6 Things to Watch Against the Titans
Patrick D. Starr
The Houston Texans will have their hands full against the Tennessee Titans in an important game at LP Field this Sunday afternoon. This game is probably the biggest of the season and can easily be labeled a "must win" for the Texans, plus a win can put some much needed confidence back into the team.
A win can put the Texans 2-0 in the AFC South and 4-3 overall, and put the Texans in prime position to make the ultimate goal a reality, a division championship.
Here are some things to watch for in Today's game.
1. All three phases of the Texans need to play good games to put them in the victory column. It seems like they have had issues playing consistently on the offensive and special teams side of the ball. It is time for those two to prove they are good because we have seen it, and today would be a good day to shake the rust off.
2. Big stars perform and play to their ability in important situations so the likes of Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, Brian Cushing, Antonio Smith, and Johnathan Joseph need to step to the fore front and lead this team. The Texans need big showings from their "stars" and the rest of the players will follow suit which could lead to a big day for the Texans.
3. The Texans need to control two offensive players for the Titans, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and runningback Chris Johnson. Hasselbeck has provided leadership and a spark to a questionable offense for the Titans, and the Texans defense are going to have to put the hits on him early and often. As for Johnson, he has been quiet majority of the season, but don't sleep on his ability. All it takes is one big run for Johnson to get the Titans rolling, it is a necessity for the Texans to keep him bottled up for the game.
4. This games rests on the offensive line to control the line of scrimmage, and protect Schaub in the passing game. The offensive line has played some good fronts the past three weeks and can use that as basis for today's game. There is no reason the Texans can't run the ball, and it is apparent when the Texans run the ball Schaub becomes a better quarterback. This is a team game but the offenses success rest on the ability to run the football.
5. Will the real Arian Foster please stand up? Foster said he would never play like he did against the Ravens, and said he did not bring his "A" game. Foster needs to go back to what made him successful, accelerating into the line of scrimmage and make his one cut and go. He has been dancing around in the backfield and missing some holes the offensive line has been creating. If Foster does not start picking it up, it would be nice to see more of Ben Tate who looked better than Foster in the running game last week. Despite his fumble, Tate showed some downhill running and deserved the ball more late in the game. It would be nice to see both contribute in a big way on Sunday.
6. This is head coach Gary Kubiak's biggest game as a Texans head coach, and if he can get his players to perform the Texans could be headed to an all important win. The performance of the team falls on Kubiak, and it should, but it is up to Kubiak and his staff to overcome players not in the lineup and still be able to make things to work. This could be a statement game for the Texans in 2011, but we know what happens in big games in the Kubiak regime, let's hope today the Texans can break the cycle.