That game was AWESOME! If you'd have told me only 2 years ago that beating the Seahawks would almost feel like just another win, I would have laughed you out of the room. Everyone, from Amy Adams Strunk, to Jon Robinson, to Mike Mularkey has done an absolutely incredible job with this team. I'm not sure what else there is to say, because it's hard not to think about the next game on the schedule. Remember when I talked about how I hated the Jaguars because of how much they annoy me? Well, get ready, because the Texans' annoying-ness is so much worse. Can you tell me another team whose best player is consistently the most annoying person in the league? First, it was Arian Foster, the most "fake deep," pretentious, pompous player in the league. We get it Arian, you like philosophy and poetry. Then, there was Brian Cushing, who, believe it or not, was suspended yet again for PED's. That guy just cannot figure out how to stop over-training himself! Oh well, see you in November, Cush! And now, for the grand finale, who could forget JJ Watt? Should I mention the letterman jackets first? Oh, but what about the "minimalistic" log cabin! This guy tries so hard to get his face in front of the camera, just to show us how HARD he works! Way to go, JJ! I don't want to waste too much space talking about how annoying Watt is, so I will just post the cheesiest, most "LOOK AT ME" video of all time. It really captures the essence of Watt, his corniness, and his annoying-ness. It truly it speaks for itself. Over the off-season, I will expand on my hatred for the Texans, but for the sake of time, I will get to this Sunday's game.
Reasons For Confidence: Pass Rush, Dick Lebeau, Adoree Jackson
Pass Rush: When watching the Texans' offense, it is clear what their main weakness is--the offensive line. The unit was already weak, and the team didn't do much to improve it this off-season. On top of that, Duane Brown is still holding out. We saw in week 1 how much this offensive line can struggle, and with guys like Casey, Orakpo, et.al, I definitely expect a significant amount of pressure. They will need to do a good job making Watson uncomfortable, but not allowing him to escape the blitz and make plays with his legs.
Dick Lebeau: I love being on this side of the "Dick Lebeau vs. Rookie" matchup. Historically, Lebeau wins. However, the same was said for Bill Belichick, and we saw that Watson was great last Sunday. That being said, I think Lebeau still has the advantage. New England was not actively blitzing and trying to make Watson uncomfortable, because they thought that they would be able to drop back and wait for him to make a mistake. I do not expect Dick Lebeau to make the same mistake. His scheme is all about pressure and confusion, and while I am sure that the Titans want Watson to make some game-changing mistakes, I think that the difference between this defense's plan and New England's, is that they will activately try to cause these mistakes.
Adoree Jackson: This is the week. Adoree Jackson will finally return a kick, or punt for a touchdown THAT COUNTS! The Texans' special teams has been giving up big chunks in the return game, and we know that all Adoree Jackson needs to do is make one man miss to take it to the house. I am fully expecting a game-changing TD this weekend.
Reasons For Concern: Scrambling QB, Pass Rush, Deandre Hopkins
Scrambling QB: Whenever you face a quarterback with Deshaun Watson's skillset, it's going to be a reason for concern. I am glad that they faced Russell Wilson last week, because they should feel confident in their ability to contain a scrambling quarterback, but Watson has a slightly different game. While Wilson is the king of chicken salad, Watson likes to tuck and run when his primary read is not open. This could be good, but at the same time, it makes it even more important for the defense to contain, and even possibly put a spy on him.
Pass Rush: It seems like every week, this offensive line faces a new test with increasingly difficult defensive fronts. This week is no different. The super stars along that front are healthy, and others like Whitney Mercilus will be ready to get after it, as well. They consistently pressured Tom Brady, and made him feel uncomfortable last week, which is a difficult task. This is yet another big day for the Titans' bookend tackles, and they will need to keep Marcus Mariota clean again.
Deandre Hopkins: Every year, it seems as if Hopkins has a field day against the Titans. This year, he seems to be Deshaun Watson's favorite target--in week 2 against the Bengals, it seemed like every other play was a back shoulder fade along the sideline to Hopkins, who is one of the best at making adjustments as the ball arrives. Jimmy talked about Logan Ryan being matched up against Hopkins during the week, and I think this will be his first big test. After last year, it was clear that this team could not be successful in the division, unless their perimeter players on both sides of the ball improved. Now, it's time to see if the investments paid off.
Prediction: Do I even need to say?! Titans win, baby! TITANS WIN, 23-19!!!!!! 2-0 IN THE DIVISION! BOOM!