Texans rally late again, beat Titans 30-24 in OT

By KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 03:18

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans needed a second big comeback in two weeks to beat Tennessee and improve to 2-0.

The record has them exactly where they'd hoped to be, even if the way they've gone about winning is far from ideal.

``I'd like to wrap these things up a little quicker than we (have) the last two weeks,'' defensive end J.J. Watt said.

Rookie DeAndre Hopkins grabbed a 3-yard touchdown pass in overtime and the Texans rallied for a 30-24 win over the Titans.

With Andre Johnson out after being shaken up in the fourth quarter, Hopkins reached above Jason McCourty and pulled in the pass from Matt Schaub to give Houston the victory.

The Texans (2-0) needed a franchise-record 21-point comeback to win their opener at San Diego 31-28.

On Sunday, they charged back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans (1-1).

Schaub doesn't have a problem with the added drama this season.

``If it means winning at the end of the day we'll take this kind of game every week,'' he said.

Arian Foster's 1-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion tied it 24-24 with less than 2 minutes left.

Houston forced a punt and got within field-goal range after that. But Randy Bullock's 46-yard attempt bounced off the left upright to force overtime. It was his third miss of the day.

Watt likes the way the team has responded with its back against the wall so far.

``(There is) nobody worrying, nobody panicking, just finding a way to win ... and that's all that matters,'' he said.

Five things we learned from Titans-Texans:

1. CUSHING'S CONTRIBUTIONS: Linebacker Brian Cushing had 11 tackles and a career-high two sacks in his second game since sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 last season. Cushing has impressed since his return, and had an interception for a touchdown in Houston's season-opener. He is thrilled to be back after having to watch most of the season from the sidelines last year, and he's expecting a big season.

``I put in a lot of training to be better than I ever was before and I think I am,'' he said.

Watt couldn't be happier to have him back on the field.

``If they're going to try to do a little game-planning around me, Cushing will make them pay,'' Watt said.

2. INCONSISTENT OFFENSE: The Titans put together some good drives, highlighted by the 99-yard march they made to take a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter. But they also had some terrible possessions, and will have to find a way to be more consistent if they hope to improve.

``We just weren't as productive on first downs as we would like to be,'' quarterback Jake Locker said. ``We had some penalties that put us in some tough down and distances and we didn't convert on third down.''

3. HOPKINS IS A PLAYMAKER: The Texans drafted Hopkins to help take the pressure off Johnson. On Sunday he showed that he's capable of making plays both with and without Johnson on the field. Hopkins, a first-round pick, finished with seven receptions for 117 yards.

``This team today basically said Andre was not going to beat them in the way they played us,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``Somebody else had to come up and make some plays and Hop played huge in the back end of the game. Made some big plays, that's what he's here for.''

4. PENALTIES HURT: The Titans finished with nine penalties for 70 yards on Sunday. Three of those penalties came on one drive, and it pushed them back to their own 1. Houston tackled Chris Johnson in the end zone for a safety on the next play.

``A lot of penalties hurt us in situations,'' Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said.

5. SHARING THE LOAD: Houston coach Gary Kubiak said this week that he wanted to split the carries between Foster and Ben Tate. The division wasn't exactly even on Sunday, but both back did get a number of carries. Foster ran 19 times for 79 yards and Tate had nine carries for 93 yards. A big chunk of Tate's yards came on a career-high 60-yard scamper that helped set up Houston's opening score in the first quarter.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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