HOUSTON — The Houston Texans’ defense is making as many plays as the offense, and the formula has the team off to its best start ever.
Arian Foster also had a touchdown run for the Texans (4-0). Even though they were outgained 325-297 by the Titans (1-3), the Texans’ defense came through with big plays in the third quarter to clinch the win.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker left in the first quarter and did not return after hurting his left, non-throwing shoulder on a hit by Glover Quin. Locker hurt the same shoulder in the season opener against New England.
The Texans led 14-7 at halftime, but the offense bogged down for a while after that. Leave it to the defense to get Houston going again.
Hasselbeck threw behind tight end Taylor Thompson and the ball ricocheted to Manning, who weaved his way 55 yards for a touchdown with 9:21 left in the third quarter. Manning signed with Houston as a free agent in 2011 and helped transform a defense that ranked last against the pass the previous season.
Hasselbeck fumbled when he was hit by Antonio Smith in the fourth quarter, and Watt recovered at the Tennessee 24. Shayne Graham kicked a 33-yard field goal with 5:38 left.
Hasselbeck threw a short TD pass to Wright in the final minute. He finished 17 of 25 for 193 yards.
The Texans led 7-0 when Locker was hurt on the Titans‘ second series. On third down, Quin blitzed and plowed into Locker for his first career sack. Locker immediately grabbed his left hand and arm as he lied on the turf. He eventually walked to the locker room on his own, and later returned in street clothes, his left arm in a sling.
Houston took over near midfield, converted a fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 38 and Foster scored on a 4-yard run.
Johnson later broke a 19-yard run and the Titans‘ offense showed some life with Hasselbeck taking the snaps. Hasselbeck found fullback Craig Stevens for a 19-yard touchdown with 7:52 left in the first half.
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