Coming off 2 straight overtime games and fighting some injuries the Houston Texans now head to Tennessee to face off against a division rival in the Titans on Sunday at 1:00 ET on CBS. When these 2 teams matched up earlier in the season the Texans were able to leave out of that game with the win. Even with the offense struggling to get it going and the defense giving up it’s season high in rushing yards to the Titans.
The last time these 2 teams met the Texans were only able to generate 297 yards of total offense, that’s about 100 yards off the average amount of yards the Texans have recorded this season. The Titans were able to hold the Texans to 95 yards rushing on 31 attempts including 24 carries for 86 yards for Texans RB Arian Foster. The offense will have to get it going early and often this week for the Texans to be successful on Sunday. They can’t afford to allow the Titans to hang around like the past 2 teams have. Arian Foster will be key in doing this, if he can get the ball moving on the ground it’ll open up the field to QB Matt Schaub. When the Titans have to use 8 in the box to stop the run the play action should be available for the Texans. WR Andre Johnson only had ended the lat match up with the Titans with 3 catches for 56 yards. Johnson who was then still trying to get back into his groove after missing a so much time with injury the last 2 seasons is now in 3rd in the league in receiving yards and has accumulated 466 yards in the last 2 games alone. Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub had a stellar game in the last meeting going 20-28 for 211 yards and 2 TD’s in a game in which Schaub wasn’t sacked once. If the Texans are able to keep him clean and not turn the ball over on the offensive side they should be in line to take the game on Sunday. Head coach Gary Kubiak knows Schaub can carry them to another win if needed. He had this to say about Schaub and what he means to the team offensively: “Right now, Matt’s one of those that, as an offensive coach, there’s nothing better than being able to trust a quarterback for 60 minutes a game. Not feeling like you have to do this or do that. I can do what I want to do; he’s going to make good decisions. He’s going to keep the team in the right spot.”
The defense gave up 325 total yards to the Titans last time these teams met, with 141 of that coming off the feet of Chris Johnson. If the Texans are hoping to leave Tennessee with a win they will have to limit what Johnson does through the running game and also as a receiver out of the back field. In the last meeting Titans starting QB Jake Locker was hit on a play early in the 1st quarter and never returned to the game. Locker is now back and starting this week so the Texans will also be looking to keep him in the pocket and make him make quick decisions while under pressure. The Texans will be bringing blitzes to try and force Locker to either make the bad throw or try to make a play that’s not there to be made. If they can’t get to the QB they’ll try batting the ball out of the air after it leaves Locker’s hand. The Texans as a team are first in the league in pass deflections and DE JJ Watt has been doing it at a ridiculous pace and now has 13.