HOUSTON (AP) – The last time Steve McNair faced the Houston Texans, he was so frustrated after the loss he hinted at retirement.

Things were much different for the Tennessee Titans quarterback on Sunday as he threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another to lead his team to a 34-20 win over the hapless Houston Texans.

The performance gave him more than 25,000 career yards passing. He is the second player in franchise history and the 49th player to reach the mark. Warren Moon became the first when the team was still in Houston.

The win was Titans coach Jeff Fisher’s 100th of his career.

It was a huge swing from his last action of 2004 against the Texans. He aggravated his sternum in a 31-21 loss in Houston and missed the final five games before having surgery to fix his chest with a bone graft.

The Texans continued their downward spiral, converting none of 13 third downs and managing just one touchdown. They are the only winless team in the league and are 0-4 for the first time in their short history.

Houston Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson left with a strained right calf in the first quarter and never returned.

Tennessee (2-3) led 10-9 early in the third quarter when McNair found Drew Bennett on a 41-yard pass to reach the 25,000-yard mark and get the Titans to the Houston 17.

Two plays later Jarrett Payton, son of the late Walter Payton and in just his second game after being elevated from the practice squad, bulled in from 5 yards for his first career touchdown. He filled the spot left open by Travis Henry’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Payton finished with eight carries for 11 yards.

The Titans got the ball back after a sack by AFC sacks leader Kyle Vanden Bosch forced Houston to punt. McNair led them on a 58-yard drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bennett to stretch the lead to 24-9. Bennett had five receptions for 99 yards.

Rob Bironas helped in the Titans’ effort, kicking a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 49-yarder in the fourth.

Early on, it looked as if the Titans would again be foiled by mistakes and costly penalties. On their first drive, a 3-yard touchdown run by Chris Brown was brought back for holding. But they were able to rebound and McNair found Ben Troupe on a 10-yard pass for an early 7-0 lead.

Houston was horrible again, with David Carr going 18-of-27 for 131 yards with an interception that Tennessee converted into a field goal in the fourth quarter. He was sacked seven times, bringing his season total to 27.

Kris Brown kicked four field goals for Houston. Carr threw a largely irrelevant 3-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford with 3:12 remaining.

The Texans also failed to get a takeaway, leaving them with zero this season.

The fans roundly booed the team beginning in the second quarter and most were gone by the beginning of the fourth. The only time the crowd got lively was in the second half, when an update of the Houston Astros’ playoff game against the Atlanta Braves was announced. Fans stood up and cheered and then a chorus of “Let’s go Astros” could be heard in the cavernous stadium.

Tennessee hoped to get its running game going this week, but it wasn’t much more productive with Brown leading the way with 22 carries for 78 yards.

AP-ES-10-09-05 1659EDT


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