TENNESSEE TITANS (5-8) vs. HOUSTON TEXANS (5-8)
Noon (CST), Sunday
LP Field, Nashville
TV: CBS (Comcast, Ch. 5) Radio: WGFX-FM 104.5
About the Titans:
• Their 28 points scored against Indianapolis in their most recent game, snapped a streak of four straight with fewer than 20. They rank 21st overall with 265 points scored for the season.
• Running back Chris Johnson has carried 24 times for 68 yards on third down. That’s an average of 2.8 yards per carry, but nine of those 24 attempts (39.1 percent) have resulted in first downs, which is the fourth-highest success rate in the league.
• None of the their wide receivers has had a 100-yard receiving game against the Texans (currently last in the league in passing yards allowed). The closest any of them have come was when Randy Moss had 90 yards on five receptions back on Oct. 10, 2004.
• Safety Michael Griffin has three career interceptions against the Texans, which is his most against any single opponent. All three have come in games at LP Field.
About the Texans:
• Their defense has allowed 23 points or more in five of the last six contests. The one exception was a 20-0 victory over the Titans on Nov. 28. Only two teams have allowed more points than the Texans’ 355.
• Running back Arian Foster has carried 28 times for 189 yards on third down. That’s an average of 6.8 yards per carry, and 21 of those 28 (75 percent) have resulted in a first down. No other back with at least 20 third-down attempts has produced a first down more than 44 percent of the time.
• Wide receiver Andre Johnson has had at least 10 catches and 100 yards in the same game 14 times in 114 career contests. Only two of those games have been against the Titans, including the Texans’ last visit to LP Field (Sept. 20, 2009) when he had 10 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
• Cornerback Glover Quin set a franchise record with three interceptions the last time the Texans played the Titans.
Something to consider:
• Between them, the teams have exactly one victory since the start of November. That was the Texans’ victory over the Titans in Houston last month.
• The Titans average 297.2 yards per game, which is nearly 75 fewer than the Texans. However, Tennessee has scored 291 points, three more than Houston.
• The Titans are 0-2 in games decided by three points or fewer. They have finished .500 or better in such games each of the last five seasons. The Texans are 1-1 in games decided by three points or fewer.
Both teams need a victory desperately, which means one is destined to sink deeper into disappointment.
The Texans will borrow a page from the Jacksonville playbook and attempt to run the ball early and often. It won’t work as well for them as it did for the Jaguars, though, and Houston will be forced to throw a little more often.
That means a big game for Andre Johnson, who clearly wants to prove something when he goes against Cortland Finnegan. It also means the Titans will snap their season-long streak of three straight games without an interception.
Tennessee will take advantage of the fact that Houston is without defensive end Mario Williams with more deep throws than usual and its most effective running game in weeks. Running back Chris Johnson will get a heaping helping of second-half carries as the Titans – finally – work to protect a lead and eventually will break a long run.
Titans 28, Texans 20