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Texans Conclude Horrid Season With Visit To Music City

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HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: A fan watches the action during the second half of the game between the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Credit, Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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By Dave Thomas

When the final gun sounds in Sunday’s Houston-Tennessee football game in Nashville, the Texans will put behind them one of the biggest collapses in NFL history.

Riding a horrific 13-game losing streak, the Texans will look for a little bit of good news to go into the off-season with. In fact, the Titans are one of only two teams that Houston (2-13) defeated this season, a 30-24 overtime win in week two at Reliant Stadium.

Since that victory back in mid-September, the Texans have found just about every way possible to lose games. Whether it be blowouts or losses in the final minutes, the losing streak cost head coach Gary Kubiak his job, given defensive coordinator Wade Phillips an opportunity over a handful of games to audition for 2014, and moved the team closer to claiming the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft (Washington is the other team that could claim the pick, though the St. Louis Rams have the Redskins pick due to the deal that brought Robert Griffin III to Washington).

Titans Are Unpredictable

While the Texans have been downright terrible for the majority of the season, the Tennessee Titans have had their share of ups and downs, too.

Once in the race for the AFC South title earlier in the season (Indianapolis won the division), the Titans are looking at finishing under .500 and second in the division.

Tennessee started the season at 3-1, but fell on harder times as October rolled around. During that month, the Titans dropped three games to some of the league’s toughest teams – Kansas City, Seattle and San Francisco. Since that time,Tennessee has managed wins against all under .500 teams – St. Louis, Oakland and Jacksonville.

For Houston, a win this Sunday will likely have little impact on player personnel for the 2014 season.

Rumors have been circulating that the franchise may look to draft a quarterback come spring, perhaps Texas A&M sophomore Johnny Manziel. While Manziel has not announced as to whether or not he will leave College Station early, it would not be a surprise by any stretch of the imagination if the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner decides to leave for greener pastures.

In the meantime, Houston plans to start veteran QB Matt Schaub again this Sunday versus the Titans.

Ridiculed by Texan fans for much of the season, Schaub (18-of-37, 176 yards, one TD, two interceptions) started a week ago in the team’s blowout loss at home to AFC West champ Denver, replacing Case Keenum under center.

As the Texans head into their final game of the season, they are looking at the following injury status:

Thursday (12/26/13)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Garrett Graham Hamstring
RB Dennis Johnson Hip
ILB Joe Mays Knee
WR DeVier Posey Ankle
FB Brad Smelley Calf/Back

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
TE Ryan Griffin Knee
FB Greg Jones Knee
ILB Darryl Sharpton Knee
DE Antonio Smith Knee
G Wade Smith Knee

FULL PARTICIPATION
WR DeAndre Hopkins Ankle
WR Andre Johnson Wrist
QB Case Keenum R. Thumb
T Derek Newton Knee
OLB Brooks Reed Thumb
S  D.J. Swearinger Foot
ILB Justin Tuggle Elbow
CB Josh Victorian Back
QB T.J. Yates Back

For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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