NASHVILLE – The fact that the Houston Texans made it as exciting as it was speaks volumes about the competitive nature of that team and its players.
Having lost four of their first five, the Texans could have folded or imploded or reacted any number of other negative ways Sunday when they feel behind the Tennessee Titans by 14 points in the first half. Instead, Houston rallied, scored four touchdowns in a span of five second-half possessions and forced Tennessee to score a touchdown in the final seconds of regulation.
When it was finished, the Texans had to answer for another defeat, this one 42-36 in overtime.
Here is some of what they had to say:
• Tight end Darren Fells, on the outcome: “Conference games always hurt a little bit more. And then having been able to fight back into it and come back and then go into over time, it definitely stings a little more, especially it’s a conference game and these always in our mind count as two wins.”
• Quarterback Deshaun Watson, on Houston’s rally: “This one definitely hurts, but gotta keep pushing forward. It’s a long season. This is Game (6), and we have (10) more games, so we have to continue to pile them up and see what happens.”
• Defensive end J.J. Watt, on Tennessee’s franchise-record 601 yards of offense: “They had a good game plan. Obviously, (Derrick) Henry had a great game. (Ryan) Tannehill had a great game and we did not.”
• Interim coach Romeo Crennel, on the decision to go for two and try to make it a nine-point game with 1:50 to play: “The thing is that sometimes if you go for it and you don’t make it, then they begin to wonder why you went for it in the first place. That’s the nature of this game that we’re in. When you win, when you’re successful, everybody feels good about it. When you lose and you’re not successful on a play, then everybody feels usually bad about it. … If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. As it turned out, we didn’t get it.”
• Watson, on Houston’s decision to go for two: “They gave us the opportunity, we had the opportunity. But it just didn’t connect. You gotta give Tennessee props. … We should have had that one.”
• Safety Justin Reid, on the Titans: “We were up late in the game. And those guys, give them credit. They’re a talented team, still undefeated. They came and they won the game. We had opportunities to win, and we didn’t take advantage of them all.”
• Crennel, on Derrick Henry’s 94-yard touchdown run: “You figure that if they have to matriculate the ball down the field that’s going to use time on the clock and it’s going to be tough for them to get a touchdown and all that. But when they can hit 94 yards on one play, they don’t use any time off the clock, and it’s just — it’s a little demoralizing.”
• Watt, on Houston’s struggles on defense: “I mean if we do our job and we tackle, we’re all right. We didn’t do that. So that’s never going to win you games. And when we do it right, it’s good. But we don’t do it right anywhere near enough, nowhere even close to the realm of … so it’s extremely frustrating.”
• Reid, on Henry: “He’s a special talent, man. One of the biggest — he’s the biggest back in the league, but still has speed to him whenever he gets out in open space. Tough challenge for us.”