NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Titans (11-5) can lock up the top seed in the AFC Playoffs with a win Sunday in Houston.
The Titans are also trying to avenge one of their worst losses of the season when they fell 22-13 to the Texans after turning the ball over five times.
“I would remind you that winning takes care of everything,” said head coach Mike Vrabel, “We’re trying to continue to make strides and play our best football late, and we have done that the last six quarters as a team. We are complementary. We’re taking care of the ball. Focused on the keys that we think are going to win each and every week and then it’s another challenge this week.”
This looks like a favorable matchup for a Titans defense that has only given up 39 points over the last four games. They are also trying to lock down the title of number one rush defense in the NFL.
Key additions like Bud Dupree, Denico Autry, and Zach Cunningham have made a difference but Vrabel says it is simpler than that.
“I think stopping the run is about mentality, being great tacklers and everybody doing their job. I’m proud of how we have stopped the run, but there were too many loose runs last week against the Dolphins. They just have to stop running it, there are a lot of things that go into it and not just looking at the numbers that some people love to do,” said Vrabel.
NFL Rush Defense
- Baltimore- 1,357 Yards
- Tennessee- 1,374 Yards
- Tampa Bay- 1,463 Yards
The Titans face a Houston rush offense that is one of the worst in the league averaging only 84 yards per game, only 3.4 yards per carry, and a league-worst of 8 rushing touchdowns.
The Texans did rush for over 180 yards two weeks ago in a shocking 41-29 upset against the Chargers. That is the number the Titans have pointed to on defense this week.
Texans have turned to rookie quarterback Davis Mills, so the Titans will not have to deal with the mobility of Tyrod Taylor this time.
Davis Mills 2021 season
- 2,363 passing yards
- 13 touchdowns
- 10 interceptions
- 29 sacks
Offensively, the Titans are pointing to just one stat and that is the five turnovers that plagued them in game one.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had one of his worst games with interceptions. “Obviously not a great game from. Definitely, things we have to clean up and I think we have cleaned up since that game,” said Tannehill, “I’m excited to go out and play good football for four quarters and show what we can do.”
The Titans will not have running back Derrick Henry return for the regular-season finale. They designated him to return from his foot injury Wednesday but did not activate him for the game Sunday. Instead, they will continue to lean on D’Onta Foreman who has had three 100 yard games since Henry went down.
D’Onta Foreman Stats
- 112 carries
- 497 yards
- 4.4 yards per carry
- 3 touchdowns
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Foreman and the Titans have not turned it over in the last two weeks. If they can play turnover-free football in Houston they will likely walk away with a win. Houston is +3 in turnovers this season.
The Titans lock up the top seed in the AFC, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage in the AFC Playoffs with a win. The Chiefs (12-5) beat Denver 28-24 Saturday and would get the top seed with a Titans loss.