HOUSTON (24) d TENNESSEE (10)
The Headline: Texans keep rolling with another win
Houston fans can complain all they want about their team getting no national respect despite being tied for the best record in the NFL. As a counter point I offer them this scenario, would you rather be an under the radar top seed, or get all of the national attention because you are fighting for a wild card spot? The fact that the Texans are quietly 11-1 with a two game lead over the rest of the AFC has to be a sign of respect because going into the season, the Texans were a team that the regular season was not important for. It was all about how they performed once they get to the playoffs and that is when they will receive the attention they so badly crave.
This game is a perfect example of why the Texans are playoff bound as they put together an impressive defensive performance and their offense scored enough points with an unspectacular but efficient performance. The Titans could not get anything going on offense until it was too late as they were forced into a one-dimensional approach as the Texans ground their way to a 21-3 halftime lead. Arian Foster had a rough day tallying only 38 yards as Justin Forsett took the lead in the absence of Ben Tate. The second half had a preseason feel to it as the result was already known and the Texans were able to go through the motions and secure their second franchise playoff berth. While they didn’t secure their division they went one step closer to the division and the AFC’s top overall seed.
Key Stat: Houston defense: 6 turnovers forced
It was a crappy day all around for Jake Locker as he turned the ball over five times as the Texans defense dominated him with an impressive performance. He threw three interceptions, all to non-name players on the Texans such as Tim Dobbins and Daryl Sharpton. On top of that, he fumbled twice, losing both of them giving the Texans extra possessions thanks to some sloppy play. Chris Johnson contributed with a fumble to his name as well just for good measure as the Titans imploded.
Key Play: Matt Schaub 54 yard pass to Lestar Jean for a touchdown
Most non-Texans fans are probably wondering who the hell L. Jean was as the name scrolled across the tickers as the scorer of the game’s first touchdown. Well aside from picking him up once in Madden to fill a roster spot, he is a relative unknown but he made a big play here getting open down the left sideline for Schaub to find and race away for the opening score. From there the Texans did not look back and went on to close out the game.
Man of the Match: Whitney Mercilus
2 tackles (2 solo), 2 sacks
This backup pass rusher is slowly making an impact picking up his fourth and fifth sacks on the season and making life difficult for Jake Locker. As he gets further into his career he will become a more rounded player but at the moment he has to be enjoying the production he is generating from his substitute role.