By Jay Betsill
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Sunday – November 30 – 12:00 pm
NRG Stadium – Houston
The second place Houston Texans (5-6) welcome the Tennessee Titans (2-9) to NRG Stadium for an AFC South match-up. While the Texans still have a remote chance of sneaking into the postseason, the Titans are essentially out and looking to the future.
The Texans placed starting quarterback Ryan Mallett on injured reserve on Wednesday with a chest ailment, so 10-year veteran and former Titans signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick is is back in the starting lineup for Houston.
“A lot of it is about being the same guy every day and having confidence in yourself, preparing the same way and then going out there and doing it,” Fitzpatrick told HoustonTexans.com. “Staying steady I think is the biggest thing for a quarterback in this league just with so many ups and downs throughout the year.”
When Fitzpatrick and the Texans faced the Titans on the road back in Week 8, he was 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards. He threw a touchdown pass to running back Arian Foster and had no interceptions.
Foster is expected to play on Sunday after missing two games with a groin injury. In Week 8 against the Titans, Foster ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns in addition to the touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick. In Foster’s seven career games against the Titans, the Texans are 6-1. He has scored seven touchdowns and averaged 4.4 yards per carry against Tennessee.
As for the defensive side of the ball, Houston is still leading the NFL in turnovers caused with 24. In week 8, they intercepted rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger once and J.J. Watt forced a fumble.
“I think he’s continued to improve,” Watt said, on the team’s official website. “That’s what you expect. He’s going to continue as he grows. I do expect him to be better this game than he was against us, obviously last time being his first game.”
Texans also announced that rookie Jadeveon Clowney will miss the game against the Titans after suffering a setback in his knee rehabilitation. The first overall pick in this year’s draft, has played in just four games this season.
“Part of it is just being unlucky,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s had a year here that’s been tough for him as far as injuries go.”
Prediction: With the return of Arian Foster, the Texans will win and win easily against the Titans by the score of 28-10.