For the last few years, the Texans have been one of the better teams in the league at running the ball and keeping people off of their quarterbacks. However, this year the Texans look like they have taken a step back.
Despite the fact that the Texans have allowed just 11 sacks all year, they have managed to give up 58 combined hurries. For comparison the Titans have given up 66 hurries, but they have also played against the defensive fronts of Kansas City and Cincinnati, both of which have premier pass rushers.
This is seemingly due to a decline of the Texans defensive line. The biggest fall has come from Duane Brown, the Texans stalwart LT. In 2012, Brown was the second highest rated OT in the league according to PFF, but this year he is 39th. That is a huge drop in production.
This weekend it won't get any easier for Brown, who will have to face Jurrell Casey consistently for the first time in his career. Brown's worst game of the year came against the Buffalo Bills where Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams, both of which make their money with their power rush. Casey has a unique bend of speed and strength that has really been hard for offensive tackles to stop this year, and he isn't the guy you want to go against if you are struggling.
The Titans have a chance to win this game on defense if they can neutralize the rushing threat of the Arian Foster, and force Fitzpatrick to throw it, it could be bad news for the Texans.