Titans look to continue winning ways after rout of Packers

Saturday, October 16th 2004, 12:29 pm
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Coming off their most impressive win of the season, the Tennessee Titans look to stop a two-game losing streak at The Coliseum when they host the Houston Texans.

The Titans snapped a three-game losing streak overall with a dominating 48-27 rout of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday night, avoiding a 1-4 start for the second time in three seasons.

A healthy Steve McNair, who has been slowed by injuries to his left ankle and sternum this season, helped the Titans pile up 17 points in the first nine minutes - as many points as they managed in any one of their first four games.

Running back Chris Brown played a huge role in Tennessee's offensive resurgence.

The second-year back leads the AFC and is second in the NFL only to Tiki Barber of the New York Giants with 556 yards rushing. Brown is one of just three backs in NFL history to record four 100-yard games in his first five starts, joining Stump Mitchell and Don Calhoun.

He ran through the Packer defence for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.

"We knew he had skills, and he flashed them last year," Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said of Brown. "We were hoping that his play last year, what we saw, would turn into this type of production and it has.

"He's gotten help, but four touchdown runs all over 20 yards in the first five games of the season are pretty impressive."

Despite his team's performance in Green Bay, McNair says the Titans must focus on this week's task - regaining home-field advantage.

"I think that's been our edge for the last seven years having fun at home, and we haven't done that," McNair said. "I think we've just been trying too hard instead of relaxing and just playing the ball game."

Since moving into The Coliseum in 1999, the Titans are 31-11 at home, tying them with the Packers for most home victories over that span. But after a season-opening win at Miami, Tennessee dropped consecutive home games to Indianapolis and Jacksonville by a combined score of 46-29.

After posting back-to-back wins for the first time in franchise history with impressive victories over Kansas City and Oakland, the Texans nearly rallied for an improbable win over Minnesota at Reliant Stadium last week before suffering a 34-28 loss in overtime.

Houston was staring at a 21-0 deficit early in the third quarter, but clawed back to tie the game at 28 as quarterback David Carr threw for a career-high 372 yards and three touchdowns.

"We couldn't finish it off," Carr said. "That's something we're going to have to focus on. We've got to get the killer mentality and take it away, kind of like the Vikings did."

Carr hooked up consistently with wide receiver Andre Johnson, who caught a career-high 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

"I've never seen anyone play football like that," Texans veteran tight end Billy Miller said. "You can throw Andre in with anybody in the NFL. There might be someone who is just as good, but no one is better."

The Texans have never beaten the Titans, formerly known as the Houston Oilers before moving to Nashville in '99.