NASHVILLE – Wow.
The never-say-die Titans did it again on Sunday, rallying for a 42-36 overtime win over the Texans in dramatic fashion in what was the 100th all-time win at Nissan Stadium.
It was a memorable one for sure.
Lined up in the "Wildcat" formation, Titans running back Derrick Henry bulldozed his way into end the zone on a five-yard touchdown run to cap a six-play, 82-yard drive on the opening possession in overtime. It sent the Nissan Stadium crowd of 10,166 into a high-fiving frenzy as players celebrated on the field.
"Told the guys, 'Let's go win it. This is our opportunity. Let's go take advantage and go win it'," Tannehill told his Titans teammates at the start of overtime. "I haven't been involved in too many overtime games. To be able to win the way we did, with tying it up as basically time expired and then win on the first drive of overtime, was huge. And a ton of fun for sure."
The Titans appeared to be dead in the water late at the end of regulation, after the Texans went up by a touchdown with just 1:52 left.
But then Tannehill directed a gut-check drive in the closing minutes, connecting with receiver A.J. Brown on a seven-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left to force overtime.
"I can't tell you the call, but I just told (Ryan) to throw me the ball no matter what. Just throw it up. I'll make a play," Brown said. "(I just had to) make sure I secured the catch and make sure I tried to get my feet down.
"Winning is fun, and right now we love this feeling. Next week we are going to try to do 1-0 again."
Tannehill completed 30-of-41 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns in the contest, and he directed several gut-check drives late.
Henry ran for 212 yards, including an electrifying 94-yard touchdown run. Henry posted a career-high 264 yards of all-purpose yards in the contest, and the team is now 16-0 in games when Henry goes over 100 rushing yards.
The Titans became the first team in NFL history with a 350+ yard passer and a 200-plus yard rusher in the same game.
Tight end Anthony Firkser also stepped up big time for the Titans on Sunday, catching eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Firkser made some big catches late. And on a day when the defense struggled to get stops, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons recorded a sack and two quarterback hits, and was a disruptive force throughout.
"I'm praising my teammates -- those guys are incredible," Henry said. "Other guys make plays, it wasn't me. I just had to go out there and do my job. A lot of guys were big in critical moments, all my teammates. Just happy to be on this team, happy to be part of this organization. We're 5-0 playing good team football no matter what. No matter how the game is going, we're going to stay together and finish games. Just happy to be on this team. All my teammates are doing an incredible job and hats off to them. Ain't nothing about me."
Yes, the Titans improved to 5-0 with the win.
The team now has a career record of 100-75 at Nissan Stadium, where the Titans have won 23 of the last 31 games played.
"I give our guys credit," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "I give our guys credit for fighting, being tuned into the situation. Guys stepping up when I they have to. Taking advantage of the opportunities all throughout our team. And we'll continue to work and continue to get better."
Once again, the Titans started off fast.
The Titans took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to Firkser, which capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive.
The Titans stretched the lead to 14-0 on a six-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to Brown, which capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive, and that was the score after one quarter.
After the Texans answered back with a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson to tight end Darren Fells to cut the lead to 14-7, the Titans answered back.
An 11-play, 85-yard drive was capped with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to receiver Adam Humphries to make it 21-7, before a 38-yard field goal by Texans kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn made it 21-10 Titans at halftime.
The Titans made mistakes in the second half, with turnovers and missed field goals.
It allowed the Texans to surge ahead 23-21 with a one-yard touchdown run by running back David Johnson, and a four-yard touchdown pass from Watson to receiver Randall Cobb.
Then came Henry's electrifying run in the fourth quarter. With the Titans at their own six-yard line, Henry took a handoff and raced 94 yards for the score, outrunning defenders into the end zone and it was 29-23 Titans with 9:23 left after a successful two-point conversion.
When the Texans scored back-to-back touchdowns, first on a 53-yard pass from Watson to Fuller and then on a one-yard touchdown pass from Watson to receiver Brandon Cooks, things didn't look good. But a failed two-point try kept the score at 36-29 Texans with 1:50 left, and it the Titans still had life.
And in dramatic fashion, the Titans once again found a way to win it.
"It's crazy," Simmons said. "Vrabes asked, 'How many guys on this team have been 5-0 in this league?' There's not many guys that have been 5-0. I know me, personally, I haven't been 5-0 since my freshman year in high school. Winning is fun, and it is not easy.
"To see us come together and get a win, there is no better feeling that getting a W to go 5-0. But we are built for this."
The Titans return to action next Sunday at Nissan Stadium against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 6 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)