Texans clinch playoff berth, beating Titans 24-10

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 03, 2012

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 23: Defensive end Antonio Smith #94 of the Houston Texans jokes in the game with the Tennessee Titans on November 23, 2009 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Titans won 20-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Antonio Smith picked up the ball J.J. Watt forced Titans running back Chris Johnson into fumbling, and the Texans' defensive end ran from the Houston 37 all the way to the end zone. Smith walked around the end zone holding the ball up just in case he'd scored a touchdown. Officials insisted the play had been whistled dead after Smith recovered the ball, so the Houston Texans forced five more turnovers and also had six sacks in beating the Tennessee Titans 24-10 on Sunday to clinch a second straight playoff berth. ''They blew the whistle,'' Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. ''I think it could be a touchdown for us but unfortunately they blew a whistle, and it's not. There's nothing you can do about it. We did a great job of getting turnovers all day long.'' Easy for Kubiak to be charitable after his Texans set a franchise-record for wins in a season by improving to 11-1 with their sixth straight victory. They also improved to 6-0 on the road - the NFL's only unbeaten team away from home. And just for good measure, they also swept the Titans, the team they replaced in Houston, for only the second time as a franchise. Fullback James Casey, who caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub, said the feeling of clinching is a lot different this year than last season. The Texans are happy to know they're in the playoffs with more goals still ahead. ''We have a lot higher aspirations this year, but still we clinched the playoffs and that's hard to do,'' Casey said. ''We're in it now. We have a shot. We have other things we want to do too. We want to clinch the division, we want to get home field advantage, so we have a lot of work to do and are already looking forward. We know we have a really big game against New England on Monday night, so we're excited about that.'' Rookie Whitney Mercilus had two sacks, Watt had another sack giving him 15 1/2 and the Texans also batted down a handful of Jake Locker's passes. ''We kind of got after him and frustrated him a little bit, and that was our goal,'' Watt said. ''The defense played great, and I think the defense did a heck of a job. I'm very proud of how we played.'' Schaub also threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, including a 54-yarder to Lestar Jean on the opening drive to put Houston ahead to stay. Arian Foster scored on a 2-yard TD run as the Texans led 21-3 at halftime to avoid any overtime drama after needing extra time to beat Jacksonville and Detroit in a span of five days in their last two games. ''Our defense really won the game for us,'' Schaub said. ''They created all those turnovers and stops on fourth down. The game ball goes to the defense because we weren't holding up our end on offense.'' For the Titans (4-8), the issues are growing quickly. They lost a second straight game and now have combined for 13 turnovers in back-to-back home losses. Locker fumbled twice and was intercepted three times. Right tackle David Stewart broke his right leg on the opening series, and left guard Steve Hutchinson hurt his right knee late in the first half. ''What could go wrong, would go wrong,'' Titans coach Mike Munchak said. Tennessee outgained the Texans 354-332 in total offense with Locker throwing for 309 yards in the debut of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. He took over when Chris Palmer was fired a week ago. But when Locker settled down, his teammates took turns dropping balls or wiping out big plays with penalties. ''When he got going, then other people took their turns at making mistakes, so it was just sloppy, on the offensive side of the ball, at different times throughout the game,'' Munchak said. NOTES: Andre Johnson, the AFC offensive player for November, had five catches for 56 yards after totaling 35 catches for 614 yards over the past month. ... Foster's streak of rushing for at least 90 yards a game ended at five. He ran for 38 yards on 14 carries. ... Stewart was taken to a hospital after being carted off the field. ... The Texans first swept Tennessee in 2004. Now they have won four of six in this AFC South rivalry. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Danny Trevathan: Broncos defense better than ’85 Bears

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker