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Six Things That Stood Out

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Six Things That Stood Out for Titans in Sunday's Overtime Loss to the Texans


NASHVILLE – The Titans lost 19-16 in overtime to the Texans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a look at six things that stood out in the contest:

Nowhere to Run

Titans running back Derrick Henry hasn't had many stat lines that look like this: 16 carries, nine yards, and a 0.6-yard average. For Henry, it was tough to stomach. "It's tough," said Henry, shaking his head. "It's definitely tough, man. I don't really have words. It just wasn't good enough." After the game, Henry was asked if he's contemplated his career with the franchise might be nearing an end. Henry vowed to keep working. "Definitely today, you had that feeling," Henry said. "We had hopes of kind of slipping in (the playoffs), and then being eliminated, with three games left. I have been here my whole career. You definitely want to go out strong, which that isn't the case. I just want to try and give my all these last three games and leave it all on the field."

Levis Sacked Seven Times, and Injured

Titans quarterback Will Levis was sacked seven times in the contest, and on the season the team has allowed 50 sacks. The sight of Levis getting injured when he was sacked in overtime added insult to injury, because Levis was in fact injured when his leg got caught up under a defender. "It's probably one of the worst feelings in the world playing this sport," tackle Dillon Radunz said of the shaky protection, and Levis getting hurt. "The guy you protect, the guy you are supposed to be holding up (for), he's supposed to have trust in us. We have to be way better for Will." Levis walked out of the post-game press conference with a limp, and he'll be evaluated by the team's medical staff. "I'm all right," Levis said immediately after the game. "It could have been a lot worse. It was definitely scarier in the moment. We'll see what the trainers say."

Shaky Run Defense

The Titans didn't hold up against the run. Texans running back Devin Singletary ran for 121 yards in the contest, with a 19-yard run included. On the day, the Texans ran for 148 yards. The Texans got themselves out of holes with runs, and frustrated Tennessee's defense. "We'll watch the tape and we'll be able to see," Coach Mike Vrabel said. "But maybe some missed tackles and misfits or just—probably usually missed tackles. We'll have to do a better job there. But I feel like we were able to get some really great stops throughout the day. Don't want to give up those type of rushing yards. But give those guys a lot of credit, defensively for us, that did a good job on third down."

Sputtering Offense

The Titans started out like gangbusters. After getting an early three-and-out on defense, the offense drove the ball 83 yards on 11 plays and capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run by Levis, who completed long completions to Treylon Burks (37 yards) and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (33 yards) on the drive. On their next possession, a 20-yard completion to Burks set another drive in motion. But the Titans offense looked stagnant most the day. The team managed just 14 first downs, 204 yards of offense and was just 5-of-15 on third down. "Yeah, we just couldn't get it done and never got it rolling," Levis said. "We had a couple of drives where we had spurts here and there, but the rest of the day I just felt like we got up to the ball and we didn't have that same confidence, I felt like. So, we got to keep doing a better job of everyone focusing on their job and focusing on their keys. But can't have a day offensively like that."

Elijah Molden's Pick-6

The Titans made some plays on defense. Defensive lineman Denico Autry tallied a pair of sacks, Harold Landry impacted the game in stretches, and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair had a team-high 13 tackles. The biggest play of the day on defense was made by defensive back Elijah Molden, who intercepted Texans quarterback Case Keenum and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. Molden now has two interceptions in his career, and he returned both of them for touchdowns. "My eyes were on the quarterback, and we were in zone," Molden said. "He kind of threw it right to me. There was miscommunication between him and the running back and I was there." On this day, however, the Titans needed more game-changing plays.

Officially Eliminated

The Titans have now lost two games in overtime this season, and four games by four points or less, including losses by one (Saints), four (Steelers), three (Colts) and three (Texans). The Titans are now 5-9, with six of those losses coming by eight points or less. It all adds up to this painful reality: The Titans are now officially eliminated from playoff contention. "We felt like we had a chance to be close to slipping in if we won out," a dejected Henry said after the game. "It's tough, knowing we have three (games) left. There's definitely a sour taste in your mouth. But there's three games and we have to try to do the best we can to win those and finish the season on a positive note."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 15 at Nissan Stadium.

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