Game Notes: Titans at Texans

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TEAM NOTES

·         The Titans finished the regular season with a record of 9-7 and secured the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. They will visit the third-seed and AFC East champion New England Patriots in the wild card round. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST/7:15 p.m. CST on Saturday, Jan. 4. The matchup will be televised on CBS.

·         The Titans earned their second playoff berth under fourth-year general manager Jon Robinson and their first playoff appearance under second-year head coach Mike Vrabel.

·         The Titans secured their fourth consecutive winning season, marking their first time to do so since winning at least nine games every year from 1987–1993.

·         The Titans finished the regular season with a 5-3 road record and the team's first road winning percentage above .500 since it went 6-2 (.750) in 2008.

·         The Titans earned their first win at Houston since Dec. 1, 2012.

·         The Titans now know all 16 opponents for the 2020 season. They will host the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills. They will travel to play the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos.

·         The Titans scored 35 points against the Texans, giving the team its fifth game of 2019 with at least 35 points. In franchise history, only the 1960 (five games) and 1961 (seven) teams scored 35 points five or more times prior to 2019.

·         The Titans had eight players who recorded starts in all 16 games during the regular season: safety Kevin Byard, tackle Jack Conklin, linebacker Rashaan Evans, defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, outside linebacker Harold Landry III, cornerback Logan Ryan, guard Rodger Saffold and safety Kenny Vaccaro.

TEAM NOTES – OFFENSE

·         The Titans converted 50.0 percent on third down (five of 10), tying for their third-highest percentage of the season.

·         The Titans offense totaled 467 net yards at Houston, their third-highest number of the season. Their six games in 2019 with at least 400 yards tied for the third-best total in franchise history and the most since 1991 (six). 

·         The Titans rushed for a season-high 245 yards at Houston, the most by the team since a 264-yard rushing game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 6, 2018.

·         The Titans offense did not allow a sack for the third time in 2019.

·         The Titans' 245 rushing yards were the fourth-most by the team in franchise history in a game in which they also did not allow a sack. It was the most rushing yards by the club in a sackless game since Nov. 1, 2009 against Jacksonville (305).

·         The Titans scored touchdowns on all three of their drives in the red zone. They improved their season totals to 34 touchdowns on 45 red zone trips for an NFL-leading rate of 75.6 percent.

·         The Titans' 75.6 percentage scoring touchdowns in the red zone was the NFL's third-best percentage since 1991 and the best percentage since the 2013 Denver Broncos (76.1).

·         The Titans scored touchdowns on all three goal-to-go possessions, bringing their season totals to 22 touchdowns on 25 goal-to-go drives in 2019. Their rate of 88.0 percent in 2019 ranked first in the NFL through the afternoon games of Dec. 29.

·         The Titans offense scored a touchdown on its opening possession of the game, marching 75 yards in four plays. It was the Titans' first opening drive for a touchdown in 2019.

·         From the first quarter to the second quarter, the Titans went on a 16-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that took 8 minutes and 4 seconds. The last scoring drive the Titans had that went 16 or more plays was a 16-play touchdown drive against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 30, 2018.

·         On a 10-play, 78-yard drive for a touchdown to begin the third quarter, all 10 plays by the Titans were rushing attempts.

·         The Titans offense's 5,805 total net yards in 2019 ranked fourth in franchise history and amounted to the team's highest total since 1991 (5,987).

·         The Titans' 2,223 rushing yards in 2019 were the most by the team since 2009 (2,592) and ranked seventh in franchise history.

TEAM NOTES – DEFENSE

·         The Titans defense combined for four sacks against the Texans. It was the unit's 10th game in 2019 with at least three sacks, giving the team its highest number of three-sack performances since 2000, when the defense posted three or more sacks on 12 different occasions. 

·         The Titans defense recorded its fourth-best percentage of the season on third down, limiting the Texans to 25 percent (3-of-12).

WR A.J. BROWN

·         Tallied 124 yards on four receptions (31.0 avg.), including a 51-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. His 124 yards gave him his third-best total of his rookie season.

·         Improved his 2019 season totals to 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns. He led all NFL rookies in receiving yards.

·         His 20.2-yard receiving average in 2019 ranked second among all qualifying NFL players, finishing behind only the Los Angeles Chargers' Mike Williams at 20.4 yards per reception. Brown's receiving average also tied (Drew Hill, 1987) for the sixth-best figure in franchise history among qualifiers.

·         Ranked third in team history for receiving yards by a rookie. Only Bill Groman (1,473 yards in 1960) and Ernest Givins (1,062 in 1986) had more.

·         Ranked fifth in franchise history for receptions by a rookie. Only Bill Groman (72 in 1960), Kendall Wright (64 in 2012), Ernest Givins (61 in 1986) and Sid Blanks (56 in 1964) had more.

·         Tied for third in franchise history for touchdown receptions by a rookie. In addition to Brown, only Bill Groman (12 in 1960), Chris Sanders (nine in 1995) and Mac Haik (eight in 1968) had at least eight touchdown catches as rookies.

·         Posted his fourth touchdown reception of the season of at least 50 yards. Since 1970, he is the fourth rookie with at least four touchdown receptions of 50 yards or more and the first since Randy Moss (five in 1998). The others on the list are Isaac Curtis (1973) and Willie Gault (1983).

·         Caught a 47-yard pass in the fourth quarter to set up a touchdown. It was his NFL-leading ninth scrimmage play of the season to go at least 45 yards.

·         Registered his fourth consecutive game (rushing or receiving) with at least one touchdown. He is the franchise's first rookie to do so since Chris Sanders (five games) in 1995.

·         On a 24-yard reception in the second quarter, he went over 1,000 receiving yards on the season. He became the team's first 1,000-yard receiver since tight end Delanie Walker in 2015 (1,088) and the franchise's third rookie 1,000-yard receiver, joining Bill Groman (1,473 yards in 1960) and Ernest Givins (1,062 yards in 1986).

·         Joined John Jefferson (1978), Bill Brooks (1986) and Randy Moss (1998) as the NFL's only rookies since 1970 to have a minimum of 50 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns while averaging at least 17.0 yards per catch.

·         Led all NFL rookies with five 100-yard receiving games in 2019. He became the franchise's first rookie to have five 100-yard receiving games since Bill Groman (nine 100-yard games) in 1960.

S KEVIN BYARD

·         Intercepted a pass from AJ McCarron in the fourth quarter. It gave Byard a team-high five interceptions in 2019.

·         Leads the NFL with 17 interceptions since the beginning of the 2017 season.

DT JURRELL CASEY

·         Sacked AJ McCarron for a nine-yard loss to end the second quarter. It was his fifth sack of 2019 and the 51st sack of his career.

·         Registered his seventh consecutive season with at least five sacks. Since individual sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982, Casey is the second franchise player to have five sacks in seven consecutive seasons—and the first in the "Titans era" (1999–present). Former Oilers defensive lineman Ray Childress tallied at least five sacks for nine straight seasons from 1986–1994.

OLB KAMALEI CORREA

·         Recorded an eight-yard sack in the second quarter. It gave him a career-high five sacks in 2019 and 8.5 sacks in his career. He had a sack in four of the final five contests to end the regular season.

WR COREY DAVIS

·         Tied for the team lead with four receptions for 44 yards.

·         Finished the season with 601 yards and two touchdowns on 43 receptions.

WR RASHARD DAVIS

·         Registered his first NFL reception in the second quarter, snaring a 16-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to convert a third down.

·         Also returned two punts for nine yards in his first action as an NFL returner.

RB DERRICK HENRY

·         Rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries. His 211 rushing yards made up the second-best total of his career and the fifth-best single-game total in franchise history.

·         Owns two of the team's top-five rushing games in franchise annals, including his performance at Houston and his franchise-record 238 rushing yards against Jacksonville on Dec. 6, 2018.

·         Claimed the NFL's 2019 rushing title with 1,540 yards on 303 carries (5.1 avg.). The next-closest finisher was Cleveland's Nick Chubb, who had 1,494 rushing yards. Henry joined Billy Cannon (AFL, 1961), Earl Campbell (1978-80) and Chris Johnson (2009) as the only running backs in franchise history to lead their respective leagues in rushing.

·         Rushed for a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter and added fourth-quarter touchdown runs of one yard and 53 yards. It marked his second career game with three or more touchdowns.

·         Tied for the NFL lead with 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019 (Aaron Jones) and ranked third in the NFL with 18 total touchdowns.

·         Finished with the fourth-best rushing yardage total in franchise history. His campaign was topped only by Chris Johnson in 2009 (2,006 rushing yards), Earl Campbell in 1980 (1,934) and Campbell in 1979 (1,697).

·         Hit the 100-yard mark on an eight-yard carry in the third quarter. He notched his career-high sixth 100-yard rushing game of 2019 and his 11th career 100-yard rushing game, including playoffs. 

·         Finished second in franchise history with 16 rushing touchdowns during the season. Earl Campbell holds the record with 19.

·         With 16 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in 2019, Henry tied Bill Groman (18 touchdowns in 1961) for the second-highest number of total touchdowns in a season in franchise history. Earl Campbell's 19 total touchdowns (all rushing) in 1979 are the most for the franchise.

·         With 38 career rushing touchdowns, he passed Steve McNair (36) for fourth place on the franchise's all-time rushing touchdowns list.

·         His 108 points in 2019 tied for the second-most by a non-kicker in franchise history (114 by Earl Campbell in 1979; 108 by Bill Groman in 1961).

·         Registered his seventh career rushing touchdown of 50-plus yards, which leads the NFL since he entered the NFL in 2016.

P BRETT KERN

·         Averaged 47.3 gross yards and 41.0 net yards on four punts with two punts placed inside the 20. His 37 punts inside the 20 during the season ranked second in his career (39 in 2018) and led the NFL in 2019 through the afternoon games of Dec. 29.

TE MYCOLE PRUITT

·         Recorded a one-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. It was his first touchdown reception of 2019 and his second career touchdown reception. He totaled two catches for 13 yards.

OLB DERICK ROBERSON

·         Dropped AJ McCarron for an eight-yard sack in the first quarter. The sack, which came on third down, gave the undrafted rookie three sacks in a two-game span.

CB LOGAN RYAN

·         Sacked AJ McCarron for an eight-yard loss in the fourth quarter. The play gave Ryan a career-high 4.5 sacks in 2019, surpassing his previous high of four sacks in 2018. He has 11 career sacks, including 8.5 since 2018, which ranks second among NFL defensive backs (Jamal Adams).

QB RYAN TANNEHILL

·         Completed 13 of 20 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 130.8. It was his sixth performance in the last seven games with a passer rating of 130 or better.

·         Led the NFL in passer rating in 2019. His totals in the regular season included 201-of-286 passing for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 117.5. His 117.5 passer rating was the best in franchise history, surpassing Steve McNair's 100.4 passer rating in 2003.

·         Established the fourth-highest single-season passer rating in NFL history. His 117.5 passer rating is surpassed in league annals by only Aaron Rodgers' 122.5 passer rating in 2011, Peyton Manning's 121.1 in 2004 and Nick Foles' 119.2 in 2013.

·         Joined Steve McNair as the only franchise quarterbacks to lead the NFL in passing since the current passer rating system was implemented in 1973.

·         Completed a 51-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown in the first quarter and added a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt in the second quarter. He registered his seventh consecutive game with at least two touchdown passes, which extended the best streak of his career (five in 2015). Tannehill joined Marcus Mariota (eight consecutive games in 2016) as the only quarterbacks in franchise history with at least seven consecutive games with two or more touchdown passes.

·         Registered his 10th consecutive game with at least one touchdown pass, the longest streak by a Titans quarterback since Steve McNair (10) from 2003 to 2004. 

·         Became the third qualifying passer in NFL history to have a season with at least a 70.0 completion percentage and an average of at least 9.0 yards per attempt, joining Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana. In 1989, Montana was named the NFL MVP after completing 70.2 percent of his passes (271 of 386) and averaging 9.1 yards per attempt (3,521 yards). In 1945, Baugh completed 70.3 percent of his passes (128 of 182) and averaged 9.2 yards per attempt (1,669 yards).

·         Established new franchise single-season records for completion percentage (70.7) and yards per attempt (9.6). He ranked third in the NFL in 2019 in completion percentage, while his 9.6-yard passing average not only led the league but ranked fourth in the NFL since 1960.

·         Rushed for a 19-yard gain on the offense's first snap.

·         Appeared in his 100th career NFL game.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Sunday's Week 17 matchup at NRG Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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