“Southern Comfort”

Intriguing Game- Week 15

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Texans: The win against the Patriots was great, right? Here’s the thing. In this business, you must be able to turn the page quickly to focus on your next opponent. I wish they got the memo on that. Sunday against the Denver Broncos was the worst I’ve seen the Houston Texans look since their game against the Baltimore Ravens last month. Despite their record (8-5), what’s hurt them has been their slow starts. The Texans are second to last in first quarter points. This is exactly what kept them from being in sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Head coach Bill O’Brien described it perfectly. He said his team’s loss to Denver was an “avalanche they couldn’t stop”. Accurate description if you ask me. I can never put a finger on them because of the inconsistency they display. One week, they turn things up. The next week, it’s a complete dud. These last two games are a perfect example of what I just listed. Against the Patriots, they had it all going for them. To me, they appeared to still be stuck in last week’s win. It doesn’t matter who’s next on the schedule. The saying really is true. Anybody can win on any given Sunday. If the Texans want to be taken seriously, they always need to put it together. Not just pick and choose when to do that. They’ll look to bounce back in Nashville on Sunday.

Titans: Benching Marcus Mariota was the best thing that Mike Vrabel could do. The Tennessee Titans aren’t in this position if he’s still the starting quarterback. Ryan Tannehill has replaced Marcus and given the team new life. In the seven games Ryan has started, the Titans have won four in a row along with six of their last seven games. I remember when Tannehill first came into the league. There were so many questions about him. He had the best year of his career under Adam Gase in 2016 when he helped lead the Miami Dolphins to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Watching him now, he has a lot more confidence in his arm than he has during any time of his career. The Titans are an old-school team. They run the football. Derrick Henry has been a workhorse for them. My biggest issue with him at times is that he runs too soft to be his size. Let me tell you something son: With as big as you are, don’t hesitate to run someone over!! Don’t run around them! Run through them! I admire the way they play football. Their defense has also been a pleasant surprise. I think any unit defensive coordinator Dean Pees gets his hands on; they’ll play hard for him. They’ll look for the seventh win in eight games on Sunday.

Texans Player to Watch: Darren Fells– I like what he’s become in this offense. He’s that tight end that creates mismatches all over the field. At 6’7, he uses his basketball background on the football field. Every quarterback has that “security blanket or safety valve” they turn too when they know they need a play. Most of the time, it’s a tight end because of the mismatches they’re able to create on the field. That’s what Darren has become for Deshaun Watson. The Titans can’t focus too much on Hopkins.

Titans Player to Watch: Jeffery Simmons– I enjoyed watching his game in college. With the proper coaching, I know he can have success in the NFL for years to come. He’s a physical force at 6’4 weighing 300 pounds. He plays on the inside and creates so much havoc from the interior. Jeffery has a nice release, physical hands, quick feet and he rips through blockers to make a tackle. He can also get to the passer for the sack.

Final Analysis: The later we get in the season, the bigger many of these games become. This is the first of two meetings between these teams in two weeks. They were wrap up the season against each other in week 17. It’s imperative for the Texans to get off to a fast start. When they’re down, they stay down. Look at what happened last weekend against Denver. The Broncos kept churning away and put Houston in a hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. The Texans defense will need to be ready for this Titans offense. It’ll start with getting a rush on Tannehill. The Titans know what’s on the line here. A win, you gain sole possession of first place in the AFC South along with replacing the Texans in the playoff picture.

Prediction: Texans 27 Titans 21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *