The Texans (11-1) clinched a playoff spot as they won 24-10 at Tennessee on Sunday. It was the sixth consecutive win, and the 11 wins set a franchise record for most wins in a single season. The Texans limped into the game with six players inactive due to injuries, and two more players -- TE Garrett Graham (concussion) and CB Brice McCain (foot) -- had to leave Sunday’s game with physical ailments.
Houston travels to take on New England next Monday night with a two-game lead over the Patriots for the top seed in the AFC. The Texans undoubtedly would like to clinch home field in the playoffs as soon as possible so they can get some players rested and healthy before the playoffs.
The Titans won the total yardage battle 354-332, and Houston really struggled in the second half, managing just three points while failing to put together a drive that went for longer than 29 yards. The offense did enough early and turned Tennessee’s turnovers into points. RB Arian Foster managed just 38 yards on 14 carries and did not have a run that went for more than seven yards. The last two weeks, the Texans needed the offense to win a shootout. This week, they just needed the offense not to turn the ball over. Previous game’s grade: A
The defense created big plays all afternoon, setting a new franchise record with six takeaways. Houston also had a season-high six sacks, which also tied for the second-most in team history. Not to mention, the Texans did all of this while dealing with a rash of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. The linebacking unit had to be completely shuffled, and the secondary was one more injury away from WR DeVier Posey having to play snaps on defense. Previous game’s grade: C+
Special teams: A
K Shayne Graham made a 50-yard field goal, which was a welcome sight considering he had missed three field goals in the last two weeks. P Donnie Jones was solid once again as he averaged 48.8 yards per punt on 10 attempts. WR Keshawn Martin continues to impress in the return game. He averaged 16.8 yards on four punt returns and set up Houston’s second touchdown with a 42-yard return that put the ball on Tennessee’s 20-yard line. Previous game's grade: C
The Texans have already clinched a spot in the postseason. This week, Houston was dealing with a lot of injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but the Texans went on the road and got the job done. Now, they begin preparation for one of their biggest tests this season next week, a trip to New England for Monday Night Football. Previous game's grade: B
Follow Texans blogger Sean Bielawski on Twitter, @CBSTexans.