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Texans enter week 2 with the Titans coming off an epic comeback win against the Chargers. The team came back in the 2nd half of the game from 21 points down to win 31-28, coming back from the biggest deficit in team history. Texans now are at home and will face a familiar foe, the Titans who also are coming off a win against the Steelers. Though Titans QB Jake Locker and RB Chris Johnson didn’t look amazing in their debuts, you can never over look this rivalry game, because in 22 overall meetings the Titans still dominate the series 14 to 8, but the Texans have won the last 2 meetings. Which battles are the most important to keep an eye on this weekend.
Texans (DE) JJ Watt vs. Titans Guards (LG) Andy Levitre and (RG) Chance Warmack
The thought is the Titans this season beefed up their offensive line just to stop Watt. Titans brought in Levitre from the Buffalo Bills and Warmack was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 draft (10th pick). When asked what Watt thought about the Titans rebuilding their line specifically for him he smiled and said “Its kinda cool” while he didn’t have a normal JJ Watt game against the Chargers. You can expect this game to be different. Suspended defensive end Antonio Smith comes back and will take away some of the attention Watt garnered with the Chargers.
Texans (MLB) Brian Cushing vs. Titans (RB) Chris Johnson
Lots of people thought Cushing didn’t really look the same in the 1st half with the Chargers and in fact looked slow, and if there is one person you can’t look slow against it is Chris Johnson. Texans DC Wade Philips said of Johnson “anytime he gets a hole he can break it all the way”. You worry that with a better offensive line he can find those holes. So it will be Cushings job to pop Johnson in the mouth when he finds an opening in the line.
Texans receivers vs. Titans (SS) Bernard Pollard
Whether its Andre Johnson catching a 30 yard pass, Owen Daniels siting down in the middle of the field or Arian Foster catching a swing pass out of the backfield, Pollard will make his presence felt. Pollard is a talker, can lay the lumber and won’t mind getting a flag from time to time. While the trash talk means nothing, the hits he makes might cause a receiver to short arm a pass. Texans DE Antonio Smith when asked if the receivers will have Pollard’s physical play on the mind he responded with “they going be thinking about it”. So you hope QB Matt Schaub keeps them out of dangerous plays.
Texans (OL) vs. Titans (DL)
While this is a more generic match then most, last week Texans QB Matt Schaub was harassed early and often in the 1st half of the Chargers game. While it’s unlikely for LT Duane Brown to have an un Brown like game 2 weeks in a row. The Titans DT Jurrell Casey said about facing the Texans “We’re going to go out there and make sure we put our foot up their (butt). Sorry about the cuss word.” Casey had a 2 sack performance against the Steelers, and if he gets pressure it could be a long day for the team.
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