NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here's a look at six things that stood out from Sunday's 24-17 win over the Texans.
Rishard Matthews closes strong**
Matthews caught nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. It was his third 100-yard game since Week 11. Matthews was a heck of an addition in free agency. I like his no-nonsense approach. During a week when the mood was down, Matthews made a diving catch downfield in practice that left many of his teammates talking. He's a tone setter.
The Titans can't get a do-over for the Jacksonville game unfortunately. It's a bad memory that will stick with everyone involved until next season. But the players responded with effort and grit on Sunday against the Texans. The team showed up and went out with a fight, and that's a testament to the group.
Derrick Henry's potential
Everyone has seen it all year, in small doses. Henry didn't win the Heisman Trophy, and earn a second-round draft pick, for looking good getting off the bus. Henry punished defenders with some of his runs on Sunday. He was big down the stretch as he finished with a team-high 65 yards. Somehow, some way, he's going to have to play more in 2017.
Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey shows up to play every week. He was especially ticked off on Sunday. He admitted as much in the locker room after the game. He let it show with his play on a day when he had a pair of sacks, and impacted things in the trenches.
The Titans had to wait until the final game of the season to get it, but the defense finally got a defensive score on Sunday when linebacker Sean Spence sacked Tom Savage, and defensive lineman DaQuan Jones fell on the loose ball in the end zone. The touchdown ended up being the difference in the game.
Titans return man Marc Mariani averaged 13.7 yards on three punt returns on Sunday, and he made good decisions when fielding the ball. He also had a carry for 15 yards, and showed some speed to the outside. It was a nice finish for Mariani, who ended the season averaging 8.1 yards on punt returns and 21.5 on kickoffs.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 17 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)