Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday – December 27 – 12:00 pm CT
Nissan Stadium – Nashville, Tennessee
Records Before the Game
Houston Texans (7-7, 3-4 away)
Tennessee Titans (3-11, 1-6 home)
Who would have thought that after getting cut by the Dallas Cowboys a month ago, Brandon Weeden would be counted on by the Houston Texans (7-7) to help secure the AFC South title as he is set to do Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (3-11) in Nashville. Coach Bill O’Brien decided to stay with the embattled veteran from Oklahoma State in place of the concussed Brian Hoyer. The Titans will also play their backup quarterback as impressive looking rookie Marcus Mariota sprained his MCL last week against the New England Patriots. Zach Mettenberger will be under center on Sunday.
After a thrilling “come from behind” victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week, the Texans seized control over the division title race. Two victories over the Colts basically cemented their place in this season’s playoffs. With both Hoyer and second string signal caller TJ Yates, who also suffered a knee injury last week against the Colts out, the Texans were able to get Weeden the majority of the first reps in practice this week. A familiarity with the system’s intricacies should go a long way in helping him become more comfortable running the offense.
Weeden will see a struggling Titans defense when he breaks the first huddle on Sunday. Injuries and poor tackling all season have contributed to all of their eleven defeats this season. Interim coach Mike Mularkey likes how the unit competed in the first half of last weeks game against the Patriots. A similar effort against Weeden should be more effective given his unfamiliarity in the offense of the Texans. They can expect a heavy dose of Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday. Regardless of who has been at quarterback for the Texans all season, he has continued to produce.
J.J. Watt is probable for the game, but expect him and his 13.5 sacks to be on the field with the cast on his left broken hand. The last meeting between the two teams saw the Texans defense get to Mettenberger seven times. Without an injury plagued offensive line and the excellent play of the Texans defensive front, which has been led recently by Jadeveon Clowney. In their seven wins this season, they have only surrendered 10.5 points per game.
Prediction: Texans 23 – Titans 10