Nashville, TN (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans had nothing to gain in their final regular season game except pride. They could get to 10-wins for the first time in the Bill O’Brien era and sweep the AFC South for the first time in franchise history. The team was already locked in as the AFC South Champions and as the 4-seed in the in the AFC playoffs as they headed into Tennessee to play the Titans in week 17.
The Texans couldn’t get to 6-0 in the division, though, losing 24-17 to end the season and finish 9-7 on the year. And while they didn’t have anything to gain from the win, they did end up losing some certainty heading into the playoffs as starting quarterback Tom Savage left the game with a concussion.
Savage, in just his second start of the year, started slowly for the Texans, fumbling on his first drive of the game. The Titans recovered the fumble in the end zone to get on the board first. The Titans also on their quarterback who started the season as the backup, Matt Cassel, were slow going on offense as the Texans and Titans traded punts in the first quarter.
On the first play of the 2nd quarter, Bill O’Brien elected to go for a 1st down on 4th & 1 on their own 41-yard line. Savage ran a quarterback sneak for the first down. After he got up the linesman on the official’s team told Savage to leave the game and go through the concussion protocol. Brock Osweiler entered the game to take over after being benched in week 15 in favor of Savage.
Osweiler couldn’t garner any more offense for the Texans in the first half. Savage did return to the sideline after apparently clearing the concussion protocol and entered the game to take a knee to enter halftime trailing 14-0. O’Brien told Texans radio heading into the locker room that Savage would return to start the second half. Osweiler, however, took the field to start the second half for the Texans. Savage was re-evaluated in the locker room and deemed to have a concussion and now allowed to return to the game.
Osweiler led the Texans on a touchdown drive to start the half and trim the Titans lead to 7, but the Titans would answer with a touchdown run from Derrick Henry to return the lead to two scores.
The Teams would trade field goals in the second half and another touchdown drive for the Texans would get them within a touchdown again at 24-17, but the Texans couldn’t score on their final drive, getting the ball at the 18-yard line with :53 seconds to play.
The Titans win improved their season to 9-7, the same as the Texans, but with the win being just their second in the division, their season will be finished.
The Texans move on to face the 5th seeded Wild Card team, which will either be the Oakland Raiders or Kansas City Chiefs, in the Playoffs next week.