Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Game Day Central

  • coleryan

Forums NFL Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Game Day Central

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  • #200455

    coleryan
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    Two teams meet on the field in week 13 that will miss the playoffs when the Texans play host to the equally struggling Titans.
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    Cole (cool)

    #200456

    coleryan
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    A few thoughts from the Houston Texans’ 22-13 loss Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium:

    What it means: The Texans’ playoff chances took a hit with this loss, as the division-leading Indianapolis Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans are certainly not out of it yet, which is something we’ll take a look at next week with the playoff machine. Still, this does make a wild-card slot more difficult for Houston to achieve and knocks it two games back from the Colts in the AFC South.

    Stock watch: After a strong outing in which he was kept clean in his first start, Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett struggled a bit in his second game. The Bengals got much better pressure on Mallett than the Browns did last week. He completed 21 of his 45 passes, and several of those incompletions were thrown high. He threw an interception to start the second half. He also threw one to start the first half, but it was negated by a Bengals penalty that kept the Texans’ opening drive alive. A bit of a regression in a quarterback’s second career start is normal: It happens to most players when they face a team that’s more prepared for them.

    Running game stalled: The Texans were without starting running back Arian Foster for a second straight game. Foster, who suffered a groin injury Nov. 2, missed his third game of the season. Last week against the Cleveland Browns, it didn’t matter. The offensive line dominated the Browns’ front and Alfred Blue rushed for 156 yards. This week, the Texans faced a more aggressive Bengals team and rushed for only 64 yards total.

    Game ball: Johnathan Joseph energized the Texans with an interception returned for a touchdown on a third-and-7 intended for AJ Green. Joseph’s play cut the Texans’ deficit from 13 to 6 and marked a turning point in the way the Texans’ defense played.

    What’s next: Back to division play for the Texans. They’ll be at home against the Tennessee Titans, but they haven’t won at home since Sept. 28.

    #200457

    coleryan
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    Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett will miss the rest of the season because of a torn right pectoral muscle, according to media reports.

    Mallett, who played through the injury during Sunday’s game, injured the muscle in his first career start Nov. 6 against the Cleveland Browns. He practiced fully all week but was on the injury report with a chest injury throughout the week leading up to the game.

    The Houston Chronicle and Houston’s Fox 26 earlier reported the news.

    However, a team source told ESPN that Mallett’s injury still is being evaluated and no determination has been made on his status.

    The Texans turned to Mallett just before their bye week. Mallett replaced former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 10-year veteran. The Texans traded for Mallett on Aug. 31; he had spent the first three years of his career with the New England Patriots. Mallett threw only four passes in that time and never played a meaningful snap.

    With Mallet injured, the Texans are set to sign former Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

    The Texans acquired Mallett for a conditional draft pick. With Monday’s news, Mallett won’t reach the proper playing time needed (40 percent of the team’s snaps), so New England will receive a seventh-rounder.

    #200458

    coleryan
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    A few thoughts on the Tennessee Titans’ 43-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field:

    What it means: The Titans lost their fifth consecutive game and their ninth of the season, as they simply didn’t have the horses or performance to stick with the Eagles. They gave up a 107-yard touchdown return to Josh Huff on the opening kickoff to make things especially difficult from the beginning. Two takeaways were nice, but they offset them with three giveaways.

    Stock watch: Rookie running back Bishop Sankey shows a little promise with some of his runs, but the overall body of work isn’t improving much. If he’s going to get 37 yards on 10 carries and 14 more with two catches, he sure can’t also lose a fumble.

    Game ball: As is often the case, tight end Delanie Walker was pretty much the only entry on the list of candidates. He set up a touchdown with a 68-yard catch-and-run during which he delivered a great stiff-arm to Emmanuel Acho. Walker got the Titans all riled up when he dipped his head in his first game back from a concussion and popped safety Malcolm Jenkins with it near the Titans’ bench as he ran after another catch. Later, Walker dove with a reception to cover a third-and-15. He finished with five catches for 155 yards.

    Big losses: Rookie left tackle Taylor Lewan went down with a left ankle injury in the fourth quarter and left the game, and he was replaced by Byron Stingily. Lewan had a rough game, as did the entire line, but the Titans are far better with him than without him. Missing any time in the remainder of his rookie season would be a big setback for the team’s top pick. Center Brian Schwenke also didn’t finish the game, leaving with a left leg injury.

    What’s next: The Titans head to Houston for their first AFC South rematch of the year. Tennessee lost 30-16 to the Texans in Nashville on Oct. 26.

    #200459

    coleryan
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    The Tennessee Titans just lost their fifth game in a row and ninth in the first 11 games of Ken Whisenhunt’s tenure as head coach.

    “I have a sick feeling in my stomach all the time,” Whisenhunt said Monday. “Nothing changes that except when you win.”

    The 27-24 “Monday Night Football” loss to Pittsburgh Nov. 17 allowed the Titans to feel they’d made some progress. Sunday’s 43-24 whipping in Philadelphia undid most of that.

    In 11 games, in what areas have the Titans improved?

    I asked Whisenhunt if he could offer examples.

    “It’s probably hard to do that,” he said. “Because you’re seeing one week where you see improvement in an area, like last week where we don’t give up a sack. We go into a game (Sunday) and give up five sacks.

    “I see a tremendous amount of improvement in Avery Williamson and what he’s doing for us. I think as far as the communication defensively and what we are doing in those areas, I’ve seen improvement. But then we have a game where we don’t tackle well, we miss some gap fits and it hurts us.

    “It’s hard offensively to say we’re doing a lot of things very good other than the fact we’ve had a lot of chunk plays, a lot of big plays. I think yesterday we had eight plays of over 20 yards. That’s small solace when you can’t convert a third down or you can’t run the ball more effectively or you have penalties.

    “I see players growing in certain areas, but I don’t see enough consistency as a group.”

    I think it’s an honest answer and he didn’t try to sugarcoat it.

    But the fact there aren’t a few well-defined areas where this team can say it’s gotten discernibly better over the course of three months is evidence extending well beyond the record of how bad things are.

    #200460

    coleryan
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    Houston -7; Total: 43

    The Tennessee Titans are just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 road games against AFC South opponents. Tennessee will be on the road this week to take on the Houston Texans.

    The Titans are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against Houston and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog. Houston hasn’t been much better of late with a 2-5 ATS record in their last seven games as a home favorite. Houston is 0-4 ATS in its last four divisional home games since going 8-1 in the previous nine.

    Houston will face the 2-9 Tennessee Titans, who own a 3-7-1 ATS mark on the season. In totals betting, the Texans are 6-5 so far this season while the Titans are 5-6.

    The game also pits Houston’s No. 16-ranked offense, averaging 22 PPG, against a Titans defense that ranks No. 26 this week at 26.64 PPG. The Texans aerial game is averaging 207 yards per game, less than the Titans secondary allows through the air, 233.45 YPG per game.

    Defensively, the Tennessee Titans feature the league’s No. 22-rated road run defense, allowing 117.17 yards per game. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, ranks No. 24 in rushing offense at home.

    – Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans Betting Odds Trends

    Tennessee is 3-11-2 ATS in its last 16 games
    Tennessee is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
    Tennessee is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    Tennessee is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Houston is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
    Houston is 5-20 SU in its last 25 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 6 games
    Houston is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games at home

    #200461

    coleryan
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    The Houston Texans need to be nearly perfect from here on out to have any chance at the playoffs. They’ll also need Ryan Fitzpatrick to step up.

    If the Texans are to make a last-ditched bid for the postseason, they’ll have to succeed through another quarterback change as Fitzpatrick resumes the starting role Sunday against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

    Houston (5-6) stands as a longshot in the playoff picture but has a chance to put itself in the mix with four AFC South games remaining. One is against first-place Indianapolis, which is 7-5, but two are against league-worst Jacksonville and this one is at home against a Tennessee team which has lost five in a row.

    However, any potential playoff run will be without quarterback Ryan Mallett, who suffered a torn right pectoral muscle in last Sunday’s 22-13 loss to Cincinnati and will miss the rest of the season.

    Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Mallett following a Week 9 loss to Philadelphia in which he completed 13 of 27 passes for 203 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He won his first two starts without getting picked off or being sacked, but he had eight interceptions and was sacked 20 times in his next seven, going 2-5.

    “I don’t think so,” Fitzpatrick said when asked whether it is difficult to move from the bench to the starter position. “I think it’s like riding a bike.

    “That’s what being a quarterback is. That’s what kind of my whole career has been.”

    Fitzpatrick’s only win in his past five games came against the Titans, for whom he made nine starts last season. That’s also the only time in his last seven games he didn’t commit a turnover, going 19 of 35 for 227 yards and a touchdown in a 30-16 road win Oct. 26.

    Neither Fitzpatrick nor Mallett had been particularly successful in igniting a Texans passing attack that features receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. Houston ranks 28th with 207.5 passing yards per game.

    The primary source of Houston’s offense has been the running game, consisting of Arian Foster and Alfred Blue. Foster, averaging 102.8 rushing yards per game and 5.1 per carry, has missed Houston’s last two games with a groin injury but could return Sunday.

    “I think there is a potential that he could play,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “He feels better today. Hopefully he’ll be out there at practice. Hopefully that’s something that he’ll be able to help us on game day.”

    Blue has performed admirably in Foster’s absence, rushing 52 times over the past two contests for 202 yards. The Texans are averaging an AFC-best 137.3 rushing yards, and they’re facing a Titans run defense which has allowed more than 150 in four straight games.

    Tennessee (2-9) also is badly struggling to run the ball with 88.8 yards per game. Rookie Bishop Sankey has not surpassed 61 rushing yards in any game despite getting the bulk of the workload in recent weeks, providing little support to Zach Mettenberger.

    The rookie quarterback has thrown for seven touchdowns and an average of 271.5 yards in four games since taking over as the starter, but he’s lost them all. He completed 20 of 39 passes for 345 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in last Sunday’s 43-24 loss to Philadelphia.

    “I think I remember Peyton Manning being 3-13 his first year,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Not that I’m saying that it’s OK not to win games. We need to win a game as a football team, and that would certainly help with Zach, but he’s making progress in areas that you like to see from a young quarterback.”

    Mettenberger’s starting debut came against Houston, and he struggled in the first half but would finish 27 of 41 for 299 yards and two TDs.

    J.J. Watt sacked him twice and imitated the rookie by taking a mock “selfie.” Mettenberger had posted photos of himself to his social media accounts prior to his first start.

    “It’s just kind of a reminder, this is the National Football League, not high school,” Watt said following the Week 8 win. “Welcome to the show.”

    Tennessee enters the rematch having dropped nine of 10 and mired in its longest losing streak since a six-game skid in 2010.

    “It’s not a lot of fun,” Whisenhunt said. “I enjoy working with these guys. I enjoy being here. The fans have been good with me, but it’s not fun.

    “I love doing this job, but you still feel sick when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.”

    The Titans have lost four of the last five meetings, including the past two in Houston.

    #200462

    coleryan
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    *Keys to the game: Arian Foster might spend extra time in the trainer’s room this week to return from a two-game absence because of a groin injury. His history against the Titans, including 173 total yards and three touchdowns in a 30-16 win on Oct. 26, should be ample enticement to play this week. The Texans need their stabilizer with Ryan Fitzpatrick returning as the starter in place of Ryan Mallett (torn pectoral), but lead the league in rushing attempts per game (32.2) and will pound the ball with Alfred Blue should Foster sit again.

    With two starting offensive linemen out, the Titans are in a bind, especially if they fall behind big in the first half. QB Zach Mettenberger’s bravado can be applauded, though the obvious preference is to get more from a stable of running backs that showed much more in the first month of the season.

    *Matchup to watch – Titans TE Delanie Walker vs. Texans S D.J. Swearinger: Walker has 43 receptions for 667 yards and is the emergency raft for Mettenberger when blocking crumbles. Swearing is physical and aggressive, which leads to him being caught peeking in the backfield and giving up vertical passes.

    *Player spotlight – Texans DE J.J. Watt: Teammates thought Watt got “into Mettenberger’s head” in the first meeting. Watt had two sacks and pantomimed a “selfie” shot in response to Mettenberger posting self-portraits pregame. “My goal is to get in people’s head with my play,” Watt said.

    *Fast facts: Houston is 4-1 in the past five meetings. … Fitzpatrick started nine games for the Titans last season. … Foster averages 131.1 yards from scrimmage in seven games in the series.

    #200463

    coleryan
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    Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is dealing with considerable pain in his surgically repaired knee that could keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

    Clowney has yet to practice this week and said he’ll test the knee before game time to determine whether he’ll be able to play. Texans running back Arian Foster, who has missed the past two games with a groin injury, is expected to return Sunday, coach Bill O’Brien said.

    “A lot of pain right now, just been bothering me off and on the whole season,” Clowney said. “Something I’ve got to push through, but when the swelling comes up, it’s a little setback.”

    Clowney played 49 snaps last week had three tackles and one for loss against the Cincinnati Bengals but said the knee was hurting before the game.

    The rookie was initially injured in the first game of the season. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus and missed six games after that before returning to play against the Tennessee Titans.

    After missing another game because of the knee and illness, Clowney came back to play in the last two games.

    “I’m kind of surprised; I thought it would have been over,” Clowney said of his knee problems. “I thought it’d be back to where it was by now.”

    Foster is seventh in the NFL with 822 rushing yards despite missing three games with the groin problem and also a hamstring injury.

    #200464

    coleryan
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    Titans linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (hamstring) is out. Four players — tackles Taylor Lewan (ankle) and Michael Oher (toe), safety Michael Griffin (shoulder) and defensive back Marqueston Huff (hamstring) — are questionable. The Texans expect running back Arian Foster (groin) back in the lineup, but linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will miss another game with lingering knee pain resulting from his torn meniscus earlier in the season. Linebacker Akeem Dent (neck) is questionable.

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