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Quick Hits: Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Preview

A look ahead at the first of two Texans/Titans matchups this month.

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

For all the highs this season has brought to Houston Texans fans, this week is the counterbalance. Coming off an embarrassing loss to the inferior New York Jets, in which the Texans lost wideout Nico Collins and then star rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud to injury, after losing Tank Dell the week before, H-Town doesn’t want to see Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans any time soon. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Texans as 3-point underdogs this week.

But the runaway dump truck known as Henry is about to pull into the Texans lane.

Houston’s run defense has been one of the better units in the NFL this season, but some of that is attributed to Stroud’s passing attack forcing opponents to travel by air. Another part is they haven’t faced Henry yet.

Think I’m overstating the potential impact Henry will have on DeMeco Ryans’ Texans?

According to Statmuse, Henry has 1,380 total yards on 225 attempts for a brutal 6.1 yards per carry average and 12 rushing touchdowns. That’s not this season, or in his career. Those numbers are solely when facing the Houston Texans.

His per game averages? 115 total yards, 6.1 yards per carry and a touchdown.

Henry has scored two touchdowns in each of his last three games this season, so it’s hard to think anything will change this weekend.

Worst of all, this stats are skewed by the early matchups.

Then, add in another hot-handed rookie in Will Levis passing to former Texans’ great DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans defense is going to earn their paychecks this weekend.

HOUSTON TEXANS WEEK 15 STATS

QB C.J. STROUD has zero INTs in each of past three & 105+ rating in two of past three. Has zero INTs in five of six road games this season. Has 968 pass yards (322.7 per game) & seven TDs (six pass, one rush) vs. zero INTs with 111.5 rating in three starts vs. division this season. Ranks second in NFL with 3,631 passing yards this season.

QB DAVIS MILLS can make first start of season. Has five TDs vs. two INTs with 93.3 rating in three career starts vs. Ten.

RB DEVIN SINGLETARY rushed for 65 yards & third TD of season last week. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in four of past five. Aims for third in row on road with rush TD.

RB DAMEON PIERCE had TD catch in only career game vs. Ten. (10/30/22). Has rush TD in each of two career road division games.

WR NICO COLLINS has 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD in two of past three overall & in two of three division games this season. Has first-career season with 1,000+ (1,004) rec. yards.

WR NOAH BROWN has 55+ rec. yards in two of his past three on road.

WR ROBERT WOODS had seven catches for 98 yards in his last game vs. Ten. (11/7/21 w/ LAR). Had 527 rec. yards in 2022 w/ Ten.

TE DALTON SCHULTZ has 65+ rec. yards in two of his past three on road. Had two rec. TDs in his last game vs. Ten. (12/29/22 w/ Dal.).

DE WILL ANDERSON (rookie) has five TFL in his past four.

DE JONATHAN GREENARD had six tackles, two sacks & PD last week. Aims for third in row with sack. Has 5.5 sacks in his past three on road. Had TFL & FR in last meeting. Has career-high 10 sacks in 2023, first Hou. player with 10+ sacks since 2018 (J.J. Watt).

LB CHRISTIAN HARRIS led team with 10 tackles & had 1st FF of season last week. Has 10+ tackles in two of past three. Had two PD & only career INT in last meeting.

CB DEREK STINGLEY has eight PD in his past four games.

Notice that Davis Mills isn’t on this stats line. Probably due to his amazing underwhelming 1/5 for four yards 2023 accomplishments. Ugh.

TENNESSEE TITANS WEEK 15 STATS

QB WILL LEVIS completed 23 of 38 atts. (60.5 pct.) for career-high 327 yards & TD vs. INT last week, becoming fifth rookie in franchise history with 300+ pass yards in a game. Has zero INTs in three of past four. Has five TDs vs. zero INTs with 99.6 rating in three home starts this season. Ranks third among rookies with 1,593 pass yards.

RB DERRICK HENRY has two rush TDs in three straight games, longest active streak in NFL & tied-longest streak of career. Has 23 career games with 2+ rush TDs, tied with HOFer Jim Brown for fifth-most ever by player in first eight seasons. Aims for his sixth in row vs. Hou. with 125+ rush yards & rush TD. Has rush TD in five of six home games this season. Has 10 rush TDs in 2023 & is third player ever with 10+ rush TDs in six straight seasons.

RB TYJAE SPEARS (rookie) had career-high 118 scrimmage yards (89 rec., 29 rush) & six catches last week. Aims for third in row with 85+ scrimmage yards.

WR DEANDRE HOPKINS led team with seven catches for 124 yards & TD last week, third 100-yard game this season. Aims for third in row with 5+ catches, 75+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Had seven catches for 53 yards & TD in only career game vs. Hou. (10/24/21 w/ Ari.). Ranks second in Houston franchise history in catches (632), rec. yards (8,602) & rec. TDs (54).

TE CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO had five catches for 46 yards last week.

DE DENICO AUTRY has sack in two of past three. Aims for fourth in row at home with sack. Had two TFL, two PD, sack & FF in last meeting,

LB HAROLD LANDRY had career-high three sacks in Week 14, fifth- career game with 2+ sacks. Has TFL in three of his past four vs. Hou.

LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR aims for third in row with 10+ tackles.

LB ARDEN KEY had sack last week, third-straight game with 0.5+ sacks. Has sack in two of four career games vs. Houston.

CB SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING had seven tackles, two TFL & PD last week.

With Davis Mills under center, Derrick Henry and D-Hop on the other side and the dumb luck Houston has faced over the last few games, this one might just get ugly and stay ugly, right out of the gate.

Brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.