Tennessee (8-7; 7-7-1 ATS) at Houston (10-5; 7-7-1 ATS)
Early line: Titans (minus-4 points). Total: (45)
TN 15TH OFF; HOU 28TH DEF
TN 6TH RUN; HOU 20TH vs. RUN
TN 22ND PASS; HOU 30TH vs. PASS
TN 10TH PTS; HOU 18TH PTS ALLOWED
HOU 11TH OFF; TN 22ND DEF
HOU 10TH RUN; TN T11TH vs. RUN
HOU 10TH PASS; TN 24TH vs. PASS
HOU 11TH PTS; TN 13TH PTS ALLOWED
TN 10TH TO/TA; HOU T15TH TO-TA
Titans lead all-time series 18-17-0, but Texans have won last 2 games in series, most recently toppling Titans 24-21 at Tennessee for key divisional victory in first game of 2019 season series just two weeks ago, despite being outgained 432-374. Texans nearly blew a 14-0 halftime lead with Tennessee intercepting QB Deshaun Watson twice inside the one-yard line but scored 10 straight points in 4th quarter in Week 15 win.
TITANS still have realistic hopes for a wild-card berth despite 38-28 Week 16 home loss to Saints in which they rested banged-up Pro Bowl RB Derrick Henry. Titans hope to have a healthier Henry for must-win game Sunday in Houston (check status).
TITANS got some much-needed help as Pittsburgh lost to the Jets, setting up the simplest of playoff scenarios for Tennessee. "It's the same as last year," Titans S Kenny Vaccaro said. "We win, we'll get in. It's a playoff game for us. There's really not no way to put it. If you lose, you're eliminated."
TITANS lost any chance for AFC South crown when Houston clinched the division title with a win last Saturday in Tampa Bay. Tennessee led New Orleans 14-0 without Henry before the Saints scored 24 straight points to take the lead for good.
TITANS outrushed the Saints 149-102 with Dion Lewis running for 68 yards, rookie WR A.J. Brown scoring on a 49-yard run and Dalyn Dawkins adding 24 more. But Henry had 86 yards rushing in the Week 15 loss to Houston and has been a big key to the Titans turning around a 2-4 start to even have a chance at the postseason.
QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns as the TITANS outgained Drew Brees and the Saints 397-377. But Tannehill also was sacked five times without Henry in the backfield.
TITANS WR Tajae Sharpe had 5-69-2 receiving on 6 targets with a long of 36 (TD), and TE Jonnu Smith had 3-63-1 on 4 targets, including a 41-yard TD catch in Week 16 loss.
Being able to play for TITANS’ second playoff berth in three seasons and first with head coach Mike Vrabel eases even the pain of defense allowing a season-high 38 points along with 377 total yards and registering zero takeaways in Week 16 loss.
OLB Derick Roberson had two of TITANS’ three sacks in Week 16 loss.
In addition to Henry, check status of TITANS WR Corey Davis, who was being evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter of Week 16 loss.
In TITANS’Week 15 loss to Texans, Tannehill had 22-36-279-2 TDs-1 INT (92.2 QB rating) and 3-10-1 rushing, Henry had 21-86 rushing with a long of 23, WR A.J. Brown had 8-114-1 receiving on 13 targets with a long of 60, Smith had 5-60 receiving on 5 targets with a long of 23 and a 57-yard run and LB Jayon Brown led defense with an INT and team-high 10 tackles.
TITANS have 2 initial Pro Bowl selections: RB Derrick Henry and P Brett Kern (starter).
In far from their best effort, TEXANS clinched AFC South division title for the 4th time in 5 years with their 23-20 Week 16 road win over the Bucs last Saturday.
The TEXANS forced five turnovers, including CB Bradley Roby’s INT that he returned 27 yards for a TD, and S Jahleel Addae’s INT with 1:27 remaining that ended any realistic chance the Bucs had of fully overcoming QB Jamies Winston's latest mistake-prone performance.
But TEXANS won despite not getting an especially sharp performance from QB Deshaun Watson, who completed 19-of-32 passes for 184 yards and one INT (62.5 QB rating) and 7-37 rushing with a long of 19. The Bucs sacked Watson 5 times and held Houston to one offensive TD on RB Carlos Hyde’s 1-yard run in the second quarter.
The Bucs outgained the TEXANS 435-229, including a 106-68 edge on the ground. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay did not dominate time of possession. The Bucs finished with 30 minutes, 28 seconds, while Houston had the ball for 29:32.
WR Kenny Stills led TEXANS Week 16 receivers with 5-57 on 9 targets with a long of 21, while WR1 DeAndre Hopkins had only 5-23 receiving on 9 targets with a long of 7.
TEXANS defense got 4 INTs from 4 different defenders, including S Justin Reid, who also had a FR that was forced by ILB Tyrell Adams, who also had 5 tackles. OLB Whitney Mercilus had 2 of Houston’s 3 sacks to go with 4 tackles.
TEXANS PK Ka’imi Fairbairn connected on 3-of-3 FG attempts (32, 25, 37) in Week 16 win.
Check status of TEXANS WR Will Fuller, who had 2-11 receiving on 2 targets in Week 16 before leaving in the second quarter with a groin injury.
In TEXANS’Week 15 win over Titans, Watson had 19-27-243-2 TDs-2 INTs (92.1 QB rating) and 7-32 rushing with a long of 12, Hyde had 26-104-1 rushing with long of 11, Hopkins had 6-119 on 8 targets with a long of 35, Stills had 3-35-2 receiving on 3 targets with a long of 16 (TD), Fuller had 5-61 receiving on 7 targets with a long of 31; ILB Zach Cunningham had a half-sack and a team-high 14 tackles; and Mercilus registered Houston’s only takeaway — an INT that he returned 86 yards.
TEXANS have 3 initial Pro Bowl selections: WR DeAndre Hopkins (starter), OT Laremy Tunsil (starter) and QB Deshaun Watson.