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Recap: Titans escape against the Texans, 24-13

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This one was closer than the score indicates.

NFL: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans escaped against the Houston Texans today in Nashville. This game was in question late, but a Tom Savage interception sealed a win for the Titans. It was just like nearly all of the Titans’ wins to this point — ugly and harder than it had to be.

Here’s how it played out.

The Tennessee defense started this one with a three and out, but Adoree’ Jackson fumbled the ensuing punt return. The Texans recovered, getting another shot at their first drive. They were able to capitalize, adding a field goal to take an early lead.

The offense came out firing, for once. Mariota Hit big plays to Corey Davis and Phillip Supernaw to get into Houston territory. However, the drive stalled after a failed 3rd and 1 play. Ryan Succop attempted the field goal, but missed.

Once again, it was another sloppy start for the Titans.

It wasn’t over there, either. Tom Savage came back with a big play to Braxton Miller over the middle, after a blow coverage allowed Miller to come free. Savage capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Stephen Anderson, to take a 10-0 lead.

Finally, the Titans put something together. A big screen pass to Murray followed by a big Derrick Henry run had the Titans inside of the 10. Marcus Mariota kept the ball on a read option, getting around the corner and into the endzone.

That brought score to 10-7, Houston.

The Titans were able to quickly get stop and put a drive together to tie the game at 10 before halftime.

After a Tennessee three and out, the Texans settled in and started driving. They put together a really effective drive, taking over eight minutes off the clock. They weren’t able to get into the endzone after making it inside the Tennessee 15, however. To make matters worse, Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a chip-shot 28 yard field goal that would have given Houston a lead.

On the following drive, Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker got it going. Two huge third down grabs by Walker kept the drive alive. Mariota rewarded him with a beautiful strike on a post over the middle for six. Finally, the Titans held a lead in this one at 17-10.

The Titans and Texans traded punts on the following drives. The Titans had their opportunity to take control, but they allowed the Texans to drive down the field late in the 4th quarter. The defense bent, but they didn’t break. Fairburn nailed this field goal attempt, bringing Houston to within four points with four minutes to play.

Tennessee got the ball back just trying to run the clock out. However, a jet sweep to Taywan Taylor ended with Taylor running out of bounds, stopping the clock. Mariota slid on 3rd down to keep the clock moving, but that jet sweep play loomed large with Houston getting the ball back.

Savage had a chance to win the ball game, taking over with under three minutes to play. He started well, hitting a big out route to Anderson to get into Tennessee territory before the two minute warning.

Savage was faced with a key 3rd and 4, but Kevin Byard broke on the ball to get a huge stop. The Texans were forced to go for it on 4th and 19 after three consecutive false starts — and they got it. It was Stephen Anderson coming through again with a tough grab.

On following play, Savage locked on to DeAndre Hopkins as he had all day long, giving him a shot in the endzone. But LeShaun Sims was there to make a diving interception to end this one.

Sims was playing in place of Logan Ryan, who left the game earlier with an injury.

Derrick Henry put the bow on this one, taking a toss play 75 yards to the house. It was eerily similar to the Colts game in Nashville earlier this season.

So the Titans move to 8-4, escaping against a bad Houston team missing Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller. This game was essentially just like the rest this year, with the Titans having to find a way to win against an inferior opponent. Still, Tennessee is in great shape for the playoffs, but it’s hard to feel great about their chances once they get there.

Up next, the Arizona Cardinals.