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VY’s Titans Next for the Texans

The Houston Texans head to Tennessee to battle the Titans and Vince Young.  The Titans are on a three game loosing skid while the injury bug is starting to catch them.  The Texans, who are recovering from that bug, are coming off a poor loss to the Cleveland Browns in a match up that could have swayed their way.  This week, the Texans are nearly equally matched to the Titans, and the game may be once again be decided by Special Teams.

The Texans Defense is in for a good match up as they’ve played well without CB Dunta Robinson (IR), but they are still nowhere near acceptable for a playoff run that was hinted at last week in Houston.  If the Texans can make a winning 3 or 4 game run, and if the AFC teams ahead of them can loose a majority of their remaining four games, then the Texans can still be in the hunt. Removing the lackluster hopes, it comes down to leadership, defense and offensively protecting the ball.  The Texans D, ranked 19 going into Week 13, is matched up with the Tennessee Titans’ 20th ranked offense.  The Texans are 14th in total allowed TDs while the Titans are tied for 24th in total TDs this season.  If Titans QB Vince Young (Texas) is back for the game, then the Texans’ LB DeMeco Ryans and, maybe RDE Mario Williams too, will spy him and watch the run carefully.  Collins, who beat the Texans last time with passes to WR Roydell Williams leading to a Bironas game-winning FG, will assume the back up role if VY is back.  Bruising RB LenDale White remains the best back in the Titans backfield as rookie RB Chris Henry is out with a suspension and RB Chris Brown (Colorado) is White’s back up.  Brown was injured with an ankle injury last time against the Texans at Reliant Stadium.  White, who may not have the same intensity as last week’s RB Jamal Lewis, should be in for a good match up.  VY’s playmaking abilities open White’s runs that could also open the pass for VY who’s been throwing for over 250 yards in the past three games.  His receivers include WRs Eric Moulds, Roydell Williams, Justin Gage and TE Bo Scaife.  Moulds, the ex-Texan, brings a veteran presence to the team, but  Gage, who’s not starting, has grasped VY’s leading receiving role.  The team receiving leader has 36 receptions with 477 receiving yards.  Scaife is tied with Gage with 36 receptions.  Scaife’s athleticism has beaten out Ben Troupe’s role in the offense as Bo has been on the receiving end of some be-a-utiful catches.  These weapons aren’t well defined yet, but they have managed to carry K Rob Bironas to a league high 26 FGs this season.

Defensively, the Titans have desperately missed DT Albert Haynesworth who, as some Titans fans may put it, is the reason they are on their three game loosing slide.  Haynesworth packs the middle and shuts down the run, but in the three games without the man-beast the Titans D has become merely human while allowing over 100 yards in all three losses.  But even without Haynesworth the Titans come to play.  Big play OLB Keith Bullock (64 taclkes and 4 picks) holds down the run and pass D which may force the Texans to run the ball the opposite way of Bullock’s direction toward the Titans’ leading tackler, OLB David Thorton (82 tackles).  But the Titans DEs will look to stop Dayne and Green at th e line of scrimmage.  DEs Kyle Vanden Bosh and Antowan Odom have totaled 10 sacks this season.  Moving past the front seven comes big play SS Chris Hope and rookie FS Michael Griffin (Texas) that could be toyed with if the Texans establish a run game to open the pass.  The CBs Cotland Finnegan and Nick Harper are rising so much that Cloud 9 wouldn’t be too far away if not for Ocho Cinco’s big blow up for three reception TDs last week against the Titans.  It is obvious they still need some work.  Texans WR Andre Johnson, who had his worst game of the season last week against the Browns, will still open if Schaub can get the ball to him.  And that relies on the Texans OLine to stop the pass rush from DEs Bosh, Odom and LaBoy.  The Texans are 17th in total TDs on offense while the Titans D has shut their opponents down while ranking #13 in total allowed TDs.  If RB Ahman Green makes it back as expected, like almost every week, it should be somewhat difficult to find running room for TDs.  Green and Dayne should pull through for a decent run game if Haynesworth is out.

Lastly, the Texans need to hold on to the ball to win this battle.  The Texans have a -9 turnover ratio while the Titans have a -4 turnover ratio.  The Texans are a good team with talent, let’s just see if they can pull out a “W” on the team they haven’t beaten this season nor have beaten in Tennessee since 2004.

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