Titans eye playoffs with win in Houston

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill warms up before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans playoff push got a boost Sunday morning with the news that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is not expected to play. 

Dianna Rossini from ESPN reported AJ McCarron is expected to start with Watson backing him up. 

The (10-5) Texans have already won the AFC South and can only move up from the four seed to three seed of the Chargers upset the Chiefs in Kansas City. 

The (8-7) Titans enter the game knowing a victory locks up their second playoff spot in three seasons. 

“It’s simple,” said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, “You kind of know exactly what the situation is, and now it’s on us to go out, play well and come away with a win.” 

The Titans have won six of nine games since Tannehill, but have dropped their last two to the Texans and Saints. 

Two weeks ago they fell 24-21 to Houston in Nashville.  In that game, Carlos Hyde rushed for 104 yards and DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 119 yards.  Hopkins is not expected to play heavily Sunday. 

Derrick Henry struggled with a hamstring injury in that first matchup but still rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries.  Henry sat out last Sunday against the Saints to heal up for the game.

Henry practiced more this week, but head coach Mike Vrabel said it all comes down to Sunday.

“I think we all understand that the real test is at the game when the speeds certainly go up for every player. I think we try to monitor what they do during practice, but then also, you see the speed of every player and every position increase for the game.” 

As of Sunday morning, the Titans had jumped from -3.5 favorites all the way to -7 on the news of Watson sitting this one out. 

If the Titans win they will most likely face Kansas City next week in the AFC playoffs. 

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