Houston Texans

Houston Texans Week 6 Recap: Good, bad, ugly against Tennessee Titans

The Houston Texans were unable to win against the undefeated Tennessee Titans in an overtime thriller that resulted in Houston's fifth loss of the 2020 NFL season.

The Good

The Houston Texans had a near-perfect performance on offense against their AFC South rival, the Tennessee Titans. Deshaun Watson and company shut down any doubts that the Texans would be unable to replicate their production after their solid performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Watson completed 28 of his 37 passes for 4 touchdowns, 335 yards, and 9.1 yards per pass attempted. The Titans' worse third-down defense in the NFL had no answers for the Texans offense, accomplished a season-high 25 first downs, and had a 50 percent rate on third-down conversions.

The offense put up a season-high 36 points on a Titans defense that allowed an average of 22.5 games in their previous four games. The offensive line also played well after only allowing one sack for the second consecutive game.

Will Fuller continues to impress as the number one option for Houston and finished with 6 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown reception. Fuller has three games with over 100 yards receiving and prolonged his streak of four games with at least one touchdown reception.

Darren Fells (6 receptions for 85 yards) and Brandin Cooks (9 receptions for 68 yards) were instrumental on offense as they repeated with touchdown receptions after scoring against the Jaguars in Week 5.

Watson also rekindled his connection with Randall Cobb for a highlight-worthy play on third and goal for Houston, earning their first lead of the game in the second half. Cobb had a quiet 4 receptions for 17 yards but got his second touchdown reception of the season after not scoring since Week 3.

Houston got the opportunity to bring the offense back on the field with J.J. Watt strip sacking Ryan Tannehill and Jacob Martin recovering the football in a pile of Titans' players. Watt was disruptive against Tennessee as he finished with 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, a forced fumble, and a pass deflection.

Meanwhile, Martin is making his case for more playing time as he continues to make plays on defense. The second-year Texan had a strip-sack last week against the Jaguars that led to their second turnover of the season, and he made another play on the football that took the defense off the field.

Bradley Roby was another standout player on the Texans defense, and he settled down after a defensive pass inference in the third quarter. He had an amazing interception that led to the Texans' second turnover of the game.

The defense has four turnovers over the last two weeks after a drought in the first four games. That's something the defense will need to build on to counter their struggles in other areas of their game.

The special teams also played a pivotal part in the game after the Titans missed two field-goal attempts in the second half. Justin Reid managed to shed his blocker once the ball was snapped and blocked the Titans' first attempt to prevent 3 points on the scoreboard.

The special teams unit had good pressure on the second kick as it sailed wide right from its mark.

The Bad

The Houston Texans lost the game, and there were some glaring setbacks through the game that lead Houston to overtime after a late lead in the fourth quarter.

Ka'imi Fairbairn's first missed extra point attempt of the season came at that worst time as it forced Houston to go for two later in the game. To Houston's credit, it was the right decision by Romeo Crennel. The play design was great as Randall Cobb was wide open, but Jefferey Simmons made a great read on the play to deflect the trajectory at the very last second.

It made all the sense in the world to leave the offense for a two-point attempt with the defense allowing a franchise-worst 601 yards against the Titans. Houston failed to convert, but they were still in a position to go to overtime if Tennessee marched down the field with only 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Tannehill put on a clinic with less than two minutes remaining as he completed eight of his nine passes for 86 yards. The defense was atrocious down the stretch and allowed 15 points in the fourth quarter after shutting down the Titans offense in the third quarter.

How badly did the Texans play to lose this game? They won the turnover battle 2-0 and still managed to lose this game. This game was there for the taking, but everything went wrong in the final quarter for Houston to earn their fifth loss of the season.

The Ugly

The Houston Texans run defense was expected to have their hands busy against Derrick Henry, but they allowed him to rush for 2 touchdowns and 202 yards on 22 carries.

Henry got almost half of his yards on a 94 rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter that captured Houston's struggles against the run. Houston allowed four touchdown passes and 344 yards (both season worse).

This game was a letdown all around for the defense after showing some strides against the Jaguars in Week 5 and limiting them to only 14 points. The offense has proven they can score, but it will be important that the defense plays better football for the 10 games remaining in the regular season.