Preview: Houston at Tennessee
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 26, 2014
Where: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
With their season slipping away and starting quarterback Jake Locker still injured, the Tennessee Titans are ready for another shake-up under center. Rookie Zach Mettenberger will take over for Charlie Whitehurst and become the team's third different starting quarterback Sunday at home against the Houston Texans. A sixth-round pick out of LSU, Mettenberger has played in one game but some are hopeful he will eventually put an end to the Titans' constant quarterback shuffle.
One of Tennessee's five different starting quarterbacks (including Mettenberger) over the past three seasons was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played in 11 games for the Titans in 2013 before assuming the helm for Houston this season. The veteran from Harvard has had an up-and-down campaign but has been in the mix during a brutal three-game losing streak, including a 30-23 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday that saw the Texans blow an early 13-0 lead. Houston hopes to have rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, the league's No. 1 pick, back from a knee injury that has sidelined him for six straight games.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Texans -2.5. O/U: 42.5
ABOUT THE TEXANS (3-4): Houston has to clean things up offensively to have any chance of turning around a slide that has seen it commit costly turnovers, including two that helped Pittsburgh post 24 points in less than three minutes of a jaw-dropping stretch before halftime. "It was miserable, a terrible display of football," Fitzpatrick said after the game. Fitzpatrick has seven interceptions against five touchdowns over his last five games and may be feeling the heat from backup Ryan Mallett, although coach Bill O'Brien said this week that Fitzpatrick remains the starter.
ABOUT THE TITANS (2-5): Tennessee knows all about sloppy play, committing 10 more penalties in a 19-17 loss at Washington last week and ranking fifth overall in penalties (57) and fourth in penalty yards (519). Several of the infractions have occurred along the injury-marred offensive line, including six of that variety versus the Redskins. Losing five or 10 yards here and there can be damaging for a team that has lost leads in the final two minutes of play twice in the last three weeks.
1. Texans LB Brian Cushing will miss at least this week with a lingering knee issue.
2. Titans RB Shonn Greene needs 92 yards to reach 4,000 for his career.
3. Houston DE J.J. Watt has 20.5 sacks in 19 games against division opponents.
PREDICTION: Texans 23, Titans 20
Stats and Records
Tennessee Off vs