From the opening kickoff, the Titans were dominated today in Houston.
Marcus Mariota got off to another slow start. He was picked off on his first drive, giving Houston great field position. The Texans jumped on the opportunity, quickly scoring on an option look.
The Titans came back out, only to go three and out. The Texans got an easy (wide open) check down to Lamar Miller and were in business again. Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins to cap the drive. Minutes later, Watson hit Will Fuller for another score.
Before you could even settle in, the Texans had taken a 21-0 lead.
Marcus Mariota finally settled down in the 2nd quarter, hitting Delanie Walker for a big play. Mariota kept the ball a couple of plays later on a read option look and sprinted into the endzone to get the Titans on the board.
After a Houston field goal, Mariota started cookin’. He took the Titans right down the field, hitting a huge play to Rishard Matthews. Mariota scored his second rushing touchdown of the day to end the drive, bringing the deficit to 24-14.
However, a good return had the Texans in business again before the first half ended. Watson took advantage. He scrambled in to extend the lead to 31-14. Mariota gifted the Texans with a bad interception. Thankfully, Kevin Byard got one back for the Titans. He picked off Watson at the goal line to end the half.
The Texans came out of halftime with a 14 play drive that ate up eight minutes of clock. Watson hit Fuller again for another touchdown and the back-breaker.
Marcus Mariota didn’t return to the game coming out of the halftime break. He was reported to have a hamstring issue, which just made a bad day worse.
From there, it was just a whole lot of ugly. Lamar Miller scored. Matt Cassel threw a pick six. The Texans set a franchise record for points with 57. The defense had no answers and the offense didn’t do much to help.
Deshaun Watson was spectacular. That’s not a good sign for the Titans or anyone else in the AFC South. He finished up today 25-34 for 283 and 4 touchdowns. He ran for 24 more yards and another score.
This was an eye opener. The Titans defense is still really bad. Matt Cassel cannot be the answer as a backup quarterback. The Titans have a lot of questions to answer, but none bigger than the health of Marcus Mariota. He didn’t have a great game through the air today, but this team is nothing without him.
We’ll keep you posted on his status.