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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Pick & Prediction JAN 3TH 2021

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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans Recap JAN 3TH 2021

Derrick Henry rushed for 211 yards and clinched the NFL's regular-season rushing title as the Tennessee Titans secured a playoff berth on Sunday with a 35-14 victory over the host Houston Texans.

Henry's last carry, a 53-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left in the game, enabled him to pass Cleveland's Nick Chubb for the top spot among NFL rushers with 1,540 yards. He also scored on 3- and 1-yard runs in the second half as sixth-seeded Tennessee (9-7) earned a trip to AFC East champion New England next weekend for their wild-card game.

Ryan Tannehill completed 13 of 20 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans. Tennessee finished with 467 yards of offense and improved to 7-3 since Tannehill became the starter in Week 7.

The Texans (10-6) sat out several key players, but were in the game for three quarters thanks to a good performance by backup quarterback A.J. McCarron. He hit on 21 of 36 passes for 225 yards and rushed for a 1-yard touchdown late in the third quarter that pulled them within 21-14.

Fourth-seeded Houston will host Buffalo next weekend in an AFC wild-card matchup.

Houston had nothing at stake in its regular-season finale, and coach Bill O'Brien opted to rest quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins minutes after Kansas City's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Still, McCarron guided an impressive 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game - the team's first TD on an opening drive this year. Duke Johnson lunged the ball over the goal line from 1 yard out for a 7-0 lead with 7:25 left in the first quarter.

Tennessee responded in less than two minutes, with Tannehill and A.J. Brown hooking up on a 51-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.

Tannehill made it 14-7 with 9:42 remaining in the first half on a 1-yard scoring strike to MyCole Pruitt, capping a 16-play, 90-yard march that lasted 8:04.

--Field Level Media

There were moments this season when Tennessee played with such force and vigor that a playoff berth seemed all but assured, something akin to a foregone conclusion given their offensive weapons.

But with five teams vying for four AFC playoff spots all sporting the same record, there are no guarantees for the Titans (10-5) on Sunday when they face the host Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

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"I think your approach is that you just have to do things that help you win," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of the pending sense of urgency. "You have to play complementary. You've got to take care of the football. You've got to try to get some turnovers, be sound in the kicking game. Not trying to do too much but go out and make plays and make plays to win the football game."

The Titans rank third in the NFL in points (450) and fifth in yards (5,851) behind the imposing collective of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry and receivers A.J. Brown and Corey Davis.

Tannehill ranks fourth in passer rating (106.7) and seventh in touchdowns (32) while Henry is threatening to claim a second consecutive triple crown for running backs by pacing the league in attempts (344) and yards (1,777) while sitting one touchdown shy of co-leaders Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara (with 16 apiece).

Brown and Davis both have 60 receptions for 900-plus yards while Davis is tied for sixth in the league with 10 receiving touchdowns.

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Yet Tennessee has been undone by its defense, which ranks 29th in yards allowed, and is now in need of relying on past playoff experience to navigate the potential landmines in Houston. In theory, the run to the AFC Championship Game last season should serve the Titans well on Sunday, but in a season where guarantees have been few and far between, nothing is certain.

"I don't know that," Vrabel said. "We've got to focus on the Texans and the challenges that they present and our ability to prepare. I think you try to take from the games that you've played and past experiences and try not to think that it's going to guarantee success because it doesn't. Each week and each play doesn't mean anything about the next one. It's just about finding a way to get there."

The Texans (4-11) are aiming to get Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson through the season finale. Watson has taken his lumps in recent weeks yet has remained a dynamic force. But the blow he took to his throwing arm in the fourth quarter last Sunday against the Bengals was worrisome enough to lead some to suggest that Watson should sit and call it a season Sunday.

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Watson has made it clear, however, that if he is healthy he will play. And by all accounts, he will.

"As far as I know, he's doing pretty good," Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel said. "I haven't heard that he's not doing well, and so since I feel like he's doing good, I hope he does good on Sunday, too."

--Field Level Media

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Tennessee Titans

Houston Texans

Player Position Lineup
A.J. Brown primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Malcolm Butler primary: Cornerback Starter
Kevin Byard primary: Free Safety Starter
Corey Davis primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Nate Davis primary: Right Guard Starter
Rashaan Evans primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Derrick Henry primary: Runningback Starter
Adoree' Jackson primary: Cornerback Starter
Ben Jones primary: Center Starter
DaQuan Jones primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Dennis Kelly primary: Right Tackle Starter
Harold Landry III primary: Outside Linebacker Starter
David Long Jr. primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Rodger Saffold III primary: Left Guard Starter
Jeffery Simmons primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Jonnu Smith primary: Tight End Starter
Ryan Tannehill primary: Quarterback Starter
Kenny Vaccaro primary: Strong Safety Starter
David Quessenberry primary: Left Tackle Starter
Wyatt Ray primary: Outside Linebacker Starter
Geoff Swaim primary: Tight End Starter
Desmond King II primary: Cornerback Starter
Daren Bates primary: Linebacker Substitution
Cameron Batson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Khari Blasingame primary: Fullback Substitution
Matt Dickerson primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jamil Douglas primary: Guard Substitution
Anthony Firkser primary: Tight End Substitution
Amani Hooker primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Joshua Kalu primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Brett Kern primary: Punter Substitution
Kalif Raymond primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
MyCole Pruitt primary: Tight End Substitution
Nick Dzubnar primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jack Crawford primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Kristian Fulton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Darrynton Evans primary: Runningback Substitution
Larrell Murchison primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Aaron Brewer primary: Guard Substitution
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jeremy McNichols primary: Runningback Substitution
Will Compton primary: Linebacker Substitution
Tye Smith primary: Cornerback Substitution
Matt Overton primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Samuel Sloman primary: Kicker Substitution
Marshall Newhouse primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Brooks Reed primary: Outside Linebacker Substitution
Derick Roberson primary: Outside Linebacker Not active
Kareem Orr primary: Cornerback Not active
Logan Woodside primary: Quarterback Did not play
Chris Jackson primary: Defensive Back Not active
Senorise Perry primary: Runningback Not active
D'Onta Foreman primary: Runningback Not active
Player Position Lineup
Tyrell Adams primary: Linebacker Starter
Keke Coutee primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Keion Crossen primary: Cornerback Starter
Zach Cunningham primary: Linebacker Starter
Darren Fells primary: Tight End Starter
Zach Fulton primary: Right Guard Starter
Lonnie Johnson Jr. primary: Safety Starter
Roderick Johnson primary: Left Tackle Starter
Nick Martin primary: Center Starter
A.J. Moore Jr. primary: Safety Starter
Charles Omenihu primary: Defensive End Starter
Max Scharping primary: Left Guard Starter
Carlos Watkins primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Deshaun Watson primary: Quarterback Starter
J.J. Watt primary: Defensive End Starter
David Johnson primary: Runningback Starter
Vernon Hargreaves III primary: Cornerback Starter
Brandin Cooks primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Ross Blacklock primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Jonathan Greenard primary: Linebacker Starter
Charlie Heck primary: Right Tackle Starter
Pharaoh Brown primary: Tight End Starter
Jordan Akins primary: Tight End Substitution
Bryan Anger primary: Punter Substitution
Cornell Armstrong primary: Cornerback Substitution
Ka'imi Fairbairn primary: Kicker Substitution
Buddy Howell primary: Runningback Substitution
Peter Kalambayi primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Senio Kelemete primary: Guard Substitution
Greg Mancz primary: Center Substitution
Jacob Martin primary: Outside Linebacker Substitution
AJ McCarron primary: Quarterback Substitution
Steven Mitchell primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Brennan Scarlett primary: Linebacker Substitution
Kahale Warring primary: Tight End Substitution
Jon Weeks primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Nate Hall primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Jonathan Owens primary: Safety Substitution
John Reid primary: Cornerback Substitution
Scottie Phillips primary: Runningback Substitution
Auzoyah Alufohai primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Chad Hansen primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Kyle Emanuel primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Andrew Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Beau Benzschawel primary: Guard Substitution
Dontrell Hilliard primary: Runningback Substitution
Mark Fields II primary: Cornerback Substitution
Phillip Gaines primary: Cornerback Not active
Duke Johnson primary: Runningback Not active
Laremy Tunsil primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Isaiah Coulter primary: Wide Receiver Did not play
Damion Ratley primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Josh McCown primary: Quarterback Not active
Geno Stone primary: Defensive Back Not active

Tennessee Titans

Houston Texans

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 24 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 47 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 28 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 4 Yards
    • Passer: Ryan Tannehill
    • Pass Receiver: A.J. Brown
    • Conv Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 43 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 52 Yards
    • Rusher: Derrick Henry
    • Conv Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • Period 3
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: David Johnson
    • Conv Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 20 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Brandin Cooks
    • Conv Receiver: Chad Hansen
    • Passer: Deshaun Watson
    • Conv Passer: Deshaun Watson
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 5 Yards
    • Rusher: Ryan Tannehill
    • Conv Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 38 Yards
    • Passer: Deshaun Watson
    • Pass Receiver: Brandin Cooks
    • Conv Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 6 Yards
    • Rusher: Derrick Henry
    • Conv Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • Period 4
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 51 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 37 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 5 Yards
    • Rusher: Ryan Tannehill
    • Conv Kicker: Samuel Sloman
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 7 Yards
    • Passer: Deshaun Watson
    • Pass Receiver: Pharaoh Brown
    • Conv Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • Baltimore L 20 - 13
  • @Houston W 41 - 38
  • @Green Bay L 14 - 40
  • Detroit W 25 - 46
  • @Jacksonville W 31 - 10
  • Cleveland L 41 - 35
  • @Indianapolis W 45 - 26
  • @Baltimore W 30 - 24
  • Indianapolis L 34 - 17
  • Chicago W 17 - 24
W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • Tennessee L 41 - 38
  • Cincinnati L 37 - 31
  • @Indianapolis L 20 - 27
  • @Chicago L 7 - 36
  • Indianapolis L 26 - 20
  • @Detroit W 41 - 25
  • New England W 20 - 27
  • @Cleveland L 7 - 10
  • @Jacksonville W 27 - 25
  • Green Bay L 35 - 20

Last Meetings

  • Titans @ Texans 41-38
  • Texans @ Titans 36-42
  • Titans @ Texans 35-14
  • Texans @ Titans 24-21
  • Titans @ Texans 17-34
  • Texans @ Titans 17-20
  • Texans @ Titans 13-24
  • Titans @ Texans 14-57
  • Texans @ Titans 17-24
  • Titans @ Texans 20-27

Last Injuries

Tennessee Titans

  • Derick Roberson

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Roberson is dealing with a hamstring injury, but it will not prevent him from playing in the AFC Wild Card game against the Ravens.

  • Geoff Swaim

    Wrist
    Prob Sun | probable

    Swaim is hobbled by a wrist injury, but it is likely that he will take the field in the AFC Wild Card game against the Ravens.

  • Darrynton Evans

    Shoulder
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Evans is tending to a shoulder injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up for the AFC Wild Card game against the Ravens.

  • Ben Jones

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Jones is idle with a hamstring injury, but it is projected that he will take on the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card game.

  • Dennis Kelly

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Kelly is bothered by a knee injury, and it is unknown if he will take the field against the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card game.

  • Daren Bates

    Hip
    Prob Sun | probable

    Bates has a hip injury, but it is anticipated that he will be active versus the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card game.

  • Aaron Brewer

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Brewer has been added to the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unclear how long he will be idle.