With the clock quickly ticking down on another season in Nashville, the Tennessee Titans find themselves in an all too familiar spot. Another meeting with the divisional rival Houston Texans and nothing to play for except pride and.
There are milestones for today’s week 16 match-up with the 7-7 Texans, but most of them are negative and somewhat paradoxical in nature.
For instance, the Titans can improve on their three-win season and put the hurt on a Texans bid to make the 2015 playoffs in an attempt to save interim head coach Mike Mularkey‘s job, but doing so will likely cost them the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft.
With rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota out for today’s contest, backup signal caller Zach Mettenberger will make the ninth start of his young career and fourth against the Texans while looking for his first win as a pro.
The Mett Show took to the field at NRG Stadium back on November first where the second-year quarterback spent most of the day running for his life and away from Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt. He was sacked seven times in the 20-6 loss that cost former head coach Ken Whisenhunt his job.
This tactic may work if the 0-8 Mettenberger has learned to use his dump-off receivers instead of looking down-field on every play to air out his big arm with a home run.
If he hasn’t learned that lesson, the addition of Joe Looney will not help, and he will spend most of the afternoon in the last home game at Nissan Stadium running away from J.J. Watt.
Kendall Wright is scheduled to return to the lineup today after missing two game with rib injuries. If Wright and Delanie Walker can provide some some early success in moving the chains, this may open up some shots downfield for rookie wideout, Dorial Green-Beckham.
Green-Beckham has been a project this year, but he has given us a glimpse into what the future can bring with two nice performances in his last two outings. He was able to haul in seven passes last week for 113 yards against the world champion New England Patriots.
It the Titans are to have a chance in this game, the Dick LeBeau defense will need to get back to rushing the quarterback, and the secondary will need to contain Hopkins.
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With a lot of holes in their running game behind Alfred Blue, the Texans will be leaning on Hopkins, who has 97 catches on the season for 1313 yards and 10 touchdowns.
If Brandon Weeden has time to find DeAndre Hopkins, it could be another long day for the Titans.
The Tennessee Titans have only won five games since the departure of Mike Munchak, and only two of those have come in the friendly confines of Nissan Stadium. Both at the expense of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It would be nice to end the at-home season with a win before they end the regular season next week in Indianapolis.
I don’t think a home win will be enough for Mike Mularkey and a bunch of the veteran players to keep their jobs into next season, but who knows? There hasn’t been many big changes in Music City since the departure of Jeff Fisher, so why would we expect more this year?