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Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans Preview

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The Tennessee Titans get back to AFC South action tomorrow when they head to Houston to take on the Texans.  This is a very important game for both teams to stay in the hunt for not only a wild card playoff spot but possibly a division title.

Offensively the Titans will look to establish their run game early.  The Texans have a solid defense, but they are vulnerable against the run giving up almost 117 yards per game.  Chris Brown hasn't practiced all week, and it appears unlikely that he will play.  That means the Texans will see a heavy dose of LenDale White.  Chris Henry will be the 2nd string running back and will probably see 5-7 touches.  I am excited to see how much progression he has made since the preseason.

The running game will be even more important if Vince Young cannot go, and it appears he won't be able too even though he practiced yesterday.  This morning's Tennessean is reporting that Vince will likely be the #2 QB.  If the Titans can establish the run it will make the Texans bring more people to the line of scrimmage.  This will leave the Titans' receivers with single coverage, which should open up the passing game to take some shots down the field.  The one thing Kerry Collins does well is throw the deep ball.  If the offensive line can give Collins protection, we could see some big plays tomorrow.

Defensively the Titans main concern will be stopping Matt Schaub.  Schaub is having a great 1st year with the Texans' starting QB.  He has 1,558 passing yards, is completing 69.1% passes and has 5 TDs and 5 INTs.  He really hasn't missed a beat even with his best receiver, Andre Johnson, sidelined with a knee injury.  The Titans defensive backs will need to do a better job of keeping the receivers in front of them than they did last week against the Buccaneers.

The defensive line will also play a huge roll in the game tomorrow.  Schaub is a pocket passer. If the Titans front 4 can pressure Schaub it will force him to make some bad decisions.  If he is allowed to sit in the pocket all day he will pick the Titans' secondary apart.

The Titans' #1 run defense will have the assignment of containing Ahman Green tomorrow.  The Texans only average 81.7 yards rushing per game.  The Titans will need to shut down the runs on 1st and 2nd down to keep the Texans in 3rd and long situations.

The Titans have owned this series to this point.  They are 8-2 since the Texans came into existence 5 years ago, but these aren't your older brother's Texans.  They are a much improved team, and we are in for a tough battle tomorrow.