The Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans are preparing for their second divisional bout this Sunday. Unlike last time the teams faced in late November, there will be fewer to no playoff implications, the draft scenarios for a future Titan quarterback come up, and also, of course, the Titans will not bring out rookie quarterback Rusty Smith.
November’s Titans-Texans game left a lot of jaws dropped and question marks for the future. Since then, those questions have been answered. The Texans defense has stepped up, Glover Quin has a new found confidence at cornerback, and the Texans’ offense have more playmakers than you can count. However, the coaching problems have continued, the inconsistencies have continued, and Mario Williams’ sports hernia has landed him on the injured reserve list.
For Sunday’s game, the Texans will be looking to prove their 20-0 November shutout of the Titans and Rusty Smith was no fluke, whether or not Kerry Collins starts the game. Without Mario Williams, the Texans defense will rely on the likes of front pushers Amobi Okoye, Antonio Smith and pass rusher Mark Anderson. On offense, the Texans are down slick wide out David Anderson, who also landed on the IR this week. However, Owen Daniels proved he’s back and ready for more action. He’ll be part of the Texans gameplan, as he, when healthy is one of the best tight ends in the National Football League. Also, Andre Johnson, the Natural, will be involved as will the NFL’s leading rusher, Arian Foster. Matt Schaub will have to prove he can shake the dust off the Titans’ beat downs of him in the past in Tennessee. If he can do so, expect the Texans to take to the air and run away with this one.
The Titans’ secondary should be the biggest threat for the Texans’ Sunday. Safeties Chris Hope and Michael Griffin align to keep Foster from breaking it big. Also Cortland Finnergan, who proposed an apology to Andre Johnson this week, should be a potential liability for the Titans offense after he set off Andre Johnson into a national “thug,” rather than the humble receiver he is on and off the field. Expect Johnson and Schaub to find a connection early, and perhaps end worries about Gary Kubiak’s ability to prepare and coach a first half gameplan.
The Titans’ offense is far from it was with Vince Young, who has just as much ability to scramble for a long gain as the Titans’ All Pro running back Chris Johnson. However, the Texans have made it a point to stop the run this season, being a top ten ranked rush defense. As well, Chris Johnson hasn’t found success in recent weeks, absent the Colts awful rush defense. The Texans shut him down last time around, and they’ll look to do the same this week.
The Texans and Titans will continue their AFC South showdowns this Sunday, who do you think will come out on top? And will the Texans still have a chance at another shut out with Kerry Collins throwing the ball to Nate Washington and Randy Moss?