Found September 27, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:

The first three weeks of the NFL season have gone very differently for the Houston Texans and their week four opponent, the Tennessee Titans. The Texans thus far have been the team everybody expected, one that runs the football and plays defense. The Titans on the other hand have struggled to a 1-2 start and in basically the opposite manner from the Texans. Through three weeks, the Texans rank 5th in rushing yards to go along with the league’s second ranked total defense, which is 4th in opponent passing yards and 5th in opponent rushing yards (out of a 32 NFL teams). Adversely, the Titans and former 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson are ranked dead last in rushing yards (32nd). Their defense is ranked 31st overall, 30th in opponent passing yards, and 29th in opponent rushing yards. To add further insult, the Titans have allowed the most points of any team in the NFL so far this year. 

As the statistics would indicate, the Texans’ strengths as a team are the Titans’ weaknesses. With that said, the Titans have one area in which they marginally excel, and did so during their 44-41 victory last week against the Detroit Lions. The Titans can throw the football, ranked 10th in passing yards through three weeks. A large amount of the credit goes to second-year QB Jake Locker, who is completing close to 65% of his passes and sports a 91.9 passer rating. Locker also has tremendous weapons in the pass game, including wide receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, and rookie Kendall Wright. TE Jared Cook has also become a nice target for Locker. 

Since throwing the football is the one area in which the Titans can compete with the Texans, this will be the focus for this week’s key matchup. Come Sunday, fans should expect to see the Texans run the football effectively, score points, and shut down the Titans run game. The only way the Titans will be able to keep it close is by throwing the ball early and often. As the Titans fall behind, they’re likely to abandon the run altogether. 

Acknowledging that the Texans hold huge advantages in almost all other critical areas of this game, this matchup isn’t one in which the Texans necessarily have to dominate in order to win. This matchup also isn’t one that requires extensive film study or game planning in the manner it did last week going up against Peyton Manning. 

The same defensive philosophy holds true for Locker as it did for Manning, Ryan Tannehill, and Blaine Gabbert. The task at hand for the Texans is to force the Titans into obvious passing situations, as they most likely will against the league’s worst rushing attack. When the D knows the offense is passing, they can let loose the pass rushers to disrupt Locker’s rhythm. Ideally, the Texans’ pass rush will generate enough penetration to force Locker to move within the pocket, hit him several times, and record a few sacks. So long as the Texans’ pass rush makes Locker uncomfortable, they’ll have a successful day. 

Unlike the three QBs the Texans have faced already, Locker does have the ability to tuck and run. Believe it or not, he is actually the Titans leading rusher, not Chris Johnson (how does that sound Titans fans?). This week, the Texans will have to be more controlled and disciplined in their pass rush so as to not allow Locker to escape the pocket and pick up yards with his feet. It’s not something the Texans have had to do this season, but the team did have some practice in their preseason opener against Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, who is also notorious for moving the chains with his legs. 

At the end of the day, the Texans really shouldn’t have much trouble with the Titans in any facet of the game, but the Titan passing attack has at least been the one area in which the team has shown up at times this season. The reality is if the Texans play their game offensively, control the clock, and stop the run, this matchup really shouldn’t be much of a contest. Again, when you make an opponent one-dimensional offensively, it makes the defense’s job much easier. Fans should look for the Texans to get to Locker frequently, forcing him into his worst performance of the early 2012 season. 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Early Surprises for the Texans

Heading into week four, the Houston Texans have been showing a little bit of everything on both sides of the football in their wins.  The team has shown running or passing the football they can win and also with timely defense they can turn the tide in an instant. To make things like this happen, it takes certain players to make their mark on the season, and there have been some...

Texans Bring Back Meggett

According to Adam Caplan the Houston Texans have brought back running back Davin Meggett to be on the practice squad. Meggett was waived after preseason and has been a street free agent since week one. Now that  former practice squad running back Jonathan Grimes was picked up by the New York Jets for their active roster, there was an open spot for the Texans to bring in Meggett...

All-22 Breakdown: Week 3

In this weeks All-22 breakdown we take a look at the Houston Texans’ game against the Denver Broncos from week 3. We focused on Keshawn Martin’s big play ability and the rejuvenation of Kevin Walter in the passing game. Martin showed his big play ability with a reverse that Coach Kubiak called that was very close to being his first career touchdown. As for Walter we look...

Week 3 preview: Houston Texans to host Titans

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster breaking a run during last years game. After escaping Denver with a close win the Houston Texans are headed back home to Reliant Stadium in Houston to face off with the Tennessee this Sunday at 1:00 ET on CBS. With the win last week against the Broncos the Texans secured the franchises first ever 3-0 start to a season and now look to keep building...

Hot Houston Texans Cheerleaders (Pictures)

Hot Houston Texans Cheerleaders.  Today was suppose to be the Cleveland Browns girls, but I never realized how many NFL teams don't have cheerleaders.  Utterly ridiculous if you ask me.  Gotta move on to the ladies of the Texans though.  Check out the hot ladies in the pictures below and email the Browns owner and tell him to get his sh** together. ...

'Tough-guy' QB Schaub emerges for Texans

HOUSTON (AP) -- Matt Schaub found the rest of his left ear. "It's been recovered," Schaub said Wednesday. The Houston Texans quarterback took one for the team in Denver over the weekend, losing a chunk of his ear on a big hit by linebacker Joe Mays. He also tied his career high with four touchdown passes, outplaying Peyton Manning in a 31-25 victory. Schaub'...

Week 4 Power Ranks: A brand new top 3 led by the Houston Texans

This week brings a big shuffle to the board, with the middle ranks going topsy turvy and teams realigning themselves within the top 10. Most notably, the undefeated Texans and Falcons find themselves on top of the list. Its not just about their records, of course, but of the well rounded teams that are the [...]

Titans Sunday Primer: 3 Things to Watch

The much-loved Tennessee Titans are coming to visit this Sunday to Reliant, as they stand in the way of the Houston Texans pushing their season record to 4-0. The majority of the NFL knows what the outcome “should” be after the final 4th quarter whistle, but the Texans hold a 3-7 all-time record at home against the Titans. The Texans are deemed healthy heading into Sunday’s...

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texas NFL Week AFC South Preview

Are the Houston Texans the favorites to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC? They are the heavy favorites to get a first round bye and win the South, but that doesn’t secure you anything these days. The hottest team entering the playoffs is often the ones that go the farthest, but this defense for Houston gives them a solid edge over most. Arian Foster runs behind a legit offensive...

Know Your Opponent : With @TitansMCM

State of the Texans goes into week four’s “Know Your Opponent” by previewing the intense AFC South rivalry between the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans. All smack talk aside, we get an objective look into the inner workings of the team formerly known as the Oilers, from @TitansMCM. Music City Miracles provides insight on what’s going on with Chris Johnson, the...

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: Week 4 NFL Pick

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (3-0) In my power rankings this week, I poked holes in pretty much every other team in the league. I can’t do that with the Texans. They are without a flaw. Winning in Denver in the high altitude against a talented team and a no huddle offense is damn impressive and 3 games into the season, this is the Super Bowl favorite and the most complete...

Public Transit FAILs And Other Stuff The Intern Forgot

• Public transit FAILs • When life happens awesome photos ensue • The Texans have some smoking hot cheerleaders • Bam Margera confesses he thinks his naked stalker gave him herpes • Watch these sexy... [[ Read More ]]
Texans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.