Despite erasing a 21-10 halftime deficit to force overtime, the Houston Texans couldn’t stop Tennessee Titan running back Derrick Henry late and the host Titans scored first in the extra period to earn a 42-36 victory in the first divisional meeting between the teams this season.
Henry supplied a 94-yard touchdown run to take a fourth-quarter lead for Tennessee and registered a 52-yard reception in overtime which set up his short-yardage, walk-off rushing touchdown.
“He’s a good player. You gotta tackle. We gotta tackle,” Houston defensive end J.J. Watt said. “We had situations where we’re there and we don’t make the tackle. I mean if you don’t tackle, a guy is going to run and score, especially a guy that talented, that good. So we did not do that. They had a good game plan. Obviously Henry had a great game, (quarterback Ryan) Tannehill had a great game and we did not.”
The Texans offense provided one of its best performances with 36 points scored – the highest point total since Week 5 of 2019 – and 412 total yards for consecutive 30-point, 400-yard outings although they nearly put the game out of reach in regulation.
After Henry’s long run to pay dirt, Houston scored in just two plays to take a 30-29 lead and then Bradley Robey came up with an interception of Tannehill on the first play of the drive. The Texans drove down the field and quarterback Deshaun Watson eventually found Brandin Cooks for a 1-yard score and interim head coach Romeo Crennel decided to go for a two-point conversion. Watson was unable to connect with Randall Cobb, however, and the Titans only trailed by one possession.
“I wanted to go ahead and get the two points,” Crennel explained. “I felt like that would kind of put it out of reach for them. And if we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. As it turned out, we didn’t get it, and then with the touchdown and the extra point they tied it up and then we’re in overtime.”
“They gave us the opportunity, we had the opportunity, but it just didn’t connect,” Watson said of the two-point pass. “You gotta give Tennessee props. Ninety-eight, he did the same thing last year if you guys remember when we played them here in the same end zone where he kind of rushed and it was popped off and he tipped it up and Evans picked it off. Now we know in the future that we gotta spread some type of feed dropper in the low red and try to get stuff up and create movement up front.”
Houston moves onto a home meeting with the Green Bay Packers who squandered a 10-0 lead and fell, 38-10, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road last Sunday. The Texans trail 3-1 in the all-time series including consecutive losses, 42-24 in 2012 and 21-13 in 2016.