HOUSTON – Andre Johnson often tells DeAndre Hopkins that the rookie will be better than he is one day.
Hopkins is certainly off to a good start.
He had a 3-yard touchdown reception in overtime to lift the Houston Texans to a 30-24 win over the Tennessee Titans and former Washington Huskies quarterback Jake Locker on Sunday.
With Johnson out after being shaken up in the fourth quarter, Hopkins reached above Jason McCourty and pulled in the pass from Matt Schaub to give Houston the victory.
Houston coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson was being evaluated for a concussion.
“We survived today because of some great heroics and plays by him,” Kubiak said of Hopkins.
When Hopkins saw the coverage on the winning play, he couldn’t wait for Schaub to snap the ball.
“Anytime I see a one-on-one, that’s a wide receiver’s dream,” he said. “(Schaub) put it in the perfect position for me to go up and catch it. We practice that basically every day and practice makes perfect.”
The Texans (2-0) needed a franchise-record 21-point comeback to win their opener at San Diego last week, 31-28.
On Sunday, they charged back from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans (1-1).
“It’s just great character for us to find a way to win two weeks in a row like that,” Kubiak said.
Arian Foster’s 1-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion tied the game at 24-24 with less than two minutes to go in regulation.
Houston forced a punt and got within field goal range after that. But Randy Bullock’s 46-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright to send the game to overtime. It was his third miss of the day.
The Titans were disappointed they let a potential win get away.
“We’ve got to close games out,” Tennessee safety Bernard Pollard said. “We have to be more disciplined for a full 60 minutes.”
Hopkins, a first-round pick, finished with seven receptions for 117 yards. Schaub threw for 298 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Locker threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Johnson ran for 96 yards for Tennessee.
Houston’s Brian Cushing had 11 tackles and two sacks and J.J. Watt added a pair of sacks.
Johnson got the Texans to the 2-yard line with a 21-yard catch to set up Foster’s fourth-quarter score. The play was first ruled an incomplete pass, but Kubiak challenged and the call was overturned.
Johnson was shaken up on the play after a hit by Pollard and did not return.
The Titans took a one-point lead with a 10-yard touchdown grab by Delanie Walker and extended their advantage to 24-16 with under five minutes remaining when Alterraun Verner returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown on Houston’s next drive.
A poor offensive series by the Titans ended with a safety by Houston to push the lead to 16-10 early in the fourth quarter.
After penalties pushed the Titans to their own 2, Kubiak challenged the spot on a Chris Johnson carry and the ruling was reversed to give the Texans a safety.
Houston took the lead when Owen Daniels stretched out to grab a 12-yard touchdown pass from Schuab near the back of the end zone to make it 14-10 in the third quarter.
The Texans wasted no time getting going, scoring on their fifth play of the game when Schaub found Garrett Graham on a 1-yard pass. A career-long 60-yard run by Ben Tate got Houston to the 6.
Tennessee tied the game at 7-7 when Locker connected with Kendall Wright on a 6-yard touchdown.
Houston’s offense struggled on Sunday after its opening drive, and Bullock missed 50-yard field goals in the first and second quarters.
Pollard intercepted Schaub near the end of the first half, and Rob Bironas — who had missed from 48 earlier in the second quarter — made a 47-yard try to put Tennessee up 10-7 at halftime.