Houston (9-5) took care of business on Sunday with a 24-21 victory in Tennessee, ending the Titans’ four-game winning streak to take the outright lead in the AFC South, and giving themselves the chance to clinch the division next week.
According to FPI, the Texans now have a 90% chance at winning the AFC South. A loss would have dropped them down to a 46% chance at the division title.
The Texans can clinch the division next week with a victory. Houston plays at Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon and the Titans host New Orleans on Sunday. Even if the Titans win in the Week 17 rematch, Houston would hold the tiebreaker because of a better division record.
QB breakdown: The Texans won despite Deshaun Watson throwing two interceptions in the end zone, one on the opening drive for the first time in his NFL career, and another at the end of the third quarter. Watson completed 19 of 27 passes for 243 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
It was the second time that Watson has thrown multiple interceptions in consecutive games this season. He also did it in Weeks 6 and 7. Before this season, he had never thrown multiple interceptions in consecutive games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Both interceptions came in the end zone.
Watson also joined Dan Marino, Kurt Warner and Patrick Mahomes as the only quarterbacks to reach 70 passing touchdowns within their first 36 career games.
Promising performance: Texans running back Carlos Hyde topped 100 yards rushing for the first time since Week 9, finishing with 104 yards on 26 carries. Hyde now has more than 1,000 rushing yards in a season for the first time in his NFL career. While the running game has slowed since the bye week, Houston's trade for Hyde on cutdown day was a huge addition for Bill O'Brien and the Texans.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus hit a max speed of 17.96 mph on his 86-yard interception return after a Ryan Tannehill pass intended for Anthony Firkser was knocked out by safety Justin Reid and bounced into Mercilus’ arms. Mercilus ran up the right sideline before he was forced out of bounds by Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, who reached a max speed of 20.93 mph, the second-fastest speed by a tight end on any play this season, on the return.