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Special Teams Play Helps Texans Upset AFC South Rival Titans

Tremon Smith's pivotal special-teams play gave Houston a larger lead in upset win

For any team that hopes to be successful, they win on all three phases of a game. The Houston Texans' offense scored more touchdowns than the Tennessee Titans. The defense made more stops. 

As for special teams? The Texans (2-8) won in that department as well, and one play likely sealed the 22-13 upset win over Tennessee (8-3) on the road. 

During the third quarter, Texans punter Cam Johnston was only tasked on having drain the football deep in Tennessee territory. It ended up being much more than that as Houston would capitalize on the inertia of the moment. 

Johnston's punt landed inside Tennessee's 10-yard line, but the ball would ricochet off Titans wide receiver Chester Rogers’ leg. Houston cornerback Tremon Smith would fall on the muffed ball, putting the Texans inside the red zone at the Tennessee 5-yard line.

Three plays later, quarterback Tyrod Taylor would tuck it himself for 5-yard touchdown run, giving Houston a 19-0 lead, and Taylor his second touchdown of the afternoon. 

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Taylor was the driving force offensively for Houston, as he recorded both touchdowns inside Nissan Stadium. His first score would come on a 7-yard run in the second quarter, ending the Texans' road skids of scoring a touchdown. 

Houston had not found the end zone since Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns when rookie QB Davis Mills connected with wide receiver Brandin Cooks. 

The Titans outgained Houston 420-190, but Tennessee couldn't overcome its mistakes. Veteran QB Ryan Tannehill threw four interceptions, including a pair to cornerback Desmond King that would ultimately cost them their six-game win streak. 

The Texans were far from perfect. Instead, they had quality moments and capitalized on strong plays. Tannehill's interception to linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill would lead to a field goal from kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn. King's second interception would lead to another three points. 

The biggest points came thanks a muffed punt by Rogers, and good awareness from Smith. With a win secured, Houston moves out of the cellar in the AFC South, and is now 2-1 in divisional play.