Perrish Cox can be the difference in a Tennessee Titans win or Titans loss today, and he is clearly the most important player in this game for either side.
Bigger name players like J.J. Watt, Delanie Walker, DeAndre Hopkins, Jurrell Casey, and Brian Orakpo all stand out on the flip card as a big name to watch, but think about how this game should play out and it is clear to see that the Titans need a huge game from Cox.
Houston Texans offensive strategy
Their defense will take care of themselves, but the offense is going to be a mess today. Brandon Weeden is the starting quarterback, which is the phrase that no fan base wants to hear. On top of that, players like Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington have been hurt throughout the year, and really their only option in the passing game is Hopkins.
The Texans have historically been a team that runs to set up the pass, but with Arian Foster out they have struggled to find any sort of rhythm on that front. With that hampering the Texans offense, no matter who has been at quarterback it has looked really ugly.
So with all that in mind, the gameplan for them is simple. Run it around 40% of the time, setting up passes to the tight end and to Hopkins.
Tennessee Titans defensive strategy
There will be some busts in coverage as we have seen all year from the backups that are having to step up. However, Cody Riggs and Coty Sensabaugh are actually average to above average as long as they are kept on the inside. Which means that the real problem areas will be where they have been all season, outside the numbers and deep down the field.
That means that the ideal scenario for the Titans is to roll coverage over to Hopkins on every play. Every single snap there should be a high safety and a cornerback playing underneath man coverage. This doesn't mean that whoever's side he goes to should take him, because no offense to B.W. Webb who has preformed above any expectations, but I don't want Webb on Hopkins ever if I can help it.
No, Cox needs to shadow Hopkins and the Titans need to adjust their strength to that. The strong side of the field will always be where Hopkins is because he is their most dangerous player and the focal point of their offense. Even if it is him on an island with a bunch set to the opposite side, you have to assume the bootleg is coming, because it is.
If Cox can have a good game against Hopkins and even pick Brandon Weeden the Titans have a chance to win this game. If not, it is going to be a terrible day for the Titans defense.