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VOL. 42 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 23, 2018

Titans at Texans: What to watch

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Titans at Texans

Monday, Nov. 26, 7:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 104.5 FM

1. DeShaun Watson making things happen. The first time the Titans played the Texans this year, they seemed to rattle Watson and keep the Texans QB out of rhythm. That was amazing considering he had thrashed them for 57 points last year in his only game against Tennessee.

But Watson, whose rookie year was curtailed by an ACL injury, looks as though he is back in the groove, much more so than the first meeting. Look for the Titans to have to get creative to slow him down.

2. Slowing down the Texans defense. The Houston defense is loaded with star power, led by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Marcus Mariota missed the first meeting due to his elbow injury. A healthy, elusive Mariota iwould certainly be a plus for the Titans, but another injury to his throwing arm – the Titans are calling a stinger – leaves his availability and effectiveness for this game in doubt.

3. Big game, big stage. This game is another that could be crucial to the Titans’ chances to win the AFC South. Tennessee won the first meeting, and with back-to-back division road games (Indy last week, Houston Monday night), the Titans could be in good position to control their division destiny, or they could be scrambling to stay afloat over the season’s final month.

Matchups to watch

1. Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin vs. Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. Like the Titans, the Texans will move their star pass rushers around on the line to try and find matchups they like. That said, the onus is likely still to lie with Lewan and Conklin to do their best to keep Mariota upright and out of harm’s way against the pass rush.

2. Logan Ryan vs. DeAndre Hopkins. The Titans did a good job of slowing Hopkins down in the first meeting, but the Texans star receiver is still a dangerous big play weapon for QB DeShawn Watson, not only with deep balls but with runs after the catch as well.

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