Texans top Titans for eighth straight win

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By KRISTIE RIEKEN

The Associated Press

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans wanted to honor their late owner and founder Robert “Bob” McNair, who died last week at age 81.

They knew the perfect way to do that Monday night was to keep their winning streak going.

Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Texans set a franchise record with their eighth straight victory, 34-17 over the Tennessee Titans.

“The one thing Mr. McNair wanted was a winner,” J.J. Watt said. “All he wanted was a winner. He wanted to win every week. He wanted a team that could win and bring a championship to this city. So to be able to win eight straight and to be able to win tonight for him was good, and we’re going to try to keep doing that for him.”

Demaryius Thomas scored his first two touchdowns with Houston and Lamar Miller ran for 162 yards, including a 97-yard TD.

The Texans (8-3) also saluted McNair by wearing decals in the shape of a football with white block letters bearing his initials of “RCM.” With that tribute on the back of their helmets, they became the first team in NFL history to win eight games in a row after starting 0-3. They lead the AFC South by two games over Indianapolis.

“We need to try and keep getting better,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “We need to take the mantra that we’re going to improve every day.”

The Texans trailed by 10 early before reeling off 27 straight points.

Tennessee (5-6) finally scored again on a 48-yard reception by Corey Davis late in the third quarter, but the second TD by Thomas made it 34-17 with just more than eight minutes left.

Marcus Mariota, who missed the second half of last week’s game with a stinger, was 22-of-23 for 303 yards and two touchdowns. He completed his first 19 passes before an incompletion with just more than a minute remaining.

Miller’s 97-yard breakaway in the second quarter made it 21-10. It was the longest run in franchise history and the longest in the NFL since his dash of the same length for a touchdown on Dec. 28, 2014, with the Dolphins. He’s the only player in league history with two career rushing touchdowns of 95 yards or longer.