two costly turnovers in the final quarter, the 2023 season was all but lost.
But Frank Wycheck had other ideas while looking down from the heavens and helped guide this resilient squad to an unthinkable 28-27 victory after rallying back from, down 14, with under three minutes remaining in the game. In just one week, the swag seemed back.
During yesterday’s matchup, Coach Vrabel flexed his team’s aggression early, going for it on fourth down at his own 26 yard line only three minutes into the contest. King Henry rewarded the decision when he snuck by the first down marker. The bold choice led to an 83 yard drive capped off with a short Levis TD run after being set up by a beautiful catch from Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
In the second quarter, backup Case Keenum was picked off and housed by veteran defensive back, Elijah Molden. This was just the second interception of his career, with both resulting in touchdowns. Now, the Titans had gained some breathing room as their lead expanded to 13-0 and Nissan Colosseum - I mean Stadium - erupted into a false sense of optimism.
The Texans finally got moving at the end of the 1st half with a well-sustained 52 yard drive, but the Tennessee defense tightened up and the drive stalled. A Ka’imi Fairbairn chip shot field goal cut the Titans lead to 13-3 at the break with the sense our boys in powdered blue were in complete command … it would not be long lived.
In typical Titans fashion, a field goal fest broke out in the second half. After settling for a 16-9 lead, Houston finally crossed the goal line with 3:03 remaining in the game to tie things up. With Tennessee’s offense - yet again - being MIA for the majority of the 3rd and 4th quarters, young Billy Jeans needed to stir up some last minute magic as he did in Miami. However, sloppy alignments and missed assignments resulted in the drive crashing and burning before it could get any legs.
On the other end, H-town was also offensively anemic and the slugfest spilled over into OT. After a punt from the Titans, the defense stepped up big once more and knocked Keenum all the way back to his own 6 yard line. Denico Autry was a man on a mission with multiple sacks; none bigger than on 3rd down in the overtime session.
It would be all for not.
The offensive line surrendered sack #7 of the day on the Titans’ final possession and the dam finally burst open when the Texans took the ball back. Fairbairn knocked home his fourth kick of the afternoon as time expired, finishing off Tennessee for good this time, 19-16.
With three games remaining, all the Titans can do is ruin someone else’s postseason dreams. While we foresee massive roster turnover in the offseason, a number of these players hanging on by a thread will hope to state their case as to why they belong on the 2024 team. As much as we would love to improve our draft position for April, don’t expect this squad to tank as many of these guys understand their careers are on the line.
AFC South Standings