Vrabel will get 1st win as Titans dig deep to beat Texans 20-17



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17 Sep 2018, 11:17 IST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — No Marcus Mariota. Each beginning offensive tackles out, together with the highest backup towards Houston and three-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months J.J. Watt.

Mike Vrabel gave the NFL a glimpse at simply how a lot of a distinction he and his assistants could make for the Tennessee Titans because the rookie picked up his first victory as a head coach.

Vrabel and his teaching workers dug into the playbook for a 66-yard landing move off a pretend punt , some wildcat on offense and a protection that saved Deshaun Watson in verify with the sport on the road Sunday to tug out a 20-17 victory over the Houston Texans.

“We have much more coming for certain,” Titans tight finish Jonnu Smith mentioned of victories for Vrabel.

Blaine Gabbert began in Mariota’s place and threw for 117 yards and a landing . All-Professional security Kevin Byard threw the TD move on the pretend punt, and Ryan Succop kicked discipline targets of 42 and 31 yards within the fourth quarter for the victory. Gabbert described the teaching workers’s aggressiveness as gritty.

“The message that Vrabel type of relays all through this group, by way of the teaching workers to the gamers is to maintain preventing,” Gabbert mentioned. “Flip it right into a fistfight week in, week out.”

The Titans (1-1) additionally got here up with 4 sacks and an interception. They allowed just one sack with Gabbert throwing rapidly and coaches giving proper sort out Tyler Marz assist slowing down Watt.

Houston had the ball and an opportunity to not less than pressure time beyond regulation. By the point Watson discovered DeAndre Hopkins on a 31-yarder to the Tennessee 21, time had expired leaving the Texans 0-2 to start out a season stuffed with excessive expectations, if solely as a result of so many are again wholesome this 12 months.

“You have to hold preventing,” Houston coach Invoice O’Brien mentioned. “It is a lengthy season. What are you going to do? You have got two decisions. One shouldn’t be superb, so you have to struggle your manner up.”

Some issues to know in regards to the Titans’ third win in 4 video games over their AFC South rival:


The Titans quarterback was energetic and backed up Gabbert. Mariota warmed up sporting a glove over his proper hand and even threw some passes. However he nonetheless is having numbness in his proper hand after hurting his elbow within the season opener in Miami. So Gabbert began for his fourth totally different NFL crew, and the Titans will see the place Mariota is earlier than they go to defending AFC South champ Jacksonville.

“We’ll hold evaluating Marcus and when we have now an replace on him we’ll let you realize,” Vrabel mentioned.


The Texans did not assist themselves with 11 penalties for 88 yards, and one of many worst got here within the fourth quarter after Houston had taken its first lead at 17-14. Luke Stocker caught a move and was pushed out of bounds on the Houston sideline. Linebacker Jadeveon Clowney apparently mentioned one thing, and officers flagged Houston for taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct. That moved the Titans to midfield, and so they tied it up seven performs later with the primary of Succop’s two discipline targets.


The Titans did not use it a lot, however Derrick Henry dealt with the wildcat on 5 snaps on the Titans’ lone landing drive. The Titans put within the impromptu wildcat earlier this week, and Henry mentioned he ran it loads in highschool and as soon as in follow in school at Alabama. “Hopefully, we hold it in there,” Henry mentioned.


Kevin Byard is an All-Professional security, however he remembers his final move in highschool going for a landing. He joked Vrabel will need to have seen his highschool tape and drew up the pretend punt for him. Byard hit a wide-open Dane Cruikshank, and the rookie completed off a 66-yard TD within the first quarter. That set a NFL document for longest TD move by a defensive participant , topping the mark set in 1967 by Ed Meador.


The Texans outgained the Titans 437-283 on offense, however a line that misplaced proper sort out Seantrel Henderson to a season-ending harm within the opener struggled to guard Watson at occasions. Watson threw for 310 yards and two TDs however was intercepted in the long run zone.


Comply with Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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