Demaryius Thomas recorded two touchdown receptions, and Lamar Miller set a franchise record with his second-quarter dash as the Houston Texans extended their winning streak to eight games with a 34-17 victory over the visiting Tennessee Titans on Monday.
Thomas posted his first multi-touchdown game since Week 15 of 2015 by finding the end zone for the first time with the Texans (8-3), who maintained their two-game lead over the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) in the AFC South.
Deshaun Watson tossed both scoring strikes to Thomas and finished 19 of 24 for 210 yards. His 34-yard scamper in the fourth quarter set up the second Thomas touchdown, a 10-yard reception with 8:15 remaining that extended the lead to three scores.
Miller provided the turning point of the contest. Trailing 14-10, the Titans (5-6) attempted to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Houston 3-yard line, strangely opting to utilize tight end Luke Stocker on the play. Stocker was stuffed on what was his first career rushing attempt.
On the ensuing snap, Miller broke contain and outraced the Tennessee secondary to the end zone, completing his second career 97-yard touchdown run for a 21-10 Texans lead. Miller also accomplished the feat in Week 17 of the 2014 season with the Miami Dolphins, making him the first player in league history with two runs of at least 95 yards.
Miller finished with 12 carries for 162 yards. The Texans rushed for 281 yards, with Watson contributing a career-high 70 yards. Houston amassed 200 rushing yards in the first half.
The Titans sprinted to a 10-0 lead, parlaying a 33-yard pass interference penalty against Texans safety Justin Reid into a Ryan Succop 31-yard field goal before Marcus Mariota tossed a 61-yard scoring pass to Jonnu Smith at the 9:21 mark of the first quarter. That pass play represented a career long for Smith and a season best for Mariota, whose accuracy was pinpoint throughout.
Mariota went 22 of 23 for 303 yards, completing his first 19 attempts. However, he was sacked six times as the Texans produced five-plus sacks in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history.
Watson initiated the comeback with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Thomas before his 15-yard scoring run put the Texans ahead to stay with 14:53 remaining in the first half. Miller followed with his franchise-record run, and Houston was en route to a season-series split with the Titans.
The Texans became the first team in NFL history to post an eight-game winning streak following an 0-3 start to the season.
—Field Level Media