There weren’t a lot of bright spots in the Tennessee Titans 20-6 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium but the Dick LeBeau defense and a great day by punter, Brett Kern kept the score and the ball game close….for a while!
In a trend that started in the Titans week five matchup with the Buffalo Bills, they were unable to move the football, make first downs and get the ball into the end zone.
And once again, another team gets it’s season turned around at the expense of the Tennessee Titans.
The offensive line was able to chip away at Jadeveon Clowney early and get him out , but the bad news is that his replacement, Whitney Mercilus had a field day and 3.5 sacks against left tackle Taylor Lewan.
Two-time defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt was in the Titans backfield on almost every play, recorded 2.5 sacks and hit backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger nine times. He hit Mettenberger so hard on the next to the last play of the game that Charlie Whitehurst had to come in for the last snap but let the clock run out.
Watt told reporters after the game that the Titans should have been double-teaming him, and even told them so during the game.
They didn’t, and he kept coming!
Plays took too long to develop and Mettenberger was slow getting the ball out against the fierce pass rush. He paid the price in his second start of the year while starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota watched from the sidline.
Mettenberger was 22 for 31 for 125 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble that turned into a Texans score. The Titans got 15 first downs on the day, but were only 1 for 12 converting first downs and that one conversion came early before the pass rush got cranked up.
Antonio Andrews made a big case to be the number one running back in the Ken Whisenhunt offense by carrying the ball 16 times for 64 yards. He ripped one carry for 28 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards.
The Titans ran the ball 20 times for 86 yards and for a second game in a row, Bishop Sankey got no carries in this game plan.
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As I said in the beginning, Dick LeBeau’s defense held the Texans somewhat in check by allowing them only 270 total yards on the day with quarterback Brian Hoyer passing 23 times for 235 yards and two touchdowns. The embattled quarterback had a passer rating of 103.9.
Playing with some inspiration, Washington burned the Titans secondary with 4 catches for 74 yards and the one touchdown.
The Titans other bright spot in the loss, who gets little recognition is punter Brett Kern. Kern punted the ball seven times for 349 yards with his best effort going for 60 yards. His average on the day was 49.9 yards and downed the ball three times inside the Texans 20 yard line.
The Titans travel to New Orleans for week nine to face a 4-4 Saints team who won a defenseless shootout over the New York Giants on Sunday.
The Titans are 1-6 on the season and on a six-game losing streak. There needs to be some changes somewhere and the Fire Ken Whisenhunt chant has already begun. ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky is leading the chant.
The @FireKenWhisenhunt Twitter page has already been developed and is gaining followers as we speak!