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Johnson leads Texans over Titans 13-12
Dec 14, 2008 - 4:59:12 PM

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HOUSTON – Andre Johnson had one of the worst games of his career in Houston's first meeting with Tennessee this season.

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) catches a 65-yard pass as Tennessee Titans free safety Michael Griffin (33) defends during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The receiver atoned for that performance Sunday with a career-high 207 yards and a touchdown to lead the Texans to their fourth consecutive win, a 13-12 victory over the Titans.

Kris Brown kicked two field goals for Houston.

It was an uninspired showing for the Titans (12-2), who have already clinched the AFC South and a first-round playoff bye, but could have secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win and a Pittsburgh loss later Sunday.

Already eliminated from playoff contention, the Texans (7-7) are shooting for the first winning season in franchise history. Sunday marked the first time they've won four games in a row, and the victory snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Titans.

Johnson was down on himself for weeks after catching just two passes for 29 yards and dropping two would-be touchdown passes in a 31-12 loss to the Titans in September. On Sunday, Johnson got going early, with eight catches for 154 yards before halftime. It was the most first-half yards receiving in the NFL this season.

Johnson put the Texans up 10-3 with a 13-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Johnson set that up when he got in front of Michael Griffin for a 65-yard catch-and-run four plays earlier.

He has a career-high 1,408 yards receiving this season.

Johnson had more than a little help from his defense. The Texans held Tennessee to 100 yards rushing after the Titans gained 527 in the previous two games. It was the first time they didn't score a touchdown since a 17-6 loss to the Chargers in last year's AFC Wild Card playoff game.

With two minutes left, the Titans went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Houston 32, but Kerry Collins' deep pass to Justin McCareins flew just out of his reach.

Steve Slaton's runs helped the Texans to one more first down and Houston ran out the clock. Slaton had 24 carries for 100 yards. He had 116 yards rushing in the teams' first meeting, making him the only player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Titans this season.

The Titans had to settle for a 34-yard field goal that made it 13-12 when Mario Williams tackled Collins short of the first down on third-and-12 with about 5 1/2 minutes to play.

Brown's 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter pushed Houston's lead to 13-9. Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan had two costly penalties on that drive, one for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Matt Schaub and another for spearing when he jumped head first to make a tackle.

Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was injured near the end of the game when his left leg was caught under the pile. He remained on the turf for several minutes while Titans officials looked at him. He finally got up and hobbled off the field.

There was no immediate word on the nature of his injury.

Copyright 2007 - MOP Squad Sports

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