Texans 13, Titans 12

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Are you kidding me?

I thought the Titans might lose to the Texans today, but not because of a bad coaching decision.

Cortland Finnegan could not contain Texans receiver Andre Johnson. Kerry Collins was ice cold in the first half and off target all day.

Smash and Dash never got on track. But the Titans players are off the hook today.

Blame this loss on Coach Jeff Fisher.

Story of the Game: Jeff Fisher snatches victory from foot of Bironas

Two minutes are left in the game. The score is Houston 13, Tennessee 12.

It’s fourth down with 3 yards to go. The ball is on the Texans 32-yard line.

Kerry Collins has been inconsistent all day, and it wasn’t due to dropped passes or poor offensive line play. Many of Collins incompletions were due to overthrown passes.

Houston’s passing combination of Matt Schaub-to-Andre Johnson has been unstoppable. Nevertheless, you have a chance to take the lead with a 49-yard field goal by Rob Bironas.

So far, Bironas has been your scoring offense, hitting 4-of-4 field goals, including a 51-yarder in the third quarter.

What’s the call, Coach Fisher?

Kick the field goal?

No. Leave the offense on the field. Go for it on fourth down.

Kerry Collins overthrows Justin McCareins.

Game over.

The Other Story of the Game: The Freak & Titans defense can’t do it all

Jevon Kearse deserves to be recognized for a great performance. “The Freak” had a sack, a forced fumble and three tackles, and he looked fast and furious.

The Titans defense was on the field for 36 minutes and 22 seconds. They contained Texans rookie running back Steve Slaton until the fourth quarter.

The defense sacked quarterback Matt Schaub four times, but overall, they had no answer for the Schaub-Johnson connection.

They also had little help from Kerry Collins and the Titans offense.

Time to hand the keys to Vince Young?

On the day that Titans owner Bud Adams reaffirmed the franchise’s commitment to Vince Young, Kerry Collins struggled.

After Tennessee defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in week two, Jeff Fisher said this about Collins:

…Kerry’s going to go ahead and play for us until either he struggles or whatever else happens.

Kerry Collins is struggling, your team has lost two of its last four games, and the Titans might miss the opportunity to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Today, Collins completed 15 of 33 passes for 181 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

The second half of today’s game might have been a great opportunity to put Vince Young under center. During the broadcast CBS commentator Steve Tasker wondered if Young’s ability to scramble might give the Titans offense a much-needed spark.

Switching quarterbacks is not a good strategy unless you intend to make a “permanent” change to your starting lineup.

I wouldn’t have a problem if the Titans made this change.

Cortland Finnegan’s worst performance

Cortland Finnegan is one of my favorite Titans. He stood out on special teams and nickel coverage during his rookie year, and the scrappy cornerback is having an All-Pro season in 2008.

Today, Finnegan was awful.

He was thoroughly dominated by Houston receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson caught 11 passes for a Texan franchise-record 207 yards and one touchdown.

Also, on the Texans first series of the fourth quarter, Finnegan was flagged for two personal fouls. Both penalties involved Finnegan using his helmet as a spear.

It’s not good to lose your composure when you’re being dominated by one of the league’s best receivers.

Next Week: The Steelers

Since Tennessee squandered the opportunity to defeat the Texans, next week’s game in Pittsburgh is now a must-win if the Titans want home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Steelers are one game behind the Titans in the AFC after beating the Baltimore Ravens.

Whoa, Titans

Usually, I end my post-game write-ups with an enthusiastic “Go Titans!”

I’m not very enthusiastic about the Titans right now. This is what happens when fan expectations are raised.

Today, I expected more out of Jeff Fisher and the Titans. I expected the offense to attack Houston’s weak secondary, and the defense to force Matt Schaub to make turnovers.

I also expected Jeff Fisher, perhaps the best sideline manager among NFL coaches, to put his team in a position to succeed.

Aside from the defensive front seven, I did not like what I saw today.

I have not liked what I’ve seen from the offense over the past two weeks.

My biggest concern during Tennessee’s winning streak was if Kerry Collins would be able to sustain an acceptable level of play and carry the Titans offense when necessary.

As much as I would like to see the offense in Vince Young’s hands, it’s too late for a quarterback change. Young is rusty, and it wouldn’t be fair to place the pressure of reviving Tennessee’s offense on his shoulders.

It’s Kerry Collins or bust. And I have my doubts.

I hope the Titans surprise me next week by beating a tough Steelers team in Nashville.

Watch highlights of the Titans-Texans at NFL.com.


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