Week 4: Tennessee Titans At Houston Texans
- QuarterbackThe Titans have to be pleasantly surprised by the showing of Jake Locker to this point. He was very athletic and explosive in the team’s 44-41 win over the Lions in Week Three. Locker has a strong arm, can pick up yards with his feet and looks like he can rise to the occasion.The win over the Denver Broncos was a huge statement for quarterback Matt Schaub. Any time a quarterback loses a piece of his ear and he still throws four TD passes and has 290 yards in passing, there is no question about his status as an upper-echelon player in the league.
- OffenseThe Titans are a one-dimensional team at this point in the season. Chris Johnson may have incredible long speed at the running back position, but he can’t break free and the Titans can’t move the ball on the ground. Wide receiver Nate Washington and tight end Jared Cook have become go-to guys for Locker.The balance that the Texans have on the offensive end help them maintain consistency and explosiveness. Opponents must account for Arian Foster on every play and that opens things up for Andre Johnson, Ken Walter and Owen Daniels.
- DefenseThe Titans are having to face reality that they can’t stop big plays from happening at key moments. They had a two-TD lead in the final minutes against the Lions, but couldn’t stop backup quarterback Shaun Hill from tying the game. The pass defense is abominable.Defensive end J.J. Watt is becoming one of the best pass rushers in the league. He has a very quick first step and often wins the battle on his way to sacking the quarterback. He had 2.5 sacks against Peyton Manning and the Broncos last week. Cornerback Kareem Jackson is a hard hitter who had eight stops against the Broncos.
- Special TeamsThe Titans depend on special teams to gain an advantage. They had a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns against the Lions. Rod Bironas is one of the most consistent placekickers in the league.The Texans appear to be concentrating a lot more on offense and defense than special teams. Houston does not have explosive return men at either slot, but punter Donnie Jones has a strong leg – he averaged 54.2 yards in the win over the Broncos – and the punt coverage is decent.
The Texans have designs on becoming the top seed in the AFC this year and they are off to a sensational start. They have the team to meet that goal if they stay healthy. They can’t let opportunities at home against ordinary teams like Tennessee slip through their fingers.