Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: Important Match-ups


Jan 1, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans place kicker Rob Bironas (2) talks to Houston Texans place kicker Neil Rackers (4) after a game at Reliant Stadium. The Titans defeated the Texans 23-22. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

The Tennessee Titans (1-2) face the Houston Texans (3-0), this Sunday at 1 p.m. After an insane win against the Lions last week, the Titans hope to bring that momentum into Reliant Stadium and get back to a .500 record. Now lets take a look at some important match-ups this week:

Titans run defense vs. Arian Foster & Ben Tate

It’s going to have to be a collective effort from the Titans defense to stop the monster running game of the Texans. The Texans are averaging just over 150 yards a game while the Titans are allowing just over 150 yards a game. Let’s hope the trend is put to rest on both sides.

Hopefully Colin McCarthy can return from an ankle sprain that has kept him out since week 1. Unfortunately he is still only running. If he can begin football activities this week he may be able to return, which would be a huge upgrade for a defense that needs its leader.

Titans offensive line vs. Houston front seven

The offensive line faces a tough challenge this week versus a Texans defense that has wreaked havoc so far this season. They are ranked 5th in yards allowed on the ground and 4th in yards allowed through the air. J.J. Watt has been bringing the heat on opposing quarterbacks thus far this year and has been mentioned as an early candidate for defensive player of the year. The Titans line was solid in pass protection last week and RT David Stewart will need to step up this week with the challenge of  DE Watt and LB C. Barwin lined up against him.

The Titans passing offense has shown steady progression, which is expected with a first year starter. The run game last week was still dismal. Chris Johnson had four runs of over 10 yards which was a good sign, but too often he was getting bottled up in the back field.

The Texans are the toughest challenge for the Titans so far this season. If they can upset the Texans this Sunday it would be an eye opening win.