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Texans Top Titans: 'Team Morale is Up' - QB Tyrod Taylor; 10 Observations

10 observations from the Houston Texans' unexpected 22-13 victory against the Tennessee Titans.

The Houston Texans broke their eight-game losing streak in dramatic fashion in a 22-13 win at the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Houston entered the game with the NFL's worst record, against the team with the league's best, proving yet again that this season is anything but predictable.

In an uplifting performance and shocking positive result for the fans, what were the key takeaways?

1 - Turnovers

The Texans finished with five takeaways for the second straight game - the first time this has been achieved in franchise history. In doing so, this was also just the second time the Texans have finished a game with a +5 turnover margin having previously done so in 2012 against ... the Titans.

2 - What Sacks?

For the first time this season, the Texans allowed zero sacks on offense thanks to an unchanged offensive line, per Texans PR. Worth highlighting is rookie center Jimmy Morrissey who made his second consecutive start. He needs to find more consistency in his snaps, but the Texans may have found a long-term option at the position.

3 - King of Tennessee

Cornerback Desmond King returned to his former team and had himself a game. King recorded two interceptions leading to three points on offense. This was the first time he'd had an interception since his All-Pro season in 2018.

4 - Jordan Role Increasing

One pre-game surprise was hearing that former starting tight end Jordan Akins was a healthy scratch, meaning rookie Brevin Jordan was active once more. This was his third straight game on the active roster and while he only managed one reception on three targets for seven yards, it's a good sign for the future that he's managed to keep his role in the lineup.

5 - Cunningham Is Back

The 2020 NFL tackle leader Zach Cunningham looks like he's back. A peripheral figure for much of this season, Cunningham has worked his way back in the lineup and finished with 11 tackles, one tackle for loss and one defended pass on the day.

Cunningham was, however, overshadowed by fellow linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill who finished as Houston's top tackler on Sunday with 12 alongside an interception, two defended passes and two quarterback hits.

6 - Safety Duo

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Granted, today wasn't Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill's best game. But regardless Houston's safety duo looked more comfortable today. Justin Reid has been the sole mainstay at safety the last few years with a rotating door alongside him making consistency and rhythm tough to come by.

With Lonnie Johnson moved back to cornerback as of this week, Eric Murray will likely remain the starting safety for the foreseeable future, and today was a positive indicator of what is (hopefully) to come.

While it wasn't a perfect game, Reid and Murray had one of their more solid performances as a duo today.

7 - Tyrod Trending Up

Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor bounced back well from his poor Week 9 performance, guiding this offense to a win. Finishing with 14 completions on 24 attempts, Taylor had 104 yards through the air. 

However, he complemented these underwhelming passing stats with 28 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

Their lack of rhythm on offense in the second half has been a trend all season both with and without Taylor. Despite this, he took care of the football in not turning it over and ultimately helped get them the win they so desperately needed.

And note this ... Taylor on if the Texans can build on this: "Absolutely. Team morale is up.''

"Belief'' is a start.

8 - Burkhead

Veteran running back Rex Burkhead had his best game as a Texan with 18 carries for 40 yards and a long of nine yards on a wet and slippery Nissan Stadium field.

There weren't any highlight-reel runs, but it was a gutsy performance and hopefully, he can build from this next week against the New York Jets.

9 - Kicking Consistency

Kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn was three for three on field goals and one of two on extra points today. His final field goal which gave Houston a 22-13 lead was his 57th consecutive accurate field goal attempt from within 40-yards.

10 - Stop The Run.

Today's game was Houston's first since Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars where their defense has not conceded a single rushing touchdown. 

Texans' Jordan Jenkins
Desmond King
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