Five keys for the Titans vs. Texans

Five keys for the Titans vs. Texans
5 keys to the game

The Tennessee Titans have to feel like they have unfinished business to take care of against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

After a 57-14 thrashing in early October at the hands of the Texans, the Titans have managed to regroup and lead the AFC South with a 7-4 record.

The good news for Tennessee is that they won’t have to worry about being shredded by DeShaun Watson this time around. Unfortunately for the Texans, their star rookie QB was lost to a season-ending ACL injury a few weeks back.

But the Titans have their own issues they need to correct heading into the season’s final month. Here is a look at some of those issues and objectives for today.

1. Get Marcus Mariota on track. Mariota’s issues began in the loss to Houston when he suffered a hamstring injury on a touchdown run. He missed one game with the injury, but it can be argued that he has not been the same player since. Mariota has thrown six interception in the past two games.

2. Figure out the running game. Maybe it’s time for a changing of the guard to Derrick Henry to get the majority of the carries. But the Titans still like and need DeMarco Murray down the stretch. No matter who carries the ball, the Titans need their line to open holes and block effectively for four quarters, not just in spurts like last week at Indianapolis.

3. Savage attack. The Titans won’t have to worry about Watson tormenting them. Instead, they will have the more turtle-like Tom Savage to go after. And coming off an eight-sack game against the Colts, the Titans defense has to be licking its chops at the thought of Savage in the pocket.

4. Slow DeAndre Hopkins. The Titans game plan for Hopkins last time was not good and not well executed either. Tennessee has to commit extra resources in the secondary to stop the Texans’ lone remaining offensive weapon.

5. Stay the course. The Titans need only to keep winning to hold serve and keep their lead in the AFC South. They already have a road win in hand over Jacksonville, but they can ill afford to stumble against Houston if they want to win the AFC South.

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