by Jim Wyatt – TitansOnline
And boy, did they need it.
Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims intercepted a pass in the end zone in the final moments, and running back Derrick Henryprovided the clincher with a 75-yard touchdown run as the Titans won 24-13 over the Houston Texans.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 15-of-23 passes for 150 yards, and he ran for a touchdown.
After falling behind 10-0, the Titans rallied for 17 straight points to take control, and then got some big plays at the end.
The Titans took the lead 17-10 on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to tight end Delanie Walker with just three seconds left in the third quarter. It capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:17 off the clock.
The Texans cut the lead to 17-13 on a 42-yard field goal by kicker Ka’imi Fairburn with 4:37 left and they were driving late when Sims made his interception in the end zone.
When the Titans got the ball back, Henry busted loose for a long touchdown.
The Titans improved to 8-4 with the win, and remain tied atop the AFC South with the Jaguars, who beat the Colts on Sunday.
Henry led the Titans with 11 carries for 109 yards. Running back DeMarco Murray had 11 carries for 66 yards in the first half.
The Texans took a 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Fairbairn, which followed a fumble on a punt return by Titans return man Adoree’ Jackson.
Tennessee’s first possession ended with a missed 40-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop.
The Texans then took a 10-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Savage to tight end Stephen Anderson, which came with 10:40 remaining in the second quarter.
But the Titans rallied back.
The Titans cut the lead to 10-7 on a nine-yard touchdown run by Mariota, which capped a 10-play, 75 yard drive. Henry put the Titans inside the 10 on a 24-yard run, and the drive was kept alive on a 13-yard pass from Mariota to Murray on third-and-7 from the Houston 46.
On Mariota’s touchdown, he faked the ball to Henry, and then sprinted to left corner of the end zone. He picked up a key block from tight end Jonnu Smith at the goalline.
The Titans tied the game 10-10 at halftime on a 43-yard field goal by Succop, which capped a four-play, 37-yard drive with three seconds before halftime.
The Texans missed a short field goal late in the third quarter.
The Titans travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals next Sunday.