TENNESSEE TITANS (5-5) at HOUSTON TEXANS (4-6)
Noon (CST), Sunday
Reliant Stadium, Houston
TV: CBS (Comcast, Ch. 5) Radio: WGFX-FM 104.5
About the Titans:
• Running back Chris Johnson is third in the NFL in rushing yards with 968 yards, but he is second with nine gains of 20 yards or more. His 76-yard touchdown run in Week 1 against Oakland is the third longest in the league this season.
• Wide receiver Randy Moss has caught at least 60 passes in 11 of his previous 12 seasons but has just 23 in 10 games with three teams this season. In two games since being traded to Tennessee he has one reception for 26 yards.
• Rookie Rusty Smith makes his first career start at quarterback in place of injured veterans Kerry Collins and Vince Young. Smith’s regular season experience consists of nine passes (three completions for 62 yards) last Sunday in relief against Washington.
• They lead the league in percentage of touchdowns allowed (32.6 percent) when opponents have advanced to their 20 or closer. Overall, the opposition has gotten points on 20 of 34 trips to the red zone (79.1 percent).
About the Texans:
• Running back Arian Foster leads the NFL with 1,004 rushing yards and he is tied for fifth with seven gains of 20 yards or more. His 74-yard touchdown run in Week 4 against Oakland is the fourth longest in the league this season.
• Wide receiver Andre Johnson needs four receptions to reach 60 for the season. He has had at least 60 in all seven of his previous seasons and has topped 100 in three of the past four years. He has averaged better than six receptions in six contests since returning from and injury.
• Quarterback Matt Schaub has started 30 consecutive games for the Texans. Last season he led the NFL with 4,770 passing yards, the sixth-highest total in NFL history. Earlier this season he passed for a franchise-record 497 yards and completed 73.1 percent of his 52 attempts against Washington.
• They are sixth in the NFL in touchdown percentage inside the opponents’ 20 (60.6). Overall, they have scored points on 31 of 33 trips to the red zone (93.9 percent).
Something to consider:
• The Titans lead the all-time series 12-4, but the last three contests (five in all) have been decided by three points or fewer.
• Between them they have lost seven straight – three by Tennessee, four. Two of the Titans’ three have been against AFC teams, but none within the division. The Texans’ streak is exclusively against AFC teams, including two in the division.
• Both teams rank among the top 10 in sacks by defensive ends this season. Tennessee is first with 19.5, including a team-high six from Jason Babin, orginially a Texans’ draft choice. Houston is tied for eighth with 13.
Chris Johnson must be incredibly productive for the Titans. He rushed for more than 350 yards in two games against Houston last season, and that only was good enough for a split of the season series.
Rusty Smith will make a respectable showing, but he will make mistakes, and chances are that some of those mistakes will lead to points for the Texans.
The Titans’ pass defense will play better than it has in recent weeks, but Houston still will run the ball effectively enough. That, combined with a turnover or two will result in another time-of-possession deficit for Tennessee.
Just like all the recent meetings, it will be close but the Titans’ long streak will be extended.
Texans 23, Titans 20