Redemption will be on the minds of the Tennessee Titans (3-6) as they face the Houston Texans (5-4) in Monday's prime-time AFC South showdown.
The Titans will be looking to avenge Week Two's 34-31 shootout loss to the Texans. Despite the Herculean efforts of Chris Johnson, who accounted for 284 total yards, the Titans were undone by a shoddy defense that allowed Matt Schaub to rip them apart for 357 yards and four touchdowns.
Up next...a preview of this week's Titans/Texans grudge match.
The Titanic task of containing Andre Johnson
Johnson, one of the game's top wide receivers, has been quite the nemesis as of late for the Tennessee Titans.
During the aforementioned early season loss to the Texans, Chuck Cecil's troops allowed Johnson to catch 10 passes for 149 yards and two scores. In last year's 13-12 loss to the Texans, AJ carved up the Titan secondary for 11 catches, 207 yards and a TD. For those of you who are doing the math, that's a whopping 21 catches for 356 yards and 3 TD's in his last two meetings against the Titans.
To contain Johnson, three things are going to have to happen on a rather consistent basis:
1. Cortland Finnegan's gotta be feisty and make Johnson work hard for every catch.
2. The safeties can't continue their penchant of falling for pump-fakes.
3. A good pass rush always helps.
Vince Young's homecoming
VY's travels on the road to redemption continue Monday Night in a familiar locale: his hometown of Houston, Texas.
With the likely presence of a ton of #10 jerseys in the stands, Vince will definitely feel the pressure of wanting to perform well against the Texans. Hopefully, this added motivation will have a positive effect on VY's level of play Monday Night.
What I'm hoping to see is VY going out there and continuing his efficient play by making smart decisions with the football. Hopefully, he won't try to force the issue and do the spectacular in his attempts to appease the locals who still love him for what he accomplished in his home state of Texas.
The Owen Daniels' effect
Throughout his career, Texans' TE Owen Daniels has been a thorn in the sides of the Titan defense. Owen has caught 30 passes for 370 yards and 3 touchdowns in seven games against Tennessee. His performances in all three of those statistical categories are the best numbers he's achieved against any NFL opponent in his four-year career.
Unfortunately for the Texans, Daniels' season ended a few weeks ago as a result of a knee injury.
Daniels' absence should make things a tad bit easier for the Titan defense this time around. That's one less offensive weapon that Chuck Cecil has to account for while preparing to play an explosive Texan offense.
I'm expecting a hard-fought contest between two AFC South foes. The Titans look to continue their climb out of the black hole of 0-6, while the upstart Texans will be searching for respect and getting another step closer to the franchise's first playoff appearance.
At the end of the day, hometown boy Vince Young will come through with another solid effort to lead the Titans to their 4th consecutive victory.
Titans 26 Texans 23
What are your thoughts/predictions for this week's prime-time Titans/Texans showdown?