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Texans defense dominates again
The folks over at Battle Red Blog, SB Nation's Houston Texans blog, credited both the offense and defense in Houston's dominating win over the Tennessee Titans -- but they especially credited J.J. Watt, who continued his excellent 2012 campaign on Sunday.
Wow. I'm not even sure where to start. This was one of the most methodically efficient games I've seen from a team that has become famous for methodically efficient games. The defense scored twice and (before garbage time) kept the Tennessee offense in check all day long. J.J. Watt distanced himself even further in his campaign for Defensive Player of the Year. Matt Schaub was smooth as one could ask for and didn't turn the ball over while the run game kept chains moving and drives alive. There are a couple little things that need to be improved (ahem, cough cough Brice McCain and Trindon Holliday), but on the whole I could not be more pleased.
Houston will look to improve to 5-0 next Monday night, when it heads to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
Right guard Antoine Caldwell sprained his ankle in the second quarter. Caldwell required assistance getting off of the field.
Though an injury to an offensive lineman usually has negative implications for a team, the Texans are in fine shape even if Caldwell misses time. Rookie guard Ben Jones and Caldwell had been sharing a rotation at right guard, and Jones should be able to take on a bigger role if Caldwell misses time.
Houston's offensive line has been dominant in 2012, allowing Arian Foster to rush for 380 yards through the first four weeks of the season.
The Texans will have a full week to evaluate whether or not Caldwell will be ready to play in Week 5. Gary Kubiak's club will head to New Jersey, to take on the 2-2 New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
The Houston Texans defense got involved in the scoring on Sunday, much to the chagrin of the Tennessee Titans, and helped power the Texans to a 38-14 win at Reliant Stadium. Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson each returned interceptions for touchdowns as part of a dominant second half in which the Texans outscored the Titans 24-7 to cruise past the Titans.
With the win, Houston remains perfect on the season at 4-0. Tennessee falls to 1-3 on the year and are quickly finding themselves out of the AFC South race.
Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson got the Texans going early with a 33-yard pass on the second play from scrimmage and then another 20 yards on the following play. Schaub then capped off the seven play, 77-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to James Casey and Houston was off and running.
The Texans' second touchdown drive was a little more balanced as Arian Foster got involved and combined with Schaub to move Houston 45 yards. Foster then rumbled into the end zone from four yards out and the Texans were up 14-0.
Things didn't get much better for the Titans when Jake Locker went down hurt. He left with a shoulder injury and was called "questionable to return", but never did.
That brought on Matt Hasselbeck, who did lead the Titans on a second quarter touchdown drive, but that was all he really managed.
With the Tennessee deficit cut to 14-7, Hasselbeck did his best to let Houston run away with the game. He got picked by Manning early in the third quarter and Manning took it back 55 yards for a touchdown. Hasselbeck also threw one to Jackson, which went 64 yards the other way for six.
In between, the Texans offense continued to cruise. Foster was slowed down some by the Titans' defense, but he did get to 86 yards and Schaub was efficient through the air, adding a second TD pass. Tennessee added a late touchdown, but the game was already over as Houston improved to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Fantasy studs/duds: The Texans defense had two interceptions for touchdowns for a nice showing, while Chris Johnson racked up 141 yards for the Titans, albeit without a touchdown. Check out SBN Fantasy for more.
Odds: Houston was favored by 12 and easily covered in their dominant victory. SBN Odds has everything else.
Injury info: There is no word yet on the severity of Jake Locker's shoulder injury. That he was "questionable to return" is encouraging, but he never made it back and there has not been an update yet.
Next up: Both teams are on the road next week. The Texans get eight days off because their next game is on Monday night against the Jets, while the Titans will look to get back on track versus the Vikings.
After the Tennessee Titans kept themselves in the game despite losing quarterback Jake Locker in the first quarter, the Houston Texans have taken firm control of the game after three quarters, leading 28-7.
The Titans have played the ball-control game thus far, rushing Chris Johnson 17 times for 86 yards. But in picking and choosing their time to strike, Tennessee turned the ball over.
On the Titans' second possession of the game at their own 32-yard line, backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck went deep to tight end Taylor Thompson. But Houston safety Danieal Manning intercepted the pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Texans a 21-7 lead.
Daniels leads the Texans with six catches for 72 yards after three quarters.
The Titans have hurt themselves with seven penalties for 73 yards.
The Houston Texans lead the Titans 14-7 at the half, but Tennessee backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has kept his team in the game with a second-quarter touchdown drive. Hasselbeck replaced starting quarterback Jake Locker, who was lost in the first quarter to a shoulder injury.
The veteran performed well stepping in for Locker, going 5-for-7 for 82 yards and a touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Tennessee running back Chris Johnson saw his fair share of touches as Tennessee's offense took off in the second quarter after struggling in the first. At halftime, Johnson has 10 carries for 58 yards.
With a 14-0 Houston lead after the first quarter, Tennessee finally got on the board with eight minutes to play in the second. After a 78-yard, seven-play drive, Hasselbeck connected with tight end Craig Stevens on a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit in half.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is 13-of-17 for 118 yards and a touchdown pass. Running back Arian Foster has 14 carries for 48 yards in the first half while Andre Johnson leads the team in receptions with three catches for 56 yards.
The Texans methodically moved down the field on the first possession of the game, going 77 yards in seven plays to score on a Matt Schaub pass to James Casey for an 11-yard touchdown. The usual Texans suspects are leading the team thus far. Schaub is 7-for-9 for 92 yards and he's hit Andre Johnson twice for 53 yards.
Arian Foster already has 10 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. After the defense set up a drive starting at the Tennesee 47-yard line, Foster finished off a drive with a 4-yard touchdown run before the end of the first quarter.
Tennessee only produced 38 total yards against the stout Houston defense in the first quarter.
The biggest inactive for the matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans is wide receiver Kenny Britt. The official Twitter account of the Titans tweeted out their inactives on Sunday, and he is the only big name. Britt left the Week 3 game against the Detroit Lions midway through the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Officially, it's an ankle sprain, and Britt isn't able to go at 100 percent with it just yet, so he'll be among the inactives.
For the Texans, there's not much of note regarding their inactive list. The team tweeted out its list from the official account and the usual suspects are on it. Cornerback Jonathan Joseph and wide receiver Andre Johnson were limited in practice throughout the week, and having them inactive would have been a major loss, but fortunately for the Texans, they'll suit up and play.
The full inactive list for both teams is below.
This post originally appeared on SBNation.com.
The Houston Texans are hosting the Tennessee Titans, and are looking to improve to 4-0.
The Houston Texans have 16 players on their injury report, but only wide receiver Lestar Jean is officially listed as out.
Houston Texans' cornerback Johnathan Joseph looks like he will be ready to go when the Tennessee Titans visit Reliant Stadium on Sunday. He had been battling a sore groin all week and missed practices, but he was out on the practice field today.
Johanthan Joseph (groin) is good to go for Week 4. Took his full allotment at practice today #Texans— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 28, 2012
Had Joseph not been able to play, Alan Ball would have likely started for him at cornerback. But Joseph will be out there, strengthening the NFL's fourth-best pass defense.
The Titans pass offense has been pretty good this season, ranking 11th in the NFL. A solid chunk of that has been to Nate Washington, who has made his chances count with 185 yards and two touchdowns on just seven catches this year. Having Joseph out there to help take away that big play threat will be big for the Texans.
It's a mismatch on paper, but that's why they play the games
The Texans listed 16 players on their injury report on Thursday, starting wide receiver Andre Johnson and cornerback Johnathan Joseph were limited.
A porous Titans defense makes for a good week to own Texans players
Big division match-ups highlight Week 4's NFL action, with big games between the Broncos and Raiders, Vikings and Lions, Patriots and Bills and plenty of others. The Houston Texans have a big division match-up of their own, hosting the 1-2 Tennessee Titans as they seek a quick 4-0 start to the season.
In their last game, the Texans blasted through the Denver Broncos to remain perfect early in the year, while the Titans were involved in a barn-burner that ended 44-41 against the Detroit Lions. The two AFC South rivals will play one of the early games, getting a noon start time on CBS.
Here's the full NFL schedule for Week 4, all times are Central:
Thursday, Sept. 27
Sunday, Sept. 30
Monday, Oct. 1
The full Week 4 NFL Schedule can be found over at SI.com.
Is it a potential trap game or are the Texans too good to get snared?
Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.