TITANS FINISH 9-7, MISS PLAYOFFS: The Titans finished with a 9-7 record in 2011, recording their first season above .500 since 2008 as well as their ninth season at .500 or better in the last 13 seasons. The Titans were the only NFL team in 2011 to finish with nine wins and not make the playoffs. The Titans improved to 3-3 vs. the AFC South in 2011, splitting all three division series.
MUNCHAK RECORDS NINTH WIN IN FIRST SEASON: Mike Munchak became the sixth head coach in team history to get to nine wins in his first season, joining Lou Rymkus (10 in 1960), Wally Lemm (nine in 1961), Frank "Pop" Ivy (11 in 1962), O.A. "Bum" Phillips (10 in 1975) and Jack Pardee (nine in 1990).
GAME-WINNING DRIVE BY HASSELBECK: With his 23-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington in the fourth quarter, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck authored his 20th career game-winning drive, which is defined as a series in which his team takes the lead for good in the fourth quarter or overtime after the team trailed or was tied at the start of the fourth quarter.
HASSELBECK REACHES 3,500, RANKS FOURTH IN FRANCHISE HISTORY: On a 55-yard pass to Nate Washington in the third quarter, Matt Hasselbeck went over the 3,500-yard passing mark for the third time in his 13-year career. Additionally, Hasselbeck became the only player in franchise history other than Hall of Famer Warren Moon to reach the 3,500-yard barrier. Moon accomplished the feat three times—all consecutively—from 1989 through 1991. Hasselbeck's total of 3,571 passing yards in 2011 ranks fourth in franchise history and is the highest total of any Titans/Oilers quarterback in his first season with the franchise (rookie or free agent signee).
HASSELBECK PASSES FOR 18TH TOUCHDOWN: Matt Hasselbeck recorded two touchdown passes against the Texans: a one-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery in the second quarter and a 23-yard touchdown to Nate Washington in the fourth quarter. Hasselbeck's 18 total touchdown passes in 2011 are the most by a Titans quarterback since Billy Volek's 18 touchdown strikes in 2004.
BIG PLAY PUTS WASHINGTON AT 1,000: On a 55-yard reception in the third quarter, Titans wide receiver Nate Washington reached the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career. It marked the first time a Titans player reached the receiving mark since Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason each exceeded 1,000 yards in 2004. Washington led the Titans in every receiving category in 2011, recording 74 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.
WASHINGTON SETS CAREER HIGH IN TOUCHDOWNS: Nate Washington caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, hauling in a 23-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck. The score gave Washington a career-leading seven touchdown receptions in 2011, which also led the team. Washington topped his previous high of six touchdown catches, a mark he reached in each of the previous two seasons.
WASHINGTON EXTENDS STREAK: With a six-yard catch in the first quarter, wide receiver Nate Washington extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 62 (48 games with the Titans).
JOHNSON GETS TO 1,000: On a four-yard carry on the final play of the first quarter, running back Chris Johnson reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the fourth consecutive season. He rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries against the Texans and finished the 2011 season with 1,047 yards on 262 carries (4.0 avg.). He became the third player in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons, joining Eddie George (five seasons from 1996-00) and Earl Campbell (four from 1978-81). Additionally, Johnson is only the 12th NFL player in the 16-game schedule era (since 1978) to record 1,000 or more rushing yards in his first four NFL seasons, along with George, Campbell, Curtis Martin (1995-04), Barry Sanders (1989-98), LaDainian Tomlinson (2001-08), Eric Dickerson (1983-89), Corey Dillon (1997-02), Jamal Lewis (2000-04), Terrell Davis (1995-98), Adrian Peterson (2007-10) and Clinton Portis (2002-05).
COOK'S TOTAL SECOND AMONG FRANCHISE TIGHT ENDS IN A SINGLE SEASON: Jared Cook caught four passes for 63 yards against the Texans. He finished the season ranked second on the team with a career-high 759 receiving yards, a total that also ranks second in franchise history by a tight end behind only Frank Wycheck's 768 yards in 1998.
BIRONAS EXTENDS RECORD: With a 43-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter, Rob Bironas extended his NFL record with his 10th consecutive game with a field goal of 40 yards or longer. With additional field goals of 21 and 33 yards, Bironas finished the season with 121 points, the seventh-best total in franchise history and the third-best total of his career. He also concluded the season with 15 consecutive made field goals, a streak that ranks sixth in team annals.
ROOS STARTS EVERY GAME AGAIN: Tackle Michael Roos capped his seventh consecutive season with starts in all 16 games. He has started every contest—112 total—since he was drafted by the Titans in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
AVERY'S FIRST CATCH WITH THE TITANS A BIG ONE: On his first reception of the season, wide receiver Donnie Avery scored on a one-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck. Prior to his game against the Texans, Avery's last touchdown came on Nov. 29, 2009 as a member of the St. Louis Rams. While still with the Rams, he suffered a season-ending knee injury during the 2010 preseason. He was signed by the Titans as a free agent on Sept. 28 but had not posted a reception in seven games. He finished with three catches for 45 yards against Houston.
MORGAN, CASEY SPLIT SACK: Defensive end Derrick Morgan and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey were credited with a shared sack of T.J. Yates on the Texans' first offensive play. It gave Morgan 2.5 sacks in his second year. Casey added another sack of Jake Delhomme later in the game to finish the season with 2.5 sacks in his rookie campaign.
BALL FORCES TURNOVER: In the second quarter, defensive end Dave Ball sacked Jake Delhomme and forced a fumble that was recovered by safety Chris Hope. The play gave Ball four sacks in 2011 and 15.5 in his career. It was his second forced fumble of this season (third career). It led to a Titans touchdown on the ensuing drive.
KERN SETS FRANCHISE SINGLE-SEASON NET AVERAGE RECORD: Brett Kern punted six times for a 47.7-yard gross average, a 45.8-yard net average and four punts inside the 20. His net average tied his season high. Additionally, Kern's big day helped him set a new franchise record. His 39.4-yard net average in 2011 qualifies as the highest in franchise history, topping Craig Hentrich's previous franchise high of 39.2 yards, set in 1998.
TITANS INACTIVES: The Titans' seven inactive players against the Texans were quarterback Rusty Smith, fullback Quinn Johnson, linebacker Gerald McRath, center Kevin Matthews, tackle Byron Stingily, defensive lineman Jason Jones and defensive tackle Shaun Smith. McRath (knee/ankle), Jones (ankle) and Smith (knee) were listed on the injury report going into the game.