Rapid Reaction: Texans 41, Titans 7
October, 23, 2011
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Thoughts on the Texans’ 41-7 win against the Titans at LP Field.
What it means: The Texans are in first place in the AFC South at 4-3. They have a win over their top challenger, and they are 2-0 in the AFC South while the Titans are 0-2. With a dominant performance, Houston has re-established itself as the clear favorite to take the division and earn a playoff berth. If the Titans can recover, the Week 17 rematch at Reliant Stadium could be a big one. But with the directions these teams may be heading from here, perhaps not.
What I liked, Texans: The single best thing the Texans could have done for their banged-up quarterback, Matt Schaub, was to run effectively. Arian Foster took 25 carries for 115 yards and scored twice, while Ben Tate added 15 carries for 104 yards. It was a perfect scenario, and Schaub did nice work playing off of it, particularly on play-action rollouts and boots. The defense survived the loss of free safety Danieal Manning (lower left leg) and didn’t allow the Titans to find any rhythm. They forced the Titans to pass to play catch-up, and gave an inefficient group of receivers little space to do anything.
What I didn’t like, Titans: We’re not really overstating when we say everything. It was an exceptionally flat, uninspired performance coming off a bye. Tennessee was pushed around by the Texans all day, showing a great combination of no playmaking on offense and an inability to stop anything consistently on defense. Jake Locker was in the game at quarterback by the middle of the fourth quarter for training time. Chris Johnson was regularly booed, and deserved it for a lackluster effort.
The telling numbers: Houston ran the ball 47 times for 222 yards. Tennessee ran it 15 times for 53. The Texans had possession for 37:58.
What’s next: A couple more AFC South games. Houston hosts struggling Jacksonville. Tennessee gets a visit from the Colts.