Texans start slow, finish slow, lose to Titans, 20-17

Mistake-filled game leaves Texans winless


HOUSTON – For a second straight game, the Houston Texans started incredibly slowly. For the second straight week, they fought back and made a game of it. The results remained the same, as the Texans fell to the Titans, 20-17 and start the season 0-2.

After the game, it's hard to say what was more disappointing, the way they started or the way they finished. 

They were down 14-0 after the first quarter after being thoroughly embarrassed by the Titans, who of course are under new head coach Mike Vrabel. The Texans offense went nowhere on their opening drive, but the defense answered by putting the Titans into a punting situation on their opening drive.

The Titans didn't punt though, instead they snapped the ball to Kevin Byard lined up in front of their punter and he just floated a pass to a wide open Dane Cruikshank - who went 66 yards for the game's opening touchdown. 

Cruikshank was unmarked by the Texans special teams, obviously the Titans noticed and burned Houston on the play.

The game ended with the Texans defense then offense contributing to the second loss to open the season. First the defense was unable to get the Titans off the field. 

Tennessee drove 62 yards, eating up nearly six minutes off the clock and kicked a chip shot 31 yard field goal with just 60 seconds remaining to put the Texans down 20-17.

Then the Deshaun Watson-led offense, operating with no timeouts, proceeding to gain 23 yards on two completions, neither at the sidelines, to set up a 2nd and 10 with 17 seconds left from the their own 48-yard line.

The Titans smartly went with just a two-man rush and with that easily handled by the blockers in front of him, Watson took his time, and then some more time and struggling to find someone open - he finally hit DeAndre Hopkins down the middle of the field for a 31 yard gain. 

He went down with one second remaining, so of course one second later the game ended. A baffling end to a second straight game, which had the Texans looking like they were throroughly out coached and were not prepared for what they were going to see.

A 15-yard taunting penalty on Jadeveon Clowney, while in street clothes on the sidelines during the Titans second-to-last drive certainly didn't help as it led to a field goal

The Texans were hit with 11 penalties in the game, forced zero turnovers and scored just 17 points. 

They open the home portion of the schedule next Sunday against the New York Giants.