Game Notes: Titans vs. Texans


TITANS TIE FRANCHISE RECORD FOR BIGGEST WIN INCREASE:By going 9-7, the 2016 Titans improved by six wins over the 2015 squad that went 3-13.  In doing so, the 2016 club matched the biggest one-year win increase in franchise history.  There were two previous seasons in franchise annals in which the team improved by six wins from the previous year: 1967 (one win to seven wins) and 1974 (three wins to nine wins).  Also,Mike MularkeytiedSid Gillmanfor the best win increase in franchise history among those in their first full season as head coach.  Gillman's 1974 Oilers increased by six wins over the 1973 club (1-13 to 7-7).


WITH THE WIN:** The Titans' 24-17 victory in the season finale gave the team at least nine wins in a season for the first time since they went 9-7 in 2011.  The win over the Texans also gave the Titans four consecutive home wins in a season for the first time since 2009.

DRAFT ORDER: With the regular season complete, the Titans know their position in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.  They own the Los Angeles Rams' first-rounder, which will be the fifth-overall pick, as well as their own pick, which will be the 18th overall choice.

2017 OPPONENTS: The 16 opponents the Titans will face during the 2017 regular season are set.  At home, they will face the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders.  On the road, the Titans will play the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.  The games against the Raiders and Dolphins are based upon the 2016 divisional standings (second place opponents in the AFC West and AFC East, respectively).

THIRD DOWN: The Titans converted nine third downs on 15 attempts to tie their season high of 60 percent.  They were nine-of-15 on two prior occasions in 2016—Oct. 23 against Indianapolis and Oct. 27 against Jacksonville. For the season, the Titans converted 46.1 percent of their third downs (100 of 217), which was the third-highest mark in franchise history.  The team's only seasons with a better conversion rate were 1990 (52.2 percent) and 1991 (49.7).

RED ZONE: The Titans scored touchdowns on two of their three trips inside the red zone against the Texans, bringing their season total to 36 touchdowns in 50 chances.  Their 72.0 touchdown percentage led the NFL in 2016.

BIG DAY FOR MATTHEWS: Wide receiver Rishard Matthews led the team with nine receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Texans.  The 2016 free agent addition recorded his sixth career 100-yard receiving game and his third of the season.  In the fourth quarter, he recorded a 50-yard catch, which was the third-longest reception of his career.

MOST YARDS BY A WIDE RECEIVER SINCE 2013: Wide receiver Rishard Matthews led the Titans in 2016 with 945 yards and nine touchdowns on 65 receptions.  Among wide receivers with the Titans, Matthews' yardage total was the highest since Kendall Wright's 1,079 yards in 2013.


MATTHEWS SCORES AGAIN:With a two-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, wide receiverRishard Matthewsbecame the first Titans player with nine touchdown catches in a season sinceKenny Britt** had nine in 2010. Entering the 2016 season, Matthews' four-year career total with the Miami Dolphins was eight touchdowns.

MATTHEWS AND WALKER TIE FOR RECEPTION LEAD IN 2016: Wide receiver Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker tied for the team lead in 2016 with 65 receptions apiece.  It marked the first time that the Titans had two players each with at least 65 receptions since 2004, when Derrick Mason (96 receptions) and Drew Bennett (80) accomplished the feat.

WALKER HAS THREE BEST YARDAGE TOTALS AMONG FRANCHISE TIGHT ENDS: With five receptions for 35 yards against the Texans, tight end Delanie Walker improved his season totals to 800 yards and seven touchdowns on 65 catches.  On a seven-yard reception in the first quarter, he passed Frank Wycheck's 1998 total of 768 receiving yards for the season.  By doing that, Walker now owns the top three receiving yardage seasons in franchise history among tight ends.  He set the team's record for tight ends with 890 yards in 2014 and broke the mark with 1,088 yards in 2015.

MARIANI RECORDS FIRST CARRY SINCE 2011: In the second quarter, Marc Mariani took a handoff and went 15 yards for a first down.  It was his second career rushing attempt and his first since 2011.

CASSEL DELIVERS WIN IN FIRST START AS A TITAN: With Marcus Mariota placed on injured reserve during the week with a leg injury, 12th-year veteran Matt Cassel recorded his first start as a member of the Titans.  Cassel, who was signed during the 2016 offseason as a free agent, recorded his 80th career start and completed 16 of 26 passes for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  His two-yard touchdown toss to wide receiver Rishard Matthews in the second quarter was his 103rd career touchdown pass.

MURRAY WINS AFC RUSHING TITLE: With 21 yards against the Texans, running back DeMarco Murray improved his 2016 totals to 293 carries for 1,287 yards and nine touchdowns.  Murray, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade during the 2016 offseason, led the AFC in rushing during his first season with the Titans.  The only NFL players with more rushing yards than Murray were Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys (1,631) and Jordan Howard (1,313) of the Chicago Bears.


HENRY LEADS TEAM, SETS CAREER HIGH:Running backDerrick Henry** led the Titans with 15 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Texans.  His yardage total set a new career high, which was previously 60 yards against Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Chicago on Nov. 27.

HENRY THIRD ROOKIE IN "TITANS ERA" WITH FIVE TOUCHDOWNS: In the third quarter, Derrick Henry scored his fifth touchdown of the season on a two-yard run.  On the touchdown drive, Henry had 33 total yards, including 30 yards on six carries and three yards on one catch. Henry became the third rookie for the franchise in the "Titans era" to score at least five touchdowns in a season, joining Vince Young (seven rushing touchdowns in 2006) and Chris Johnson (nine rushing and one receiving in 2008).

RUSHING DEFENSE: The Titans allowed the Texans only 46 total rushing yards on 22 attempts.  It marked the fourth time in 2016 they kept their opponents under 50 rushing yards.  The Titans finished the 2016 campaign with the NFL's second-ranked run defense, allowing only 88.3 rushing yards per game.  Only the Dallas Cowboys (83.5) were better.

FIRST-HALF SHUTOUT FOR DEFENSE: The Titans defense held the Texans scoreless in the first half.  It was the Titans' fourth time in 2016 to shut out their opponents in the first half.

MOST SACKS SINCE 2010: With four sacks against Houston, the Titans improved their season sack total to 40, their highest total since they recorded 40 sacks as a team in 2010.


CASEY POSTS TWO SACKS:Defensive tackleJurrell Caseyled the defense and tied his career high with two sacks in the contest.  In the second quarter, he sackedBrock Osweiler** for an eight-yard loss to the Houston two-yard line.  Then, in the fourth quarter, he helped stop the Texans' final drive with a six-yard sack.  Casey's effort against the Texans gave him five sacks in 2016 and 33 career sacks, which ranks 11th in franchise history.

SPENCE FORCES TURNOVER: In the first quarter, linebacker Sean Spence blitzed and knocked the ball out of the hands of Texans quarterback Tom Savage, recording his career-high third sack of the season and his first career forced fumble.  The ball was recovered in the end zone by DaQuan Jones for a touchdown.

JONES SCORES FIRST TOUCHDOWN: Early in the first quarter, defensive end DaQuan Jones recovered a Tom Savage fumble (forced by Sean Spence) in the end zone to give the Titans the lead.  It was Jones' second fumble recovery and his first career touchdown.  It was the team's first defensive score since Dec. 6, 2015, when Wesley Woodyard returned a fumble for a score against Jacksonville.


STAFFORD RECORDS SACK ON FOURTH DOWN:In the second quarter, safetyDaimion StaffordsackedBrock Osweiler** for a six-yard loss on fourth down.  It was Stafford's third career sack and his first of 2016.

SUCCOP REACHES 100: On an extra point in the first quarter, kicker Ryan Succop recorded his fifth career season with at least 100 points and his first such season with the Titans. He became the first Titans player with 100 points in a season since kicker Rob Bironas (116) in 2013.

SUCCOP EXTENDS STREAK: With a field goal of 35 yards in the fourth quarter, kicker Ryan Succop extended his streak to 36 successful field goals from inside 50 yards, dating back to 2014. He already broke Al Del Greco's franchise record of 24 consecutive made field goals from inside 50 yards, set from 1995–1996.  Succop's streak is the longest active one of its kind among all NFL kickers.

SUCCOP'S OTHER STREAK: Ryan Succop finished the 2016 campaign by making his last 16 field goal attempts.  It ranks as the seventh-longest field goal streak in franchise history.  The streak is the second-longest of his career, behind only a 22-kick streak in 2011 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

SUCCOP'S PERCENTAGE THIRD IN TEAM HISTORY: Ryan Succop made 22 of his 24 field goal attempts in 2016.  His 91.7 percent rate was the best single-season performance of his career and the third-best percentage in franchise history.  Among all Titans/Oilers kickers in a single season, only Rob Bironas in 2010 (92.3 percent) and Al Del Greco in 1998 (92.3) fared better.

SEVEN TITANS RECORD 16TH START: Seven Titans recorded their 16th start of 2016: right tackle Jack Conklin, center Ben Jones, defensive end DaQuan Jones, left tackle Taylor Lewan, running back DeMarco Murray, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and inside linebacker Avery Williamson.

INACTIVES: The seven inactive Titans were wide receiver Kendall Wright, cornerback Jason McCourty, defensive back Curtis Riley, linebacker David Bass, guard Sebastian Tretola, tight end Jace Amaro and defensive end Angelo Blackson. McCourty (chest) was listed as questionable on the injury report leading up to the game.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 17 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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