Tennessee Titans report card: Offense gets an 'F' after loss to Houston Texans

Ben Arthur
Nashville Tennessean

The Tennessee Titans were stunned Sunday, falling 22-13 to the Houston Texas (2-8) at Nissan Stadium. 

Here’s our report card for the Titans (8-3): 


Turnovers were the story of the day for the Titans’ offense.

Moving the ball wasn’t the issue — Tennessee had 420 yards of offense — but it had a season-high five turnovers, including a career-high four interceptions by quarterback Ryan Tannehill (35-for-52, 323 yards, TD, 4 INT). 

With the Titans in the red zone in the first quarter, Tannehill squandered the chance for early points with his first interception by Texans linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, who returned the ball 82 yards to the Tennessee 6. 

TOP TAKEAWAYS:Tennessee Titans turn in a turkey against Houston Texans: Here's how it happened

ESTES:For one sloppy game, Tennessee Titans became own worst enemy against the NFL's worst team 

NFL PLAYOFF PICTURE:NFC wild card shaken up again, while Titans still lead AFC despite loss to Texans

The Titans looked to stage a comeback facing a 13-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, but three more interceptions from Tannehill erased that hope. They also had a turnover on downs in the final quarter.

Tennessee lost star A.J. Brown (chest) in the third quarter and Marcus Johnson (hamstring) in the first half. It didn’t do Tannehill any favors finishing the game with just three healthy receivers. 

Grade: F


The Titans’ defense spent the day trying to put out fires created by the offense and special teams. 

It found some success – the Texans reached or began their drives in the red zone four times and scored just two touchdowns – but the front struggled containing Texans dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor (14-of-24, 107 yards; six carries, 28 yards, 2 TDs), who had both Houston scores on scrambles. Tennessee hit Taylor just one time and didn’t record a sack. 

The Titans didn’t record a takeaway for the first time since Week 3. 

Grade: C+

Special teams

Receiver Chester Rogers committed the big error, muffing a punt in the second quarter – the ball hit the back of his foot – and the Texans recovered the ball at the Tennessee 5. Houston scored a touchdown three plays later. 

Late in the first half, the Titans began a drive at their own 7 because of a holding call on linebacker/special teamer Nick Dzubnar on a punt return. 

And placekicker Randy Bullock, who’s played well for Tennessee this season, missed an extra point in the third quarter.

Grade: D-


Coach Mike Vrabel and his staff can get their players up to the task against elite teams –see their six-game winning streak, which was capped with five straight victories against 2020 playoff teams – but they haven’t shown up against the teams they should thump. 

The Titans also lost to the Jets (2-8) in Week 4. 

Grade: D

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.