Texans’ 14th loss 16-10 to Titans nabs top pick
The season finally, mercifully, is over for the Houston
Now they’re ready to find out who their next coach will be along
with their future teammate with the No. 1 draft pick overall –
something that can wait until May.
Jonathan Grimes scored the first touchdown of his NFL career,
and Matt Schaub had three of Houston’s four turnovers Sunday as the
Texans wrapped up their season with a 14th consecutive loss, 16-10
to the Tennessee Titans.
Texans owner Bob McNair already has been busy interviewing
coaches looking for someone to replace Gary Kubiak, whom he fired
Dec. 6. Interim coach Wade Phillips would like to be that man, and
several of his defensive players said they would like to see him
”But it’s up to whoever makes that decision,” Houston
linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. ”We’ll see what happens from
Defensive end J.J. Watt said he’s not the man to ask about
whether Phillips is a good fit as head coach.
”I’m a football player and not a football coach or a GM,” Watt
said. ”Wade is a good football coach, and he brought me to this
town and so I will always be appreciative of that. I have no clue
what they are going to do, so that is a decision for people that
are paid a lot more money than me.”
Former Chicago coach Lovie Smith reportedly has interviewed for
the job along with Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and Phillips. With
reports that O’Brien is a leading candidate, speculation centers
around whether Phillips would agree to remain as defensive
coordinator if he is passed over. Phillips had the Texans ranked
seventh in the NFL in yards allowed going into Sunday’s finale.
Phillips said he just couldn’t answer that question after
finishing what might have been his most difficult season as a
coach. His father, Bum, died in October.
”I had some personal things to go through myself,” Phillips
said. ”It was a tough year that way and then the way our season
went. I still believe the guys played hard. I didn’t ask them to
wine very game. I asked them to play hard, and I thought they did
The Texans (2-14) finish the season not having won since Week 2
when they downed Tennessee in overtime and with 15 players on
injured reserve. Grimes became the fifth different running back to
start this season. He capped the opening drive to give the Texans a
lead they held until the third quarter, but Grimes also lost a
The Titans (7-9) scored 16 straight points and converted the
four turnovers into 10 points. Chris Johnson ran for a TD and 127
yards in becoming only the sixth man in NFL history to start his
career with six straight 1,000-yard seasons in what might be his
last game in a Titans uniform with $29 million and three years’
left on his contract.
Schaub got his second straight start in what might have been his
final game in Houston after losing his job to Case Keenum and with
the Texans now getting the pick of the 2014 quarterback class.
He was intercepted twice, giving him 14 for the season, with one
ball bouncing off a defender’s face mask to Titans linebacker Akeem
Ayers and the second ending the Texans’ last hope of ending this
skid this year.
”Matt’s going to play somewhere,” Phillips said. ”If not
here, I think he’ll play somewhere.”
Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson said he couldn’t come up with
words to really describe what the Texans went through this season
except nobody wants to experience that again. Now he’s waiting to
see what changes take place once on a franchise where he wants to
finish his career.
”We will just see what happens with the whole process,”
NOTES: Johnson finished with six catches for 49 yards for
Houston. … The Titans snapped a three-game skid to Houston in
this series. The Texans had won three of the past four in
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org