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Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Preview

There isn't a whole lot about this match-up I can tell you that you don't already know.  The Titans have had a ton of success against the Texans over the years.  The should be especially motivated for this game coming off the loss at Pittsburgh last week, and the fact that the Texans beat the Titans late last season.

DannoE may have said it best here:

On Defense: Roll safety coverage to the side with Andre Johnson. Stack the box with the other safety. Leave C. Finnegan and/or V. Fuller on an island vs. the other WRs.

On Offense: Run the Ball.

The Titans ran the ball for 156 yards in the win last year, and just 100 in the loss.  The Texans are sure to stack the box in this game like they did in that second game last year, so it will be imperative for Kerry Collins to be able to throw them out of that.  He was unable to do that in the loss to Houston last year, finishing with a line of 15-33/181/0/1.  It was probably his worst game of the year, and it even caused me to slip momentarily into asking if Vince Young should get another shot.  (That post prompted a friend of mine who invited me to the Steelers game the following week to spend most of the game telling me why I shouldn't have written that.  He was right.)  I expect Collins to throw them out of that this year.

Danno's defensive nugget was right on as well.  Andre Johnson absolutely torched the Titans last year for 201 yards, but his team was still only able to put up 13 points.  The Titans are obviously going to roll coverage his way, especially when you factor in that Kevin Walter, their #2, is coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of week one. 

There is a little more to the Houston offense than Johnson however.  Steve Slaton had two big games against the Titans last season.  He is an explosive back, not as good as Chris Johnson, but still has the ability to be a game changer.  The Titans will need to wrap-up when they get a chance to take him down, which is something they haven't been that good at this preseason/season.

Last year's stats:

Texans 2008 Stats Titans
115.4 (13th) Rush  Offense 137.4 (7th)
266.7 (4th) Pass Offense

200.5 (17th)

382.1 (3rd) Total Offense 313.6 (21st)
22.9 (17th) Scoring Offense 23.4 (14th)
11.4% (11th) Offense DVOA 8.8% (14th)
122.6 (23rd) Rush Defense 93.9 (6th)
213.9 (17th) Pass Defense 199.8 (9th)
336.6 (22nd) Total Defense 293.6 (7th)
24.6 (27th) Scoring Defense 14.6 (2nd)
-10(29th) Turnover Ratio +14   (2nd)
19.1% (29th) Defense DVOA -17% (5th)
-2.5% (19th) Total DVOA 24.4% (4th)