HOUSTON – The Titans had a problem in Houston.
Many of them, in fact, in a 26-3 loss to the Texans.
Titans quarterback Will Levis left the game midway through the second quarter with a foot injury after being sacked. Levis left the field on a cart, and he did not return.
"We'll see how it is," Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said of Levis after the game. "I don't think it is anything that is going to be too, too serious. He couldn't finish the game. So, we'll see where things are tomorrow."
Vrabel said it's a different injury than the left ankle injury Levis had been dealing with this season.
It was all part of disappointing end to the calendar year for the Titans, who dropped to 5-11 with the loss.
"We didn't finish, and there were mistakes," Vrabel said. "You have to go out there and be able to make plays, make some guys miss, make some tackles, complete some contested catches. Same thing on defense. We have to be able to (make plays)."
Running back Derrick Henry managed 42 rushing yards for the Titans. Henry went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season in the contest.
But it was little consolation after another loss.
"It's the same thing," Henry said. "We just didn't make plays to win. We all didn't play well enough as a group."
Things started unraveling early in this one, and the Titans couldn't make it very interesting.
The Texans outgained the Titans 312 to 187 in total yards, while holding the Titans to just 11 first downs.
"Obviously the frustration level is high," tackle Dillon Radunz said. "We have to execute better."
The Texans took a 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal by kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn, after the Titans stiffened up near the goal line. On Tennessee's opening possession, Titans receiver Treylon Burks let a deep ball go of his hands after he'd gotten behind defenders, costing the team an early opportunity for a big play.
The Titans made another costly blunder late in the first quarter, after appearing to force a three-and-out on defense. Caleb Murphy ran into Houston's punter on a 4th and 5 at the 11, however, which gave the Texans a first down. The Texans then used the momentum to put together a 13-play, 94-yard drive and took a 10-0 lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Stroud to tight end Brevin Jordan.
Then disaster struck again, as Levis was sacked, and injured again. Texans defensive end Jerry Hughes broke free to sack Levis, who lost the ball, and Texans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins picked up the loose ball and ran it in for a touchdown from 13 yards out, which made it 17-0 at the 10:02 mark of the second quarter.
Levis, who missed last week's game against the Seahawks after suffering an ankle injury against the Texans on December 17, made it to the sideline, limping, before being put on a cart. Levis exited the sideline on a cart, and he headed through the tunnel and to the team's locker room.
Ryan Tannehill entered the contest, and he finished the game after the team officially downgraded Levis to out. Tannehill was sacked five times in the contest as the offense was unable to sustain, and finish drives.
"We have to do a better job of executing all around," said Tannehill, who completed 16-of-20 passes for 168 yards in the contest in relief of Levis. "If it's blocking, then blocking, if it's catching, throwing, whatever the case may be we just have to do a better job of doing our jobs."
The Texans stretched their lead to 20-0 on another Fairbairn field goal with 4:17 left in the second quarter.
The Titans could never get much going in this one.
The team got its first points on a 53-yard field goal by kicker Nick Folk on the final play of the first half, which made it 20-3 at the half.
The Texans then stretched the lead to 23-3 on another Fairbairn field goal early in the third quarter. The Texans stretched the lead to 26-3 on another Fairbairn field goal in the fourth quarter.
Overall, there weren't many positives in this one, although a pair of Titans reached milestones. In addition to Henry going over 1,000 yards for the fifth time on his career, receiver DeAndre Hopkins also eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards for the seventh time in his career in his first season with the Titans.
The Titans wrap up the season next weekend against the Jaguars at Nissan Stadium.
"It is tough," linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair said. "We just have to keep working, and keep showing up. … At the end of the day you have to do (better) on a weekly basis. We just haven't been consistent."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 17 at NRG Stadium.