NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans remained perfect in their best start since their lone Super Bowl appearance. The Houston Texans? Well, at least they got back on a football field.
LenDale White ran for two touchdowns, Kerry Collins threw for another and Tennessee rolled over the Texans 31-12 Sunday to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history.
The Titans last won their first three games in 1999 their first season in their current stadium and in 1991 while still in Houston and playing as the Oilers. With this victory, they now have beaten the team that replaced them in Houston seven straight times and 11 of the 13 games in this series.
The Texans (0-2) wanted to provide an emotional boost to their hometown where most people remain without power more than a week after Hurricane Ike hit. The hurricane forced the postponement of the Texans' home opener.
They led 3-0 on a 44-yard field goal by Kris Brown. But the Texans scored only 12 points despite getting inside the Tennessee 14 six times, the last with 5:12 left when they were stopped short on fourth-and-4 at the Titans 10.
The Tennessee defense sacked Matt Schaub three times, Michael Griffin had two interceptions and Cortland Finnegan sealed the victory by returning Schaub's third pick 99 yards for a TD and a franchise record.
Collins started his second straight game with Vince Young watching from a box and threw an interception on his first pass. But the 14-year veteran threw for 189 yards, making him the 15th NFL quarterback with at least 35,000 yards passing in his career.
Houston rookie Steve Slaton became the first running back to top 100 yards against the Titans this season and scored his first pro TD on a 6-yard run. He had nine carries for 104 yards in the first half with 50 coming on one carry. But he was stopped short on fourth-and-goal from the Tennessee 3 with 7:06 left and finished with 117.
The Texans had their chances early.
Jacques Reeves picked off a pass from Collins and ran to the 14. But Andre Johnson dropped a pass from Schaub in the end zone before Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth sacked Schaub on the next play. A false start penalty pushed them back farther as Kris Brown kicked a 44-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans recovered a fumble by Titans receiver Justin McCareins, and Houston got to the Tennessee 4 before stalling as Schaub dropped a snap, then missed Johnson in the end zone and had another incompletion.
Collins bounced back. He completed four of five and even scrambled 12 yards for a first down in a 77-yard drive capped by a a 2-yard TD run by White for a 7-3 lead the Titans never lost. He tossed a 9-yard TD pass to Bo Scaife for a 14-6 lead at the beginning of the second quarter.
A 17-yard completion to McCareins in the second quarter put Collins over 35,000 yards.