EditorsNote: Corrects Tannehill TD length & time (Graf 2); corrects TD streak to erase deficit (Graf 3)
Derrick Henry rushed for a career-high 250 yards and became the eighth player in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 yards in a season, and Sam Sloman banked home a 37-yard field goal on the final play as the Tennessee Titans clinched the AFC South with a 41-38 win over the host Houston Texans on Sunday.
Ryan Tannehill totaled three touchdowns, and his 5-yard run with 1:42 left capped a 19-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Titans (11-5) a 38-35 lead.
The Texans (4-12), who erased a 16-point second-half deficit by scoring touchdowns on three consecutive drives, countered with a 58-yard drive that culminated in a game-tying, 51-yard field goal from Ka’imi Fairbairn with 18 seconds remaining.
But on the first snap of the ensuing series, Tannehill connected with A.J. Brown for a 52-yard pass play, setting the stage for Sloman, whose kick caromed off the right upright.
Henry became the first player in the Super Bowl era to rush for 200-plus yards in three consecutive games against the same team. He finished the season with 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns after scoring twice against the Texans’ 31st-ranked rush defense.
Tannehill completed 18 of 27 passes for 216 yards. Brown finished with 10 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee will host the Baltimore Ravens in the opening round of the AFC playoffs next weekend.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 365 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair to Brandin Cooks, who totaled 11 receptions for 166 yards and joined Brandon Marshall as the only players in NFL history to record 1,000-yard receiving seasons with four different teams.
An inability to convert in the red zone undermined the Texans’ success on offense in the first half. Houston produced more yards (205 to 181) and nearly doubled the Titans in time of possession (19:46 to 10:14) yet settled for Fairbairn field goals of 24, 43 and 28 yards.
Tennessee managed two 75-yard touchdown drives in the first half and, combined with a field goal that followed an Amani Hooker interception of Watson, carried a 17-9 lead into the intermission.
Henry rumbled 52 yards for a touchdown that gave the Titans a 10-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter before Tannehill hit Brown on a 4-yard scoring pass that upped the lead to 17-6.
–Field Level Media