Tennessee Titans: The Difference Between A Win and A Loss Sunday


Sep 23, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; The Tennessee Titans defensive squad awaits play to resume against the Detroit Lions during the first half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Lions 44-41 in overtime. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The Tennessee Titans will have their hands full this Sunday as they travel to Houston to face the Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Texas are at the top of everyone’s list and deserve it. Their defense is possibly the best in the league, being led by young guys such as DE J.J. Watt and LB Brian Cushing.

Their finally no longer the laughing stock of the AFC South. In fact, they seem to be the only formidable team there right now.

The Titans haven’t been able to get in a consistent groove yet, so it’s hard to say what they’ll be like Sunday. Either way, they have to face the Texans. Here’s who I’m looking at to put in the work if the Titans are to pull out a win tomorrow:

The Defensive Line

The Texans have a killer running back duo with Foster and Tate, as we all know. The Texans have a pretty good passing game, but I’m much less afraid of it if they can’t run the ball. The Titans defense has been better against the run this year but still have a lot of room for improvement. This is the prime time to make that improvement. If the Titans can stifle the Texans run game, they’ve got ten times the chance of coming out of Reliant with a win.

They’ve got to be good against the run.

RT David Stewart/ OG Leroy Harris

These guys get the misfortune of facing DE J.J. Watt tomorrow, a guy who has racked up 5.5 sacks already. That’s pretty impressive coming from a 3-4 DE. The Titans have struggled when running the ball to the right side and Harris has a lot to do with that. Harris and Stewart have to keep Watt under control as much as they can, not only to benefit the run game, but to keep Jake Locker alive. The passing game won’t be nearly as effective if he’s on the bench nursing an injury .

If the Titans can thrive in these two specific spots, they’ll have a much better chance of beating the Texans.

It was nice seeing the Titans get a win last week against the Lions in what turned out to be a shootout, but you should definitely temper your expectations this weekend. If the Titans can just stay in the game with the Texans, that’ll be an accomplishment.

You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart