NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Arian Foster helped the Houston Texans put an end to their three-game skid in time for a signature moment in franchise history.
Foster ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a pass for a score, and the Texans beat the Tennessee Titans 30-16 Sunday for a win in the franchise’s 200th game.
The Texans (4-4) finally got a win as Foster topped 100 yards rushing in his fourth straight game. J.J. Watt had two sacks and forced a fumble as the Texans beat the team they replaced in Houston for the fourth time in five games.
Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney played for the first time since hurting his knee in the season opener. Clowney finished with one tackle.
Rookie Zach Mettenberger turned the ball over twice in his first start, and he also threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans (2-6) go into their bye having lost two straight.
The Texans had given up 24 points in a single quarter each of their past two losses. This time, they trailed only 3-0 early before scoring 27 straight points.
They had no trouble throttling a Tennessee offense playing three rookies with left tackle Taylor Lewan and running back Bishop Sankey joining Mettenberger. D.J. Swearinger intercepted a Mettenberger pass in the second quarter to end the Titans’ first drive into Houston territory, and Tim Jamison recovered the fumble after Watt sacked Mettenberger and popped the ball out to end Tennessee’s first drive in the third quarter.
Houston led 13-3 at halftime, a lead that should have been much bigger.
The Titans forced the Texans to settle for two field goals by Randy Bullock on drives inside the Tennessee 12, and Houston had first-and-goal at the Titans 2 when Fitzpatrick was sacked for the fourth time.
Foster broke loose on a 34-yard TD where he cut back to his right and outraced the Titans to the pylon with 6:00 left in the first half to put Houston ahead to stay. He also caught a 5-yard TD pass, and he scored on a 1-yard run a play after he just missed on a 43-yard run in the third quarter.
Bullock finished with three field goals, including a long of 49 yards.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt turned his offense over to Mettenberger, the sixth-round draft pick out of LSU, after the Titans had lost five of six with Jake Locker missing three of those with separate injuries. Mettenberger gave glimpses of his strong arm with a 48-yard toss to Kendall Wright and a 43-yarder to Nate Washington. The rookie had his first career TD pass on a 6-yarder to Delanie Walker.
The quarterback switch didn’t fix Tennessee’s other woes. The run game remains nonexistent. Three of the Titans’ six penalties were on the offense, and not being flagged once in the second half counted as progress.