Wed, 28 Oct 2020

AFC South Temperature Check | Daily Brew

Houston Texans
16 Oct 2020, 18:02 GMT+10

Marc Vandermeer

Beating the Jaguars was important. It snapped a four game losing streak and gave the Texans good start in division play.

Now it's time for a midterm exam against the current best team in the division. The Texans barely have to read the scouting report to know what's coming. A steady diet of Derrick Henry combined with the passing of the ever-improving Ryan Tannehill awaits, on the journey to Nashville.

The Titans remind me a bit of the Texans two years ago. It isn't always pretty but they find ways to win games. They are a hard-nosed team that doesn't make a lot of mistakes and they'll instantly exploit those of the opponent.

Mike Vrabel is too smart to buy into the league-wide praise of a 4-0 start. There's way too much season left and a short week dead ahead with the defending AFC South champs coming into town.

Sure, the Texans are a team in flux. But there's nothing to sharpen the senses and inspire a great performance like a visit to your old foe. Expect a slugfest. The last three tilts up there have come down to the wire and this one will probably be the same.

Last year, the Texans edged Tennessee by slowing down Henry and capitalizing on a key turnover that turned the game around. They'll likely need to play their first turnover-free game Sunday to pull it out.

This rivalry is the most balanced the Texans have in the division as the series stands at 19-17 in favor of the Titans. Tennessee dominated the outings early, going 11-2 in the first six-plus years. Since then, the Texans are 15-8. Vrabel is 2-2, but the regular season finale last year saw the Texans rest plenty of players as they didn't 'need' the win.

A victory here will send a message that, despite the slow start, the Texans are still a huge threat and have what it takes to slowly but surely fight their way back to the front of the pack.

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