The Houston Texans travel to the Tennessee Titans this weekend in a divisional matchup between two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum. After winning week 1, Houston has dropped 8 straight games. Meanwhile, the Titans sit at 8-2 on the season while riding a 6 game win streak. Tennessee comes in as a 10 point favorite, with the over under at 44.5 points. Will Tennessee make it 7 in a row, or will Houston play spoiler?
The CapWize Simulation model has the Titans winning outright by a final score of 23.72 – 16.46. The model has the Titans winning by about 7.5 points, just shy of the total set at 10. The point total in this game is predicted by the model to be 40.19 points, about 4.5 points shy of the listed number of 44.5. Where is the best bet for the game? To see more scores for Week 3, head to the CapWize NFL Dashboard. You can learn more about the CapWize Model here.
As mentioned earlier, the Titans have been rolling. Even without Derrick Henry, Tennessee went into LA and took down the Rams before grinding out a 23-21 win last weekend against the Trevor-Semian led Saints. The Titans have been reliant on Ryan Tannehill as of late, who continues to impress week in and week out. Tannehill has thrown for over 2500 yards on the season with 12 TDs and 8 INTs. He’s stepped up since the loss of Henry with six of those TD passes coming within the last 4 games. AJ Brown has thrived this year as well, finally becoming the player everyone had imagined. Brown has 567 receiving yards on the season and was the X-factor against teams like Indy, Kansas City, and Buffalo. The rushing attack is now made up of Donta Foreman, Adrian Peterson and McNichols. It is a makeshift bunch that has been able to get the job done so far.
The Titans defense is battle-tested to say the least. They have played the NFL’s toughest schedule through 10 games, with wins over Kansas City, Buffalo, LA Rams, Indianapolis, and Seattle. The defense has had some bright spots, like keeping the Chiefs to 3 points and LA to 16. In other games, they have looked less impressive, as they have allowed 30+ points in 4 games this season. Kevin Byard has played well and has 5 INTs on the season. Indy is in the middle of the pack in terms of turnovers with 14 forced on the season, giving them a +2 differential overall. Looking ahead, the Titans have a big game next weekend at the surging Patriots. Will they take care of business this week in Houston?
The Houston Texans have not had much going for them to write home about all season. Morale was high after a big week 1 win against the Jags, but the loss of Tyrod Taylor has left them disoriented. In his return to action two weeks ago, Taylor threw 3 picks against Miami in a 17-9 loss. Coming off a BYE week, let’s hope the rust has been brushed off and he looks more like the Tyrod of week 1. To further illustrate how poor the Texans have been, they WON the turnover battle with Miami (4 turnovers to MIA’s 5) and still lost the game. The lone bright spot in Houston has been WR Brandin Cooks, who has 641 yards on the year with 57 receptions, but only 2 TDs to show for it. The most telling part of how abysmal this offense has been is that Mark Ingram is the team’s leading rusher. Unfortunately for Houston, Ingram hasn’t played for them in a month since being traded to New Orleans.
The Houston defense has been pretty horrific as well this season. They are allowing the 4th most PPG on the year and 2nd most rushing yards/game, only behind the Chargers. Oddly enough, they rank middle of the pack in terms of pass yards allowed/game, good for 15th overall. Most teams with a decent offense have been able to put the Texans away early – will Tennessee be able to do so as well?
Taylor – 244.71 yds, 25/39, 1.5 TDs, 0.78 INT
Tannehill – 257.78 yds, 23.7/33.4, 2.3 TDs, 0.54 INT
Phillip Lindsay – 33.73 yards, 9.29 att / 13.17 rec yds, 1 rec
David Johnson – 11.84 yds, 3.2 att / 9.89 rec yds, 1.2 rec
Adrian Peterson – 54 rush yds, 14 attempts
Donta’ Foreman – 25.96 yds, 6 att
Cooks – 66.29 yds, 6.5 rec, 10 tgts
AJ Brown – 109 yds, 8.31 rec, 12.5 tgts, 1.02 TD
See all player props for this game here.
We will be taking the under 44.5 points this week. As mentioned earlier, the model predicts the final score coming in 4.5 points under the listed total. Even with a Bye to prepare, Houston has to go on the road and play the best team in the AFC, who has been through a schedule with much more talent than the Texans. While I don’t expect much offensively from Houston, I am hopeful their defense can keep this from being a complete blowout.
The Titans struggled last week against the Saints, even without Alvin Kamara playing. The game came down to a failed 2 pt conversion by New Orleans to force OT. Houston’s secondary should find some success in limiting Tannehill and had the BYE week to prepare for this beat up offense. The Titans also may not have Jeremy McNichols, who is dealing with a concussion. Given the looming matchup next weekend with the Patriots I think HC Mike Vrabel’s plan will be to get out with a win, not necessarily with style points. Take the under 44.5 in a game that we are predicting to be a grind.