Last time these two teams met up it was close.. at halftime (14-7 at the half). The Texans ran away with it in the 2nd half thanks to the help of Matt Hasselbeck throwing two pick-6′s. However, in the Titans defense Locker went down with an injury in the 1st quarter and Hasselbeck had to take over. He was less than spectacular (that’s being nice). This was Chris Johnson’s first game that he ran for over 100 yards, and he actually somewhat resembled a running back. Arian Foster was held to 86 yards on 24 carries but the Titans had no answer for Schaub who completed 20-28 passes for 202 yards and 2 TD’s.
That was all the way back in week 4 though. A lot of things have happened since then, for each team. Jake Locker has since returned to the starting lineup and Chris Palmer, the Titans offensive coordinator, was fired earlier in the week. The Titans defense has been playing much better than in previous weeks. Jerry Grey has dialed up more blitzes and last week for Tennessee they recorded 7 sacks as a team. Houston has had the injury bug this season. Brian Cushing went down earlier in the season with a torn ACL and he is done for the year. Johnathan Joseph, Bradie James, Derek Newton, Antoine Caldwell are all ruled out for Sunday, and Brooks Reed is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a groin injury. So the Texans are hurting on defense and on the offensive line. Houston’s defense has not been playing up to the standards that they had set for themselves earlier in the season. They given up 68 points in the last 2 games and 983 yards of total offense. That averages out to 34 points per game and 491.5 yards per game. The defense really needs to step it up despite the injuries. The secondary has really been exposed the past couple of weeks I feel, but everyone knows one of the easiest ways to cover up a bad secondary is a good pass rush. Make the QB throw the ball before he wants to, but Jake Locker has something that Hasselbeck doesn’t. Mobility. Tennessee’s offensive line has done a good job of protecting the QB this year too. So that will be an intriguing match up to watch, Texans D line vs the Titans O line.
Luckily, Houston is playing the Titans who haven’t been able to put it all together offensively. They have often times looked as if they aren’t on the same page out there. Maybe some of that will change with the new offensive coordinator and Tom Moore (who was hired to help out the offense). Houston needs to get some early stops on defense and establish the running game so they can use that deadly play action passing game. They need to get on top of Tennessee quick and make them play from behind.
I do think Tennessee keeps this game pretty close. I don’t trust the Texans defense right now but Houston has just seemed to find different ways to win ball games lately. Quite frankly that is all that matters. While on the other hand all year long Tennessee has found ways to lose them. Tennessee will hang around but they just don’t have enough.
Matt Schaub 25-30 250 yards 2 TD’s
Arian Foster 28 carries 120 yards 2 TD
Andre Johnson 11 catches 115 yards TD
Defense: 2 sacks 2 turnovers
Jake Locker: 28-40 267 yards 2 TD
Chris Johnson 21 carries 92 yards TD
Jared Cook 8 catches 88 yards TD
Defense: 3 sacks turnover
Houston 34 Tennessee 27
About the Author
Written by Dustin Kelver
I am in my Sophomore year of college at Howard Payne, and I play baseball there. I live in Conroe, Texas and have been here for almost 6 years. I love sports and have played all sports competitvely at some point in my life. I want to one day have my own radio show. You can follow me on twitter @CleverKelver