Game day for the second week of the NFL season is finally here with the Tennessee Titans traveling to face the Houston Texans, with both teams coming into the game following opening season wins.
Besides holding Titans running back Chris Johnson in-check, that’s No. 1 for the Texans defense, there is someone else the Texans must do to gain their second win of the season, and that is to control Titans quarterback Jake Locker, as the game is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. EST on CBS.
Of course, Locker is important part of the Titans’ offense for them to succeed Sunday. Last week in the Titans’ win against the Pittsburgh Steelers the quarterback passed for 125 yards (11-for-20) and no touchdowns.
He averaged 6.3 yards per pass and was sacked once for an 8-yard loss. In two games last season, Locker was a combined 21-for-41 for 309 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Locker was sacked seven times in the the two 2012 meetings with the Texans last season for a total loss of 52 yards.
My thoughts are if the Texans hold Locker to these same numbers again they will leave their home opener with a second victory.
For the Titans, they’ll have to protect Locker much better than they did last season, and they did improve their offensive line to try to stop the pass rush of the Texans, but still for any team to stop the Texans they’ll have to stop the designed pass rush of defensive coordinator of Wade Phillips.
INJURIES: Also in this matchup what I’m really interested in seeing is if (more than likely not this week) free safety Ed Reed makes his season debut with the Texans after missing the first game with a hip injury, the NFL.com’s Ian Rapoprt said Saturday his source told him “Reed is unlikely for Sunday.”
Even when Reed does finally play he won’t see a full game of action, but still, just having him on the field can only help the Texans’ defensive backs. We still have to wait at least another week it seems, but maybe not as he’ll be a game decision.
Rapoport wrote for NFL.com that Titans backup running back Shonn Greene is “very doubtful.”
DEFENSE: Did you realize this game features two defenses who are ranked in the Top 6 in yards allowed per game following Week 1? The Titans allowed 194 yards in their opener against the Steelers, the second best in the NFL last week, while the Texans allowed 263 yards, sixth best in the NFL.
This game could be interesting, but I just can’t say the Titans repeat that accomplishment they had in the opening week, especially against the Texans.
Also the Texans need a little better performance from their defensive backs in the first half than they had last week, but that’s just my observation.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Though I think the Texans will win this game by at least two touchdowns, this game still have great potential to be competitive. I believe it that fact will come down to the Texans’ defense. I believe the offense of Houston can overcome Zach Brown and Titans defense, though this game will be no “walk in the park” for either team.