EditorsNote: corrections to 4, 12 grafs
Blaine Gabbert orchestrated a late drive that resulted in a field goal to give the Tennessee Titans a 20-17 victory against the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon at Nashville, Tenn.
Ryan Succop’s 31-yard field goal with one minute remaining broke a tie, capping a 62-yard drive that consumed 12 plays and nearly six minutes.
The Texans reached Tennessee territory but they were out of timeouts and couldn’t get another play off after making it to the Titans’ 21 on the last snap.
The Titans (1-1), who were coming off a weather-interrupted game that lasted seven hours in an opening loss at Miami, certainly weren’t interested in seeing this game extended.
Gabbert, who had less than 100 passing yards until the game-winning drive, was filling in for quarterback Marcus Mariota, whose status had been in question after sustaining an elbow injury a week earlier.
Gabbert ended up 13-for-20 for 117 yards. Two other completions by teammates accounted for 74 yards, one of those passes setting an NFL record.
Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes for the Texans (0-2), who opened the season with two road games. He was 22-for-32 for 310 yards and an interception, but was unable to complete a comeback from what had been a 14-0 hole.
Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 28-yard touchdown play in the second quarter.
Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 34-yard field goal with 2:39 left in the third closed the gap to 14-10.
Watson hooked up with Will Fuller V for a 39-yard scoring play on the Texans’ next possession. That gave Houston a 17-14 advantage for its first lead of the game with 13:25 to play.
Before the game-winning drive, the Texans opted to punt after reaching the Tennessee 37-yard line.
Kevin Byard threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Dane Cruikshank on a fake punt to opening the scoring for Tennessee. Byard, a safety who was in a blocking position, took the snap and Cruikshank was uncovered, needing to maneuver past just one defender on the way to the end zone.
According to information from the Titans, Byard’s pass is the longest touchdown pass by a defensive player in the Super Bowl era.
With 35 seconds to play in the first quarter, Gabbert threw for an 18-yard touchdown play to Taywan Taylor. Taylor did most of the work, taking the swing pass near the line of scrimmage and scampering through defenders on the way to the end zone down the left sideline.
The Titans were even less than four minutes later on Succop’s 42-yard field goal at the 9:43 mark.
—Field Level Media