A game in which very little excitement was expected and very little was delivered. With the exception of a Houston Texans defense looking like the one the league expected for this season, the flow of the game lacked spark. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said it best when asked about his team’s 20-6 victory last Sunday, “It wasn’t pretty. But who cares? It’s a win.”
Quarterback Brian Hoyer turned in a solid performance going 23/35 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The league leader in receiving, DeAndre Hopkins, was the recipient of most those 35 attempts by Hoyer. Hopkins finished the day with 8 receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. Very little came in the running game for the Texans in the absence of franchise leading rusher Arian Foster who is out the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles. Alfred Blue was only able to carve out 39 yards on 14 carries.
The highlights of the came from the Texans defense. Whitney Mercilus was unstoppable coming off the edge all game. The rangy defensive end put Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger on the ground for what seemed like 50 times. Mercilus actually finished with 3 1/2 sacks. When he wasn’t celebrating getting to the quarterback, it was All Pro J.J. Watt rejoicing in his 2 1/2 sacks on Mettenberger. The defense totaled seven sacks on the day with about twice the amount of pressures that lead to rushed throws. Linebacker Brian Cushing had a good game as well, stopping any chance the Titans had at trying to establish the run game. Rookie first round pick, cornerback Kevin Johnson out of Wake Forest, made his first career interception off Mettenberger.
The Texans will get a much needed break this weekend. The bye week comes at a perfect time as they will use the down time to get some players healthy like defensive end JaDaveon Clowney. Clowney left the game in the first quarter with an injury. From all accounts he will be ready for the red hot Cincinnati Bengals on November 16, as will the rest of his 3-5 Texans squad.