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Three and Out: Titans-Texans Predictions

The BRB staff gathers one more time to predict the season finale as the Houston Texans host the Tennessee Titans from NRG Stadium.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

What a season it has been. There have been lows, there have been...not as low lows. There have been hilarious word salad press conferences, amazing contradictions between coach and general manager, horrific football, and fan apathy the likes of which I’ve never seen since the Houston Oilers were in their lame duck period before moving to Memphis. There was even a presser this week where Nick Caserio, straight-faced, talked about how good the fan support has been. Just amazing messaging all around from team leadership.

I will say that the Texans’ defense got to a point where it was certainly better than I thought it would be, and Davis Mills has shown enough flashes that I hope it allows the Texans to have a valuable trade piece, assuming they don’t just anoint him the franchise savior quarterback prematurely.

One last time for this season, let’s see how the BRB staff sees Sunday’s season finale playing out:

Tim: Titans 24, Texans 16.

The Titans have the top seed in the AFC and thus a bye in the NFL Playoffs on the line Sunday, so this won’t be a rest-the-starters situation for Tennessee. Notwithstanding Houston somehow getting the better of Mike Vrabel’s crew earlier this season, the Titans are better than the Texans.

The best part of this contest will be when it ends and the Texans’ offseason—replete with speculation and draft mania we haven’t seen around these parts in many moons—begins.

Matt Weston: Titans 26, Texans 17.

The Titans have found their outside zone run blocking groove and the Texans have had problems against this run scheme all season. Tennessee also has actual receivers this week instead of trying to play behind in the rain with their fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh pass catchers.

Tennessee has their front seven and secondary back together. Houston will struggle to run the ball. Davis Mills will have problems facing third and long.

It should be a blowout, but these teams tend to play close and stupid games. In a stupid season with 17 games now, I wouldn’t expect anything different.

bfMFd: BE-SFs 38, Texans 20.

I’m guessing this will be the ultimate Texans game to end the season.

The Texans will score early as Davis Mills’ early-game accuracy will be alive and kicking. Texans fans will get excited!

Then the BE-SFs will systematically run up the score, smothering our offense in the process.

In the fourth quarter, once the game is clearly out of hand, with Logan Woodside is taking snaps, and the BE-SFs are playing pure prevent defense, Mills will run up 150 yards and 2 TDs. He’ll look AWESOME, just like he did in trash time against the Rams and 49ers. Texans fans will get excited!

Kaimi Fairbairn will miss an extra point at the end of the game.

It’ll be a perfect set-up for the Texans’ inevitable failure of a season in 2022.

Chris: Texans 23, Titans 20.

Why? Well, why not? It’s the season finale, and I haven’t picked the Texans to win in forever, so I’m going to try to be positive for once and roll with the Texans against the hated Titans.

I do feel like the Texans will struggle mightily to contain the run, but I feel that way every week. I feel like the Texans will show out in their last game and unexpectedly upset the Titans. It’s just one of those outcomes with no rhyme or reason, like Houston’s improbable win over the Chargers.

l4blitzer: Titans 26, Texans 14.

When we saw the schedule and noticed this game was the finale, many figured this was a solid a win prospect as possible for this squad, if only for the reason that the Titans could come into this game with absolutely nothing to play for, thus sitting starters/key players, turning it into a glorified preseason style matchup that would favor the Texans. Well, the Titans come into this matchup with actually a whole lot to play for, including securing the top seed in the AFC and that all important bye. The Titans are hopeful that they can get Derrick Henry back for the NFL Playoffs. One more week for him to rest would be so much better for their plans. While conditioning would be a factor, dealing with Henry in a cold winter playoff game is not a thought most defenders would relish.

A loss by Tennessee might yet yield the top seed, but that would rely on a LOT of other teams losing. Vrabel and the Titans know that a win clinches it. Plus, there is the whole revenge factor from how the Texans embarrassed the Titans in their last meeting. Expect the Titans to be engaged and locked-in, playing with desperation and fury.

Not that I think the Texans will roll over and play dead. The Fightin’ Culleys have played hard, and the Texans did fell a team in the playoff hunt in their last home game. Many of the Texans are playing for their NFL futures, as those one-year deals are almost up, and some of the rookies would like to go out on a high note after a sour first season. While Culley appears safe, the coordinators have no certainty on their future; for the Texans or other potential employers, they want to make a good final impression.

This game will be somewhat competitive. The Texans will give the Nashville crew a decent fight for a half, but the Titans, even without Henry, will wear down the Texans’ defense. The Titans will not give the ball up five times, forcing the Texans to make the big offensive plays. Houston doesn’t have enough firepower for that.

The regular season will end with another Houston defeat, the Titans holding the top seed in the AFC, and the dwindling Houston fanbase ready for the real excitement: The offseason.

Mike: Not-The-Oilers 31, Texans 13.

It’s still hard to believe Mike Vrabel and his top-seeded team lost to David Culley’s rendition of the 53 stooges earlier this season. It’s even harder to believe it could possibly happen again. The fact that Houston walloped Los Angeles with a pile of backups on the field, then lost the next week when the starters came back, is a huge indictment of Culley and his “system”. With that in mind, we’ll call the last win what it is: an Any Given Sunday aberration that makes no sense.

With playoff seeding on the line and Vrabel not wanting to get owned by Larry, Moe and Curly, we should all just expect this to be a good old fashioned trip to the woodshed for the coaching staff of our beloved Texans.

The only thing really worth looking forward to is the end of the game, which heralds the end of possibly the worst season in franchise history. It can’t get here fast enough

Kenneth: Titans 27, Texans 13.

The final week! What a season it has been. Covid. Injuries. A rookie QB. Surprising wins. Unsurprisingly bad football. Honestly, there was way more positive than anyone expected going in.

The Titans hold the number one seed in the AFC and its only bye. They will not want to give that up. A loss and a Chiefs win steals that from them. They won’t need to give anyone a two week break, so they will be all in for this revenge game. The Texans need a solid performance to round out this season. The Titans’ secondary isn’t fantastic, so hopefully Houston’s offense can move the ball on them.

Overall I think the Titans will put it to us and we’ll lose to secure the third overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Use the comments section to predict the final game of the season. I appreciate you reading all season long. We will do it again next year!