Titans Give One Back in a 22-13 Loss to the Texans

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NASHVILLE – The Titans had a problem with Houston on Sunday.

But the reality is, their biggest problem was themselves.

Even the rain at Nissan Stadium couldn't wash away all of Tennessee's sins in a 22-13 loss to the Houston Texans.

The Titans turned the ball over five times in the contest, including four times on interceptions thrown by quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"We got beat today," Coach Mike Vrabel said. "We turned the ball over five times. You know what I mean? You guys all cover this league. If you don't play well in this league, I don't care who it is, you turn the ball over in this league, you're going to lose. Nobody wants to hear that, nobody believes that, but when you do that, it doesn't matter what the record is. We had five turnovers. They had zero. You're going to lose the game 99 percent of the time (when that happens)."

The loss ended the team's six-game winning streak, as the Titans fell to 8-3.

The Texans (2-8), meanwhile, snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.

"At the end of the day, it all falls squarely upon me -- I have to be better," Tannehill said after the game. "We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. Turnovers, turnover on downs, penalties. We shot ourselves in the foot all day and we've got to be better. It starts with me."

The Titans got off to a terrible start, and things never got better as a comeback effort was derailed by mistakes.

It didn't matter that the Titans outgained the Texans 420 to 190 in total yards, or that they tallied 26 first downs to their 15.

That's because the Titans didn't make enough plays when they needed them while turning the ball again and again.

It's certain to provide a jolt after six straight wins over teams that went to the playoffs in 2020.

"It sucks, it always sucks when you lose in this league," Titans defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons said. "We have to come back and prepare better. We have to play better. We have to communicate better. Props to them, they came to play. … The message coming in Tuesday, get the corrections and move on.

"Next week (we've) got to be better because we are playing another great team with another good quarterback. So, I think the focus is on getting the corrections and moving on."

The Texans took a 6-0 lead on a pair of field goals by kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn. One of the field goals followed an interception thrown by Tannehill, which was returned to the Tennessee six-yard-line.

The Texans extended their lead to 12-0 on a seven-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The Titans, meanwhile, couldn't get much going. The first Tannehill interception killed one drive as the Titans neared the Houston goal line, and later running back Adrian Peterson was stuffed on a 4th and 1 at the Texans 31 to end another late in the first half.

Tennessee's final drive of the first half ended with an intentional grounding call on Tannehill, and the Titans trailed 12-0 at the half.

Things got worse at the start of the second half.

After the defense got a stop, a punt went off the lower leg of Titans returner Chester Rogers, and it was recovered at the five-yard line.

Three plays later, Taylor ran it in again, this time from five yards out, to make it 19-0 with 7:00 left in the third quarter.

The Titans showed some life late in the third quarter, as Tannehill hit receiver Dez Fitzpatrick for an 18-yard touchdown completion to cut the lead to 19-6.

The Titans were driving for more points in the fourth quarter, but a Tannehill pass intended for Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Texans defensive back Desmond King at the one-yard line.

After the Titans cut the lead to 19-13 with 7:47 left when tight end Anthony Firkser recovered teammate Dontrell Hilliard's fumble in the end zone, Tannehill was intercepted by King again in the closing minutes, and the Texans added another field goal with 3:26 left to make it 22-13. Tannehill threw his fourth interception of the game just before the two-minute warning.

"It is the NFL, and everybody has really good players no matter what their record is. Today they showed up and outperformed us," Titans linebacker Jayon Brown said of the Texans. "When you step on the field it is always 50-50 on who is going to win the game. Today, Houston came up with the victory.

"Everybody on the team just has to look at themselves and say, 'What can I do better?' I know I missed some tackles and missed some assignments. I need to work on that, be more of a playmaker for this team and continue to lead by example. I just have to fix myself first and guys on the team will do it as well, because we care and we want to win."

The Titans face at Patriots on Sunday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

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