Coming from somewhere underground, it’s the Texans v. Titans preview. Proudly presented by Johnny Feinstein’s Medical Supplies Plus. If in need of respiratory equipment, prescription drugs, or tubes, give Johnny a call. He’ll fix you up.
Well Titans fans, here we are, another game in which the Titans should win easily, but probably won’t. I would love for this to be the week that everything on offense finally comes together and the Titans get some payback against the Texans. But I am not holding out much hope. This will most likely be a close game with the victor getting the win during waning part of the 4th quarter. Hopefully it is the Titans.
Everyone has said it every week, but this should be the week the offense does something special. The Texans defense is pretty beat up. Yes, they have Jadeveon Clowney, but that is about it. Their secondary has been struggling all season and injuries have devastated them everywhere else.
I think the Titans should come out guns blazing and work to establish a quick lead and then pound Derrick Henry. However, I am not the coach and I know that the reality will be that they will come out running DeMarco Murray up the middle for no gain, and then put Marcus Mariota in impossible positions on third down. So I am thinking the same offense we have seen for the majority of the season.
If I were to guess the gameplan, I would think that Mularkey wants to be conservative here because he is probably thinking that the Texans are so riddled with injuries and have some many issues, including a hurt QB, that the Titans can just grind out a win with a plethora of field goals and relying on Tom Savage to make mistakes. It’s not flashy, but it is pretty Mularkey.
Thus, I hate to be a Grinch, but I do not think Titans fans will get any of their wishes this week. Henry and Murray will still split carries again, there will be plenty of bizarre playcalls (See Eric Decker screenpass and Harry Douglas playing left tackle) and the offense will struggle. Basically the Titans will play not to lose. Until this offense changes, I am just going to expect more of the same.
I think the defense will have a similar performance as last week. The Texans offensive line is quite beat up, so I think the Titans should have a strong pass rush. Furthermore, I believe they will have success at stopping the Texans running game. Lamar Miller has really struggled this year, and the Titans are actually solid at stopping the run.
The main focus on the defense should be stopping Titans killer Deandre Hopkins. He absolutely murdered the Titans earlier in the season. Part of that was due to Deshaun Watson being so good, but Hopkins always kills the Titans, even when he has trash QBs throwing to him. He’s simply one of the best receivers in the league. The Titans need to put two or three guys on him, especially now that Will Fuller is out. They cannot put Brice McCain on him, no matter how bad Lebeau wants to do that. I expect Hopkins to make some plays, but if the Titans can just contain him, then they have a good shot at stopping the Texans offense.
I think the defense should play well. Tom Savage is not a great QB and he does not have a lot of talent around him. It really is just Hopkins. Thus, I would be surprised if the defense significantly struggles in this game.
The Titans have to win this game; if they lose to this Texans team then they will have blown a great opportunity. However, with the way that the Titans have been playing recently I would not be shocked if they lost. I am not trying to be negative; this is just what the Titans are right now. They play sloppy and keep games close. I am hoping they prove me wrong, and beat the Texans handily. However, I am not counting on it. But I will be happy with any sort of win, whether it is by one point or thirty. I just want to see the corporate entry that I cheer for win. So let’s get some vengeance on the cows. Go Titans!