Titans boot Texans
Bironas’s late 53-yarder wins it
HOUSTON - Rob Bironas kicked a 53-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining and the Tennessee Titans beat the Houston Texans, 20-17, last night for their fourth straight victory after an 0-6 start.
The Texans (5-5) had a chance to tie it, but Kris Brown’s 49-yard attempt with 1 second remaining was wide left. It was his second miss of the game and the second straight game he’s missed a chance to send the Texans to overtime.
The Titans (4-6) haven’t lost since Vince Young took over at quarterback. He is 2-0 as a starter in his hometown of Houston after running for the winning touchdown in overtime in his last start here, as a rookie in 2006.
The Titans started the go-ahead drive at the 6-yard line, but the Texans were called for a 15-yard horse collar on a tackle on Chris Johnson. A 22-yard run by Johnson two plays later put the Titans on their 41 just before the two-minute warning.
Young had a 12-yard run for a first down later in the drive but the Titans couldn’t keep it going and went to Bironas for the field goal, his second of at least 50 yards last night.
The Texans moved the ball 31 yards in five plays before Brown came in for the field-goal attempt. He missed from the same distance in the third quarter and missed one from 42 yards as time expired in a 20-17 loss to Indianapolis before Houston’s bye.
Bironas had missed earlier, too, on a 49-yarder with about 10 minutes left.
Johnson finished with 151 yards rushing and Young had a touchdown pass in the first half. Bironas added a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Titans ran for a first down on a fake punt with about 5 1/2 minutes left, but were called for delay of game and had to punt it away. The punt came after two incomplete passes by Young.
The Texans couldn’t get anything going on the next drive and had to give it back when a wide open Steve Slaton dropped a pass that would have been enough for the first down.
Antonio Smith got a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness after taking an extra shot at a Titan after a play giving Tennessee a first down at the Houston 45. Tennessee came away empty after Young’s pass on third down fell incomplete and then Bironas missed a field-goal try.
The Titans had Schaub under heavy pressure all night and he was sacked four times. He was 25 of 39 for 305 yards and threw two first-half touchdowns.
Andre Johnson got in front of Michael Griffin for a 49-yard reception on third-and-1 to get Houston down inside the 10-yard line in the third quarter. But the Texans drive stalled after that and they settled for a 26-yard field goal by Brown to tie it at 17.
Tennessee took its first lead of the game on a 50-yard field goal by Bironas with about three minutes left in the third quarter. The Titans kicked the field goal after Bernard Pollard tackled Young for a 2-yard loss on third-and-5.
A Titans drive early in the third quarter ended when Young scrambled up the middle for 10 yards before Zac Diles forced a fumble that Pollard recovered at the Texans’ 16-yard line.
The Texans couldn’t convert when Brown’s 49-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.
A 1-yard run by LenDale White tied it at 14 about a minute before halftime. The Titans were helped downfield by a dazzling run by Chris Johnson. He evaded one would-be tackler before bouncing off another one and spinning around to get around two more Texans for a 36-yard gain.
Houston regained the lead with a 12-yard touchdown reception by Andre Johnson in the second quarter that made it 14-7. That drive was extended when Schaub found rookie James Casey on a 32-yard reception on third-and-3 four plays earlier.