Titans take AFC top seed with 28-25 win over Texans

NFL

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tanhill (17) looks to throw against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, January 9, 2022 in Houston. The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Ryan Tanhill tied for a career-high with four touchdown passes to help the Tennessee Titans finish top seed in the AFC on Sunday with a 28-25 win over the Houston Texans.

The 12-5 Titans, who won the AFC South title for the second time in a row last week, have the No. 1 seed in the AFC for the third time since leaving Houston in 1997 and the first time since 2008. He also has a bye in the first round.

Tannehill threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to put the Titans 21-0 at halftime.

But the Texans (4-13) came alive in the second half, scoring 18 unanswered points and getting to within 3 minutes before Julio Jones caught his first touchdown pass of the season on a 3-yard grab, which made it 28-odd with nearly seven minutes left. made 18. Remanent.

Houston again cut the lead to 3 when Danny Amendola’s second touchdown reception of the game made it 28-25 with 4½ minutes to go. Tennessee was first down in third and second with almost three minutes to spare and ran out of clock to take the win.

Tannehill’s big day came when he threw a career-high four interceptions in a 22–13 loss, the first time Tennessee played Houston this season on November 21. On Sunday, he was 23 for 32 for 287 yards.

Houston’s Davis Mills threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, taking him by 2,604 yards this season to surpass David Carr (2,592) for the most passing yards by a rookie in franchise history. gone.

Amendola made seven receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns in his first game since November 28.

In the fourth quarter, the Texans capped an eight-play, 82-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown catch by Amendola at the start of the fourth quarter. Mills again took the lead on a 2-point conversion with Amendola to take a 21-18 lead.

The Titans took a 7–0 lead when Tannehill threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Firkser with about 7½ minutes remaining in the second quarter. AJ Brown made it 14-0 when he caught a 14-yard pass from Tannehill about 90 seconds before halftime.

The Titans forced a punt and Lonnie Johnson stopped Tannehill in the end zone on a long pass on the next drive. But Eric Murray was called for an interception to deny the interception and take the Titans 45 yards to Houston 4.

Tannehill’s third touchdown pass came in the next play when he paired with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for a score of 4 yards to extend a 21-0 lead at the break. The Titans have thrown three touchdown passes in a quarter for the first time since Steve McNair did so against the 49ers in 2005.

Houston cut the lead to 21-7 when Mills found Chris Moore on a flea-flicker 28-yard pass, with about 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Texans got a 31-yard field goal from Cassimi Fairbairn to get within 21-10 at the end of the third quarter.

injuries

Houston DE Jonathan Greenard injured his leg in the second quarter and did not return. … WR Brandin Cook left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury.

next

Titans: Just say goodbye to AFC next week before the playoffs open in two weeks.

Texans: Face an offseason in which they are expected to eventually trade quarterback Deshan Watson. Watson did not play this season amid a trade solicitation and 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault or assault.