Titans Keys to Beating the Teaxans
By Mike Edler
Now that we are into week two of the NFL season, one of the match ups that features unlikely 1-0 teams is the Titans vs. Texans. The Titans are coming off a 16-9 defensive struggle with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Texans are coming off a huge second half comeback against the San Diego Chargers. For the Titans to get into the win column once again they need to play their style of football against the reining AFC South Champion.
Win the battles up front:
Mike Munchak has said on many occasions that the drafting of Chance Warmack is a response to JJ Watt. Munchak expects Warmack and David Stewart to keep Watt in check, which is no easy feat. The Titans want to be able to run the ball at will and that starts with controlling the Texans front seven and will be the first true test for the revamped offensive line. On defense, the Titans want to rush the passer effectively with the front four and still use the blitz packages they have up their sleeves. Getting to Matt Schuab will be key and bring the focus on Arian Foster and Ben Tate, both of whom had suspect week one performances.
The field position battle will be key for the Titans. With this Titans offense, there will be times when it stalls and they are backed up. Brett Kern eliminates the offensive struggles by forcing field position on the Texans. If Kern can have a day like he did against the Steelers, the Titans can win the field position battle and force long drives out of the Texans. Don’t be surprised if the Texans greatly out gain the Titans in yardage, but the Titans have a much better starting average field position.
How can there be a deciding factor in a Titans game without mentioning Jake Locker? Locker has changed from the gun slinger the Titans drafted him to be, to this game manager who makes big throws when needed, but allows his run game to take precedence. If Locker makes mistakes against this Texan team it will be a long day in Houston. I believe if Locker throws for 55% or higher with 220 yards and one touchdown and ZERO interceptions, the Titans will be in this game to the end.
With the Titans showing some life last week and still getting no respect, and the Texans coming off an emotional comeback that was almost a heart breaking loss, I believe the Titans could pull this win off. It won’t be easy, no divisional game is, but if the Titans want to be taken seriously in the AFC they need to win in Houston.