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National Football League
          === Texans headed back to playoffs after topping Titans ===
 Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Matt Schaub completed 21-of-35 passes for 207
 yards  and two  touchdowns to lead the  Houston Texans to a 24-10 win over the
 Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
 The  Texans'  defense forced three  interceptions and recovered three fumbles,
 while  Arian  Foster carried  the ball 14  times for 38  yards and a touchdown
 and  Lestar  Jean had a 54-yard  touchdown reception for Houston (11-1), which
 clinched its second consecutive playoff berth with the win.
 "It's  amazing. Last year we clinched and the players were euphoric, this year
 they expect to get there," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said.
 Tennessee's  Jake Locker  was 21-for-45 passing for 309 yards and a touchdown,
 but  threw three interceptions. Nate Washington had three catches for 96 yards
 and  Chris Johnson rushed for 51 yards on 13 carries for the Titans (4-8), who
 have dropped four of their last five games overall.
 "It  is very frustrating  to work so hard to turn everything around and go out
 and have a performance like that," Johnson said.
 Dowell  Loggains made  his debut as Tennessee's offensive coordinator, but was
 anything but encouraged with the result.
 "Nobody can be satisfied with this game from myself on down," Loggains said.
 Earlier  in the  week the Titans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, who
 entered the game ranked 24th in the NFL in total offense.
 Houston  scored  on the  game's  opening  possession  when Schaub  found  Jean
 near  the left  sideline for  a 54-yard  catch-and-run for  a touchdown.  Jean
 started toward the middle, but cut back to the sideline and Schaub delivered a
 strike  to the  receiver. Jean then turned  it up field and reached across the
 goal line as he was hit for the touchdown.
 Rob  Bironas'  37-yard field  goal on  the ensuing  drive made  it a 7-3 game.
 Earlier, Locker found tight end Jared Cook for a 25-yard reception and Johnson
 followed  with a 26-yard rush to put the ball at the Houston 24. Locker's pass
 on  3rd-and-5  fell incomplete  and the  Titans were forced  to settle for the
 Bironas field goal.
 After  the teams traded a pair of punts, Schaub hooked up with James Casey for
 a  5-yard touchdown pass. Schaub faked a hand off to the left side, rolled out
 to his right then found Casey all alone for the  score. Keshawn Martin set the
 Texans  up with  excellent field position after returning Brett Kern's punt 42
 yards down to the Titans' 20.
 Locker's  pass near  the midway point of the second quarter was intercepted at
 the  Titans 10 by Tim Dobbins and returned seven yards to the Tennessee 3. Two
 plays  later,  Foster waltzed  into the  end zone untouched  to put Houston up
 After  trading  punts to open the  second half, Locker was stripped by Antonio
 Smith  and Whitney Mercilus recovered the ball at the Tennessee 36. The Texans
 were  stopped on 3rd-and-2, however, and settled for a 50-yard field goal from
 Shayne Graham.
 Locker found Kenny Britt for a 34-yard touchdown later in the third quarter to
 pull Tennessee within 24-10.
 The  Titans had  chances to make it  a one possession game on their next three
 possessions, but turned it over each time. Tennessee drove down to the Houston
 7, but on 4th-and-3 Locker fumbled.
 Houston  was  forced to  punt six plays  later, and Locker  once again led the
 Titans  into Houston  territory, but on 4th-and-5 at the Texans's 33, Locker's
 pass to Kendall Wright was batted down and Houston took over.
 After  forcing  another Texans'  punt, Locker threw  an interception to Darryl
 Sharpton and Houston was able kneel it three times to run out the clock.
 "The  team played  very well  offensively in  the first  half and  played very
 poorly  offensively in  second," Kubiak said. We're missing some key defensive
 players, so you have to play well offensively. Then we turn around and play as
 good a defensive game as we played all year. That just tells you that you're a
 team, the defense was execution."
                                   Game Notes
 J.J.  Watt had two  passes defensed, and now has an NFL-record 15 on the year.
 Reggie  White has 13 for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1991 ... Houston will take
 on  the New England Patriots next Monday ... Titans right tackle David Stewart
 left  in  the first quarter with  a fracture right leg ... Washington extended
 his  streak  of consecutive games with  at least one  reception to 74 -- 60 of
 which have come with Tennessee.
 12/03 02:22:41 ET

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