The Tennessee Titans earned the final AFC playoff spot by beating the Houston Texans 35-14 in Week 17 of the 2019 season.
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With 211 yards on the ground, Derrick Henry overtook Nick Chubb as the NFL’s rushing champ. As is typically the case with Henry, he picked up a large chunk of yardage after contact and forced several missed tackles on the day, but he wasn’t without help from his offensive line, as Jack Conklin and Ben Jones, in particular, did good work to open up holes.
A.J. Brown continued to show why he’s one of the best young wideouts in the NFL. With the Titans leaning heavily on Henry, there wasn’t a lot of volume for the passing attack, but Brown made the most of his opportunities. The rookie wideout accounted for 124 of Tennessee’s 198 passing yards, including a first-quarter score in which he broke a tackle and took it 51 yards to the house.
While the Titans' defensive line wasn’t as productive as you’d have expected in this one, Jurrell Casey put together a strong effort as the team’s best run defender while adding multiple pressures as a pass-rusher.
A.J. McCarron got the start at quarterback with Deshaun Watson resting, and it’s unlikely he’ll be taking calls for a starting job this offseason as a result. While McCarron avoided disaster, he had a good number of misses on the day and completed just three passes that traveled 10 yards or more downfield.
The trio of Duke Johnson, Jordan Akins, and DeAndre Carter did most of the heavy lifting offensively for the Texans, as some of bigger names were rested. They combined for nine of the 11 first downs produced by the Houston passing offense.
Houston sat the majority of its starters, so it was an opportunity for backups and role players to get some extended action. Carlos Watkins stood out defensively, particularly in run defense, where he had a number of stops around the line of scrimmage.
Gareon Conley was the most heavily targeted Texans defender in coverage, and he held up well for the most part. He did surrender a couple of first downs, but he limited the damage and also forced a pair of incompletions.