2. Defensive Front Seven
Any number of the Houston Texans defensive linemen could be listed individually here as players to watch, so why not spread the wealth here and explain why the defensive front seven is worth watching with extra focus.
The starting defensive line consists of defensive ends Christian Covington (who was limited in practice) and J.J. Watt. There is also nose tackle DJ Reader and throw in linebacker Jadeveon Clowney as a pass rusher from the outside and the Titans offensive line — which will be playing without both starting tackles — will struggle.
If this stout Texans front seven plays up to the potential they possess and reach the expectations many have for them, the Texans will have a very good day. Other than Clowney at linebacker, there is Whitney Mercilus, Zach Cunningham, Benardrick McKinney at linebacker, all of who were drafted in the first or second rounds from, 2012-17.
The Titans are there for the picking for the Texans front seven with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin ruled out, plus the Titans are having issues at quarterback and tight end. Houston should take full advantage of the situation being handed to them, and if they don’t it will be very surprising.