Titans vs. Texans—who would have thought previewing this Week 2 matchup would mean talking about two undefeated teams?
The Houston Texans scored a major victory over the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football, rattling off 24 straight points to put down San Diego. Tennessee took care of business against the Pittsburgh Steelers, physically out-matching them on the way to a close victory.
Now the two AFC South rivals collide. Here’s what fans need to know.
Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston
When: September 15, 2013, 1:00 PM ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Titans Player to Watch: Jake Locker
No more excuses for Jake Locker.
Once again Locker has a quality running game thanks to Chris Johnson, except this time it’s even better thanks to the addition of guards Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack.
Locker has plenty of weapons to throw to, so his ability to move the ball through the air is going to need to actually show up in order for the Titans to move past the Texans.
Texans Player to Watch: Arian Foster
How healthy is Arian Foster?
Foster says he’s fine, which is fine, but it’s time for him to show it on the field. Texans’ coaches want more of a split between Foster and Ben Tate, in large part because of how ineffective Foster was against San Diego, not to mention his mistakes.
If Houston wants to be more physical than a much-improved Tennessee squad, it’s going to need Foster to step up.
Matchup to Watch: Titans Run Defense vs. Texans’ Backs
The duo of Foster and Tate can wear any team down, even if Foster is struggling at times. Tennessee did a great job of shutting down the Steelers overall last week, but it’s a different beast shutting down the duo of Foster and Tate.
The good news is Locker does not pose much of a threat through the air, so the defense should be able to focus on the running backs. Whether or not they can actually stop Foster and Tate remains to be seen.
As easy as it is to love this new-look Titans team, one has to question just how good the Steelers are. Tennessee is a balanced team, but Houston is one of the deepest in the league.
Houston at home is a tough out. Matt Schaub can beat teams on his own through the air, as can the committee of backs. The defense gets plenty of pressure thanks to a guy like J.J. Watt, so overall it’s hard to see the Titans overcoming the odds this early in the season on the road.
Houston 27, Tennessee 17.