The Houston Texans are fresh off of their bye week, but awaiting them this Sunday is the hottest team in the NFL: the Tennessee Titans. Mike Vrabel's squad has won six straight games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. The Titans are also 7-0 against teams that made the playoffs last season, but just 1-2 against teams who missed the postseason last year -- like the Texans.
Houston hasn't won a game since Week 1, but Tyrod Taylor is back under center. The Titans have won three straight meetings against the Texans, but divisional matchups are usually close and Tennessee is dealing with a few notable injuries. Before we get into the ins and outs of this matchup, here's how you can watch on Sunday.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
What to watch for
Tyrod Taylor vs. Titans defense
Taylor is the best quarterback the Texans have on their roster, but he had a terrible showing in Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins. In the 17-9 loss, he completed 24 of 43 passes for 240 yards and threw three interceptions. It was his third start for Houston this season, and the first two went relatively well. Taylor led an upset victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, and then kept things close against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 before he was injured.
The Titans allowed Trevor Siemian's offense to outgain them by 109 yards last week, and he had the New Orleans Saints in position to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. While Tennessee's defense stood up when it mattered most, it wasn't a perfect outing. The Titans will also be without star pass-rusher Bud Dupree, linebacker David Long Jr., linebacker Rashaan Evans, cornerback Greg Mabin and cornerback Janoris Jackrabbit Jenkins is questionable to play. If Taylor plays well on Sunday, this game could be closer than many are anticipating. The Texans are scoring nearly twice as many points per drive with Taylor at quarterback than they did with Davis Mills.
Titans run game
While the Titans are 2-0 without Derrick Henry, it's not like the offense has been thriving without him. Tennessee recorded a season-low 194 yards of total offense against the Los Angeles Rams, were outgained by the Saints last week and had their lowest-scoring game since Week 1. Additionally, punter Brett Kern has punted five times in the two games Henry was inactive. Those are season-highs.
As was expected, the Titans' offense hasn't been the same without Henry -- and not having Julio Jones hurts, too. The Titans still want to run the ball, and if they can do so successfully, that will help them keep their win streak alive. D'Onta Foreman has taken over as the lead back, and he has rushed for a total of 59 yards on 16 carries in two games. While the Saints have a stingy defense, Foreman averaged just 2.7 yards per carry. If he, or Adrian Peterson, can control tempo with successful carries, that should guarantee a Titans win.
While the Titans didn't play a great game in Week 10, I expect them to record their seventh straight victory on Sunday. The spread is a different question, however. The Texans' defense recorded season bests in points allowed (17), yards allowed (262), takeaways (5), sacks (4) and quarterback pressures (26) in their last game, and there's a chance Taylor looks like the quarterback he was in the first two games of the season. Titans win, but I'm tempted to take the points with Houston.
Pick: Titans 30-21 over Texans