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Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans: Week 2: Three things to watch for

Calvin Crawford

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The Houston Texans will take on the Tennessee Titans on the road as they face each other for the first time this season. What’s to expect? Here’s three things that you need to watch for in this Sunday afternoon divisional tilt.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
My bookie line – Texans -2
Sunday, Sep. 16 at Noon on CBS

It’s the day before the day before and the Texans are looking to get in the win column versus their division rival in this Week 2 matchup. Last season, the Texans and Titans knotted the series at one apiece, with the home team winning each game. Houston won by 43 points defeating them 57-14 (to which I’m sure Texans fans remember with a smile) at NRG in Week 4 and lost in Nashville 24-13 in Week 13. For their first meeting of 2018, I’ll be telling you what matchups to watch for, fantasy outlook as well as gambling advice for this AFC South contest.

1) Matchups to watch for

Houston’s defensive line vs. Tennessee’s offensive line – I know this was one of my matchups last week vs. the Pats and N.E. won that matchup when Brady faced virtually no pressure until late in the 2nd half. Titans’ starting offensive linemen Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin will most likely be out this game.  This is why you have players like J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney — to put pressure on Marcus Mariota and force bad throws. You do not want him to escape the pocket and throw on the run or scramble downfield.  On a side note, if Blaine Gabbert ends up starting or playing most of this game, the Texans just need stuff the run and make Gabbert honest by trying to beat them while on the move.

Houston’s offensive line needs to give Deshaun Watson more time – When Watson was facing pressure from New England in Week 1, he was 3-for-10 with 29 yards and an interception. If the Texans can get their run game going like they did last week and then mix in some play action or RPO’s and play up-tempo, they will put up some points Sunday. The key is to get positive plays on 1st down — they can get into their fast-paced offense and move the ball downfield in chunks like they did in the 3rd quarter vs the Patriots. That style will relax the offensive line and they won’t be behind the chains and into 3rd and long situations when Tennessee can bring the heat like New England did.

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Malcolm Butler – This is my personal favorite matchup that I am excited to see on Sunday. Hopkins had eight catches for 78 yards in Week 1; meanwhile, Butler had an interception but also gave up a 75-yard touchdown reception to Miami’s Kenny Stills. Both of these guys might be their team’s best players on the offensive and defensive side of the ball respectively and we’ll see who gets the best of who Sunday.

2) Fantasy outlook

Tennessee: The only players I can imagine starting from Tennessee are running back Dion Lewis and receiver Corey Davis. Lewis surpassed Derrick Henry in snaps and touches in Week 1 vs. Miami and Corey Davis may get more looks from Mariota with Delanie Walker out for the year.

Houston: As mentioned above for Tennessee, there’s only a couple of players I can see reasonably expecting to give fantasy-worthy outputs. DeAndre Hopkins is an every-week starter because he should always get his looks; running back Lamar Miller had 98 yards rushing last week but unfortunately, Alfred Blue was the recipient of a touchdown carry, so start either at your own risk.  Finally if you’re a believer in more-inept Texans’ play-calling when they reach Titans’ territory, maybe it will give kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn some long field goal attempts.

The Texans’ defense I believe should be started as well if you own them in your league because the Titans may not put up a lot of points this week because of injuries.  Plus, the Texans defense forced two turnovers last week in Foxboro, one can actually bump that up to three if you count the Pats’ muffed punt in the 4th quarter.

3) Gambling advice

It took a while for the line to be released for this game due to the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Mariota’s injury, but as of Thursday night, the mybookie.ag line for this game is Houston -2 and -135 to win while Tennessee is a +115 to win. This game should basically be considered a pick’em and I am probably not gonna touch it: there is just too much uncertainty and I can honestly talk myself into either team winning.

If this game was in Houston I could see the Texans easily winning by a touchdown, possibly more or by 43 again like last season. But since the matchup is in Tennessee and Titans did reach the divisional round last season, I could see them winning as well. This will be the Titans’ first game without Delanie Walker so that may hinder their offense until they game plan around his absence. The over/under is currently set at 44.5 and I can see this being a 23-20 or a 24-21 kind of game as far as the final score, so that’s right around 44 points. If you’re a Texans fan, you obviously believe they will win this game and the line is thin enough to where you should bet with confidence.

It’s tough starting off the season with two road games and we all know one does not want to start 0-2 because the odds of making the playoffs are even longer. I think this should be a close game and I’m honestly 50/50 on it due to the Texans’ performance against New England.  If the Texans don’t force those turnovers, then it’s easily a double-digit loss. But the good news is after this week the Texans play three of their next four games at NRG, so hopefully they’ll open up at home next week with a 1-1 record.

Follow me on Twitter: @billybobcalvin

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

I graduated from Texas Tech University in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Sport Management, as in I had no idea what I wanted to do but wanted to be around sports. I’ve always have had a rooting interest in the Texans as they have been secretly consistent these past few years, making the playoffs four times in seven seasons since I was a freshman in college in 2011. I am currently a student at Texas Chiropractic College getting my doctorate in chiropractic, and my medical background has been very helpful covering the NFL and the Texans.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

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