The Last Two Times They Played:
Titans 14, Texans 38 - September 30, 2012
The Texans were riding high on a three-game winning streak as they entered Week Four to face the hated Titans. After posting an impressive win on the road against the Broncos, there was a lingering fear of a "letdown" against the Titans. Not this time. The letdowns would come later in the season, of course.
Matt Schaub was efficient but not flashy, as was Arian Foster. They didn't need to be flashy, however, as the real stars of the game were J.J. Watt (naturally), Danieal Manning, and Kareem Jackson. Manning and Jackson each returned an interception for a touchdown while Watt notched two sacks and three tackles for loss. Titans running back Chris Johnson ran for 141 yards but most were accrued in garbage time. Jake Locker was forced to leave the game early after a bone-crushing hit by the blitzing Glover Quin.
The Texans cruised to 4-0 in 2012 and improved their all-time record against the Titans to 7-14.
Texans 24, Titans 10 - December 2, 2012
Fast forward to December and the Texans go to Tennessee trying to improve their record to 11-1 and simultaneously clinch a playoff spot. Their performance against the Titans was nearly identical to their previous bout in September. Schaub was effective, Foster scored a touchdown (though he was held under three yards-per-carry). Once again, it was the defense that carried the day. Watt was dominant once again with two sacks, three tackles for loss and two passes deflected.
The Texans improved to 11-1 for 2012 by sweeping the Titans. Their all-time record is now at 8-14.
How Tennessee finished the 2012 Season:
|Off Yds / G||Off. Pts / G||Def Yds / Game||Def Pts / Game|
What Tennessee has done this offseason:
The 2012 Titans had such a dearth of talent that the only notable departures from the team were back-up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and inconsistent tight end Jared Cook. Here are their key additions:
|Andy Levitre, 26||OG||6 yrs / $48 million|
|Shonn Greene, 27||RB||3 yrs / $10 million|
|Delanie Walker, 28||TE||4 yrs / $17.5 million|
|George Wilson, 32||SS||2 yrs / $4 million|
|Moise Fokou, 27||LB||2 yrs / $2.8 million|
|Sammie Lee Hill, 26||DT||3 yrs / $11.4 million
Arbitrary prediction made in May of 2013: Texans 49, Titans 13.
Despite the improvements the Titans have made over the offseason, I can't see the Texans falling to them this early in the season, especially at Reliant. If everything is clicking as it should be for this talented group, the Texans should roll right by the Titans just like they did in their previous two meetings.
Check out the week one preview here and stay tuned for next week's look at the showdown in Baltimore. Make your predictions in the comments below!