Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday, September 21st, 2008, 1pm
LP Field, Nashville, TN
Records: Houston 0-1, Tennessee 2-0
Series History: Tennessee leads 10-2; Tennessee won both meetings last year, 38-36 in Houston, and 28-20 in Tennessee. The Titans have won six straight in the series.
Five most important things for the Texans:
1. Make it a shootout. The Texans need to open things up offensively and make it more closely resemble an Arena Football game, than the grind it out, sloppy game the Titans like to play. Houston has the better skill position players, they need to utilize those.
2. Block Albert. Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is a beast in the middle, and he’s a guy that opposing offenses must account for on every play.
3. Stop the run. The Titans have a commitment to running the football and if the Texans can stop the duo of White and Johnson, they will put the game on a backup quarterbacks arm, and some receivers that are average on a good day.
4. Be aware of Chris Johnson. The dynamic Titans running back is explosive and can change the football game. The Texans must account for him every time he steps on the football field.
5. Dominate special teams. Tennessee is playing well right now, but their special teams coverage units leave a lot to be desired. The Texans will have to get some short fields from big returns to make it much easier to move the football on a tough, Titans defense.
What to look for:
1. Look for the Texans to put the disaster aside for at least one afternoon and play inspired football. The Texans will come out with great energy against the Titans and they will have an early lead.
2. Look for Matt Schaub to have a QB rating of over 100. Schaub has struggled somewhat, and he’s playing a tough, trash-talking defense. The Houston quarterback will be up to the task on Sunday.
3. Look for a big return from Andre Davis. Davis could be a key contributor on Sunday, as he will have size advantages against the Titans corners, and he should score a big kickoff return.
4. Look for Cortland Finnegan to have a big day. Cortland Finnegan is becoming a rising star at cornerback for the Titans, and he has a tendency to make big plays at big moments.
5. Look for a minimum of three turnovers. With the speed and strength of both defenses, there will likely be some forced fumbles, blocked kicks, or interceptions.
Meaningless prediction: Although the Titans are a first place team, they’re not a real Super Bowl contender. What hurts the Texans in this one is that Vince Young is not playing. With Kerry Collins’ ability to throw the ball downfield, the Titans are a much better team.
Final score: Titans 21, Texans 17
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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