The preseason NFL predictions for the Houston Texans were all so positive. The NFL betting experts were expecting this to be the year that the Texans challenged for a playoff spot. When the season started, the NFL scores coming out seemed to indicate that Houston would be playoff bound this season. But after 14 weeks of play, the Texans are 5-8 and decidedly out of the playoff race.
The Titans had similar high expectations when the season started, but there was always that fear that Vince Young could melt down. Prior to the season starting, Young had a run-in in a Dallas strip club and the woes had begun. But Young faced up to the issue and handled it like a professional, and the issue went away. But three or four games into the season, Young was unstable again and by week 12 he was gone for the year. Now head coach Jeff Fisher may lose his job because Titans owner Bud Adams is insistent that Young be the quarterback and Fisher has, obviously, had enough.
For the Houston Texans offense, the story is one of bad timing. Quarterback Matt Schaub has thrown for 3,482 passing yards and 20 touchdowns this season. But many of his 10 interceptions wound up being game-changing events. The cast around him is playing very well. Wide receiver Andre Johnson has 1,158 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while Arian Foster has 1,330 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. But the timing is off. Foster seemed to disappear in some of the bigger games earlier in the season, and Johnson losing his cool with Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is an example of how Johnson can lose focus from time to time. The pieces are there for the Houston offense, they just need to come together as a unit a bit better.
The Titans are a mess on offense. To augment that mess, they brought in wide receiver, and locker room cancer, Randy Moss. To this point, Moss has actually been very cooperative and somewhat productive. But Fisher is using Moss mostly as a blocking receiver on running plays. Quarterback Kerry Collins has been injured off and on this season and we already covered the newest Vince Young drama. Running back Chris Johnson’s numbers are down when compared to last year, but 1,137 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns is still an excellent season.
The Titans are struggling between the 20 yard lines, but they are doing a decent job at keeping teams out of the endzone. The Tennessee defense is ranked 24th in the league giving up an average of 365 yards per game. But the defense is also only giving up an average of 20 points per game which ranks them 12th in the league for that category. The defense is trying to hang in there for the Titans, but the other facets of the team keep giving the ball away.
The Texans cannot stop the pass. Against the pas the Houston defense is ranked 32nd giving up an average of 280 passing yards per game. That means giving up big plays and that means giving up critical points. It is the Houston defense, much more than the offense, that has brought the Texans down this season.
The Bottom Line:
The Titans would be a threat in this game if they could get the ball downfield. It is unknown how healthy Kerry Collins really is, and the Texans will be able to stop Chris Johnson and the Tennessee running game. This could be a big day for Matt Schaub and the Texans offense.
Pick: Houston Texans
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