Frustration Continues in 20-6 Loss to Texans


HOUSTON —The questions keep coming, but right now, the Titans don't have the answers.

Counting Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Texans here at NRG Stadium, the frustration level reached an all-time high, as the team's losing streak stretched to six games.

"You get tired of talking about the same thing,'' cornerback Jason McCourty said. "It's frustrating, it's disappointing. At the end of the day you can talk until you are blue in the face but until you win some games it really doesn't matter.

"If I knew (what was wrong), we wouldn't be in this position. I think for us right now, we just have to keep going to work."

Deep in the heart of Texas, it was another long Sunday for the Titans.

And this one cut deep.

Looking to rebound against a struggling Texans team, the Titans couldn't get anything going on offense, and some blunders hurt them on special teams. Turnovers, three in all, also helped doom the Titans, who dropped to 1-6. The Texans, meanwhile, improved to 3-5.

"It is hard when you lose games,'' coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "It is hard when you lose one game, much less what's happened the last six. The defense is playing really well, and that gives you a chance. You have to fix that special teams mistakes and we have to do a better job offensively. You have to keep working.

"There's a lot of things we were not good at today, on the offensive side of the ball."

Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was under attack throughout in this one.

Mettenberger, who started for the second straight week in place of an injured Marcus Mariota, was sacked seven times in the contest. He also lost a fumble, and was intercepted. The Texans tied a single-game franchise record with seven sacks. Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus had 3.5 sacks, while defensive lineman J.J. Watt had 2.5 sacks.

Titans tackle Taylor Lewan was critical of his own play afterward, and acknowledged the offensive line needs to improve. Whisenhunt said the team lost one-on-one matchups throughout.

"It is tough -- it is never fun losing,'' said Mettenberger, who finished the game 22-of-31 for 171 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. "I don't think we are getting down on ourselves. We are pissed off that we let another one go. We have a lot of football games to go, and it takes one win to turn things around and get things going."

The Titans got on the scoreboard first, capping off a long drive with a 35-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop to make it 3-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Texans scored 10 points in less than three minutes to take a 10-3 lead, however. Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer connected with receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 21-yard touchdown to make it 7-3, and after Titans returner Bishop Sankey fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Texans cashed it in for three more points to take a 10-3 lead with 11:34 left in the second quarter.

It was 10-3 at the half.

The Titans cut the lead to 10-6 midway through the third quarter on a 44-yard field goal by Succop.

But the Texans quickly answered back, as Texans receiver Nate Washington beat Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh in the middle of the field to score on a 42-yard touchdown strike from Hoyer, making it 17-6 with 3:38 left in the third quarter.

On Tennessee's next possession, Mettenberger was sacked, and he fumbled. The Texans recovered it, and cashed it in for three more points, making it 20-6 with 12:33 remaining.

Despite a solid showing from their defense, the Titans couldn't rally, in large part because they couldn't keep drives alive – they were 1-of-12 on third down (8 percent).

"We didn't get it done, it's plain and simple,'' tight end Delanie Walker said. "Of course it is wearing on me. Losing games like we have been losing them is a tough cookie to swallow. We shot ourselves in the foot. …

"I don't think we lost our confidence, we just need more of it."

The Titans face the Saints next Sunday in New Orleans.

"At this point you can't fire everybody and start over, you have to keep going,'' McCourty said. "Obviously at 1 and 6, some things aren't right and we try and make corrections very week."


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