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Houston secures No. 1 spot in draft with loss to Tennessee
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Neither team had a chance to make the playoffs, so they played for pride and possibly their jobs.
The contest was highlighted with records and milestones but one record stood out the most, it was for the Houston Texans. They fell to 2-14, to match the franchise worst record, and secured the No.1 spot in the upcoming draft.
"The season has been very disappointing, and I think it was something no could foresee. We got in a whirlwind and it never ended." said Texans interim head coach Wade Phillips.
Chris Johnson ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries to lead the Tennessee Titans (7-9) to a 16-10 win over the Texans. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 15-of-24 passes for 166 yards and an interception.
Johnson became the sixth player in NFL history to record 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first six seasons with his effort.
In his first career start Jonathan Grimes carried the ball 16 times for 50 yards and a touchdown for Houston, which moved the franchise worst losing streak to 14 games. Matt Schaub was 22-for-34 with 229 yards and two interceptions.
"I don't want to say it's a relief because you live to play football, it's only a relief because the losing streak is over and we can start from scratch." said Houston center Chris Myers about the season ending.
On the Texans first touch of the third quarter Schaub was intercepted by Akeem Ayers. Five plays into the ensuing Titans drive, Fitzpatrick completed a 9-yard pass to Delanie Walker for his 60th reception of the season.
Walker became the only other Titan/Oiler tight end with 60 receptions in a season joining Frank Wycheck, who did it five straight years (1997-2001).
Two plays later Johnson rushed 11 yards for the game-winning score and the 50th rushing touchdown of his career with 5:39 left in the third.
"I never got done this early." said Walker about what its like to not make the playoffs.
The Titans took over after a three-and-out by Houston and on the third play of the drive J.J. Watt sacked Fitzpatrick to get to 10 1/2 for the season. With that sack Watt registered back-to-back seasons with 10 sacks and joined Mario Williams as only the second player in franchise history to complete that feat.
A muffed snap exchange by Schaub three plays into the fourth gave Tennessee the ball on the Houston 33-yard line. The Titans got to the 19-yard line before Rod Bironas put through a 37-yard field goal.
"It's been a very strange year, it's hard to put into words all the things that have taken place on our team." said Schaub.
Tennessee led 16-7 with 10:44 left in the game.
Houston notched the final points of the game with 2:53 left to play. They drove eight plays for 89 yards before Randy Bullock kicked through a 19-yard field goal.
With just over a minute left in the game the Texans took over on their own 9- yard with no timeouts. On 1st-and-10 Schaub threw a prayer downfield and was intercepted by Michael Griffin.
Grimes put Houston on the board first, with 9:37 left in first quarter, after he ran three yards for his first career touchdown. The touchdown was only the seventh time this season the Texans scored on the ground.
The Titans first drive of the second quarter took them 32 yards on seven plays to set up Bironas for a 42-yard field goal.
Grimes fumbled after a hit by Ayers, on the ensuing possession, before Zach Brown recovered for the Titans. Tennessee took over with 6:55 left in the first half, however, Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Brice McCain just over three minutes later.
The Texans next drive stalled and Tennessee took over on its own 5-yard line after a Houston punt. Johnson ran for 23 yards, on the first play of the drive, and eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark.
Bironas ended the drive and first half with a 55-yard field goal to bring the Titans within one, 7-6.
Johnson joined Marvin Harrison as only the second player in NFL history with four seasons of 100-plus receptions and 1,400-plus yards ... Johnson had six catches for 49 yards and Grimes added six catches for 76 yards for the Texans ... Kendall Wright caught five passes for 50 yards and Walker had three receptions for 29 yards for Tennessee.
12/29 19:22:53 ET