Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans won a thriller on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Kicker Ryan Succop’s 31-yard field goal with one minute left gave the Titans a 20-17 win over the Texans.
Blaine Gabbert started at quarterback for the Titans, and players stepped up around him early. Marcus Mariota was in uniform, and watched from the sideline.
The Titans started with some trickery.
Titans safety Kevin Byard, lined up short and to the left of the snapper on the punt team, took the snap from Beau Brinkley and threw a left-handed pass to Dane Cruikshank, who was lined up uncovered outside as a gunner.
Cruikshank caught the pass and raced downfield, and into the end zone to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.
The Titans extended the lead to 14-0 on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to receiver Taywan Taylor, who made Texans miss on the way into the end zone. The drive featured running back Derrick Henry lining up in the Wildcat formation, and a big stiff-arm by receiver Corey Davis, who threw a Texans defender off him on his way to a first down.
The defense made plays early, too.
Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and cornerback Logan Ryan sacked Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in the first half. Then, Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson made the defensive play of the day when he outjumped Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone to record his first career interception. The play kept the Titans ahead 14-0.
Momentum began to swing, however.
The Texans got on the scoreboard late in the first half on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Watson to Hopkins, with just 58 seconds left, and the Titans led 14-7 at the half.
The Texans cut the lead to 14-10 with 2:39 left in the third quarter on a field goal by kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. Casey recorded his second sack in the second half, and linebacker Kamalei Correa also got to Watson and sacked him.
The Texans then took the lead early in the third quarter on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Watson to receiver Will Fuller, who got behind Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler to make it 17-14 with 13:25 left in the game.
Then the Titans tied it up with a 42-yard kickoff from kicker Ryan Succop with 9:43 remaining, making it 17-17.
The Titans face the Jaguars next Sunday in Jacksonville.