The Tennessee Titans spotted the Houston Texans 24 points before they tried to make a game out of it falling 45-21. On the other side of the ball Ryan Fitzpatrick took over at QB again for Houston and faced the team he started for last year leaving them to wonder if they made the right call to cut him loose.
“I felt really confident. I threw the ball well all week. It was one of those things where I got sat down a few weeks ago, I didn’t know if I would have the chance to go out there again and play and be the starter. It was an unfortunate situation for Ryan Mallett to get hurt, but it was eye opening for me just to be able to not take it for granted and embrace it,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald, who for all intents and purposes has been a journeyman QB the past couple of years who despite looking unspectacular at times manages to win wherever he goes had a career best and franchise best six touchdown throws as the Texans also scored a franchise best 45 points.
“Like what I said after I got benched, and even going into this week, to be a successful quarterback in this league, it’s all about self-confidence. Never losing that belief in yourself and that’s something that I will never lose. You know, it is something that I have dealt with in my life- people doubting me and all those different things. It was a great team win today, you know. We are going to move on and go to the next one because that’s what the NFL is. Those six touchdowns that we had today are not going to count next week. We will have tonight to celebrate and we will spend it with family and everything, but we will move on tomorrow,” said Fitzpatrick.
Zach Mettenberger was knocked out of the game early in the third quarter with a shoulder sprain gave way to fellow injury-prone QB Jake Locker who threw for one score and two picks in relief of the rookie starter. “It’s an opportunity to get on the field and you just have to make the most of them. Anytime you get the opportunity to go in, you’ve got to be ready for it. That’s something that you work all week for, I had the opportunity and it didn’t go the way I wanted it to,” said Locker.
J.J. Watt is starting to make a joke out of the MVP race. Watt put the hit on Mettenerger that sent him to the locker as he increased his sack total to 11 ½. Watt also caught one of Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes midway through the fourth quarter. Watt now has five touchdowns on the season. Watt is the first defensive player since they started keeping stats on QB sacks to have at least ten sacks and three touchdowns.
“It was an unreal throw by Fitz. He put it in a spot where nobody but me could get it and it was a perfect throw. He really couldn’t have put it in a better spot. It was just a matter of going out there and grabbing it. All of the credit goes to him on that,” said Watt.
The crowd began chanting “MVP” as Watt scored his fifth TD of the season – three receptions and two on defense. “It’s what you dream about. Moments like today, games like today, where everybody’s flying around, making plays, having fun. I came in this morning, and sometimes you have one of those moments where you just kind of look around for a second, you remember that you do play in the National Football League that you worked so hard to get here for your whole life and how many people wished they could be in your shoes. I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at,” he said.
“I mean obviously he is a heck of a player. He’s putting a good case for himself to be MVP this year. When you play a guy like that you’ve got to understand that he’s going to make some plays, and just kind of minimize and contain him so nothing is detrimental. We did an ok job of that in the first half, but I think in the second half he kind of let loose and made a couple plays,” said Mettenberger about the play of Watt.
The Titans are staring at another lost season, the first under Ken Whisenhunt. A makeshift line has made a MASH unit out of the quarterback position as now all three QBs on the roster have been injured at one time this season. Mettenberger who missed most of the second half Sunday was confident after the game that he would be ready for the New York Giants on Sunday. Despite who is under center the QB position needs to be less “giving” with the ball as three interceptions were thrown against the Texans. Mettenberger’s replacement, Jake Locker’s first passing attempt was intercepted. Add a fumble Sunday and you just add insult to injury.
“There are a lot of things you can take out of today’s game as far as the playmaking goes. It is more of a matter of going out there and doing it instead of just talking about what we need to do. We just need to go out there and playing on Sunday and make the plays and have fun,” said Titan wide receiver Kendall Wright.
The Titans return home this week as they’ll host the New York Giants. Kickoff Sunday is 1pm and will be aired on Fox.
– Dave Weinthal
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