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The Titans and RB Derrick Henry will take out the frustration they felt in that Week 16 blowout on these Texans and cover the spread.
Titans -7.5 (-110)
|Titans vs Texans Information|
|What||Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans|
|Where||NRG Stadium in Houston, TX|
|When||Sunday, January 3, 2020; 4:25 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
Despite the 14-40 blowout loss that the 10-5 Tennessee Titans suffered last week at the hands of the Packers, all it takes is a Week 17 win over these Houston Texans, and Tennessee is still in place to win the AFC South and play in the postseason, making this a huge game for RB Derrick Henry, who typically has no problem carrying the team on his wide back.
The 4-11 Houston Texans offensive line has allowed QB Deshaun Watson to be sacked 45 times this season and the Texans 30th ranked defense has allowed opponents to score over 28 points per game, so don’t expect them to do much damage to these Titans who are fighting for a playoff spot, though don’t expect them to just roll over, either.
These two AFC South rivals have played each other 37 prior times, with the Houston Texans winning 17 of those games and the Tennessee Titans winning 20 of the games.
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Of course, he can – that is exactly what RB Derrick Henry has been doing all season, having big games as he did in Week 14 against Jacksonville when he carried the ball 26 times for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns in that lopsided Titans win.
The good news for Henry is that the Texans are not too solid against the, so far this season being ranked 31st in that category after having allowed opponents to gain 152 yards on the ground per game on average.
This season, Henry is leading the league in several categories going into Week 17, with the most carries, 344, for the most total yards, 1,777, and the most rushing yards on the average per game, 118.5, all signs that he could earn the league’s rushing title once again, especially if he gets the big game his team needs from him here.
The Houston Texans are too talented to be so the middle of the road on offense – ranked 17th – though it is not like QB Deshaun Watson is having a horrible season, at least in terms of his own statistics.
In 2020, Watson has completed 354-of-505 total passes for 4,458 yards and 30 touchdowns with 6 interceptions, while scrambling an additional 87 times for 432 yards and 3 more touchdowns, his mobility and threat of running a major part of his skillset.
But Watson has been sacked 45 times this season, and he can’t be effective if he is running for his life within seconds of receiving the snap, so that will be a key factor that the Texans must figure out against a Titans team that averages just one sack per game, last in the league.
Tennessee WR Corey Davis has played in 13 games this season and has become a major contributor to the Titans offense, a speedy 6’ 3” 209-pound receiver who is gradually developing a close connection with QB Ryan Tannehill.
So far this season, Davis has caught 60 passes off 81 targets for 945 yards and 5 touchdowns, numbers that make him a key receiver who opponents must now focus on and the double team at times, especially given he poses a deep threat at any given point of the game.
Davis shares targets with WRs AJ Brown and Cameron Batson, but his job is to take the brunt of the defense’s attention and still make catches, something that the fourth-year star in the making has proven adept at, as well as earning yards after making the catch.
For Houston’s passing attack to be at all effective, the Texans must have a rushing attack to counterbalance it that they establish early on in the game, and that job right now goes to RB David Johnson, who is having himself a decent year in his first season in Houston.
This season, Johnson has run the ball 133 times for 607 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carrying while also catching 30 passes for 278 yards and 2 more touchdowns, as well.
This may be a meaningless game for the Texans, but for a player like Johnson who will become a free agent in 2022 after his 3-year, $39 million deal ends, so every game he puts up big numbers also helps his future cause, for sure.
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