The Houston Texans improve to a record of 8-3 after defeating the Tennessee Titans 34-17.
“All he wanted for Houston was a winner,” Texans defensive end JJ Watt explained to ESPN post-game. “All he wanted for us every week was a winner, and tonight that was for him. We’re glad we could get one in his stadium, in his building, and I believe he was watching. So that one was for you, Mr. McNair.”
The very same sentiment was echoed by Texans coach Bill O’ Brien who addressed players saying, “We had a great man who owned this team, who founded this team. Bob McNair passed away, and that game right there is Houston Texans football right there. And that was for Bob McNair.”
O’Brien also presented McNair’s son, Cal McNair, with the game ball. Cal serves as the team’s chief operating officer and chairman.
One of the highlights of the game was veteran running back Lamar Miller’s 97 yard touchdown. Miller has become the only player in the history of the NFL to record two 95+ yard rushing touchdowns. That run was the longest in NFL history, of course, since he had set that 97 yard run record in 2014 with the Miami Dolphins.
While the Titans jumped to an early lead, scoring the first 10 points and QB Marcus Mariota nearly had a perfect game completing 22 of this 23 passes, it wasn’t enough to keep the Texans from storming back to victory.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson explained how the running game affected the offense, “[The running game] just opened up the whole offense. The safeties get aggressive. The defense has to show what their hand is. That was the challenge tonight for our offensive line and the running backs to kind of set the run game and open up the pass game. That’s what we did, and if the run game is clicking, we’re going to make sure we’re going to stay rolling with that momentum.”
On the other side of the ball, the Texans defense put in work, recording a season high of six sacks in a single game. The defensive efforts led by Watt held the Titans to 17 points for the night. Watt finished the game with a forced fumble, 1.5 sacks, nine tackles on the night with a tackle for loss.
Christian Covington, Texans defensive end known as C4, gave an explosive effort, recording two and a half sacks in Monday night’s game managing to hit Mariota at least three times.
“We just kind of started slow early on in the season,” Watson explained. “We were just a couple of plays from being 3-0. It didn’t fall our way, but we corrected those mistakes and made sure that we stayed on top of our game and kept grinding.
“And now we’re sitting here at 8-3 and have an opportunity to do something special. … And if we can do that, sky’s the limit for us.”
After winning a franchise record of eight games in a row following that disappointing 0-3 start, the Texans look like they want to go all the way.