After coming up a tad bit short against the world champs last week, the Tennessee Titans will be searching for their first victory of the 2009 season in this weekend’s home matchup against the Houston Texans.
Speaking of the Texans, everyone’s favorite sleeper team failed to justify the high praise aimed in their direction during last week’s humbling 24-7 defeat at the hands of the Titans’ next opponent: the New York Jets.
As a result of last week’s events, both the Titans and the Texans will be looking to wipe the bitter taste of opening-day defeat from their collective mouths.
Here’s a preview of this weekend’s Titan-Texan AFC South divisional battle.
The biggest surprise that emerged from last week’s Jets’ dismantling of the Texans was the lack of production from Houston’s scintillating playmakers.
All-world WR Andre Johnson was held to only 4 catches for 35 yards. One of the league’s most underrated tight ends, Owen Daniels, equaled Johnson’s catch total with only nine more yards.
Speedy RB Steve Slaton, who surpassed the 100 rushing yard-mark against the Titans in his first two games against them, only came up with a measly 17 yards on 9 carries against New York.
So based on last week’s performance, the Titans should have an easy time containing the Texans’ offense, right?
Bzzzz… Wrong answer.
Despite their first week struggles, the Titans will still have their hands full containing the Texans’ dangerous offensive weapons. Hopefully, Keith Bulluck and Co. will do as good of a job as the Jets did in regards to making life miserable for the Texans’ offensive threats.
That means continuing to bring the pressure instead of relying on only a three-man pass rush, Chuck.
Let the fireworks begin!
Despite their inability to produce a ton of points on the scoreboard, I was impressed with how the Titans were able to consistently move the football against the Steelers’ vaunted defense last week.
With the addition of free agent Nate Washington and exciting rookies such as Kenny Britt and Jared Cook, I haven’t seen a Titan team with this many offensive playmakers in years. Of course, the running game is always stout but with weapons such as Nate, Britt and Cook running routes, I’m expecting Kerry Collins to have a pretty good year tossing the pigskin around in 2009.
As for this week, don’t be shocked if the Titans make a few big plays in the passing game against a less-than-stellar Texan pass defense that relinquished 272 yards passing to rookie Mark Sanchez last Sunday.
Titans’ special teams have to live up to their name
Last week was an all-around special teams nightmare for the Tennessee Titans.
From disappointing returns from rookie Javon Ringer and the rusty Cortland Finnegan to Rob Bironas uncharacteristically missing a chip shot while having another kick blocked, the Titans’ special teams were anything but special against the Steelers.
As we all know, special teams can often play a big role in determining whether a team wins or loses. Hopefully, the Titans’ ST unit will bounce back with a solid performance against the Texans.
The Texans will look better on offense this week, but so will the Titans. I’m expecting at least a big play or two from Nate Washington.
Titans 31 Texans 20
Your turn, guys…What are your thoughts/predictions for this week’s Titans/Texans’ clash?