Texans vs. Titans: Why Houston Fans Should Be Worried About Tennessee

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterSeptember 28, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 9:   Jake Locker #10 makes a hand off to Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans during the season opener against the New England Patriots at LP Field on September 8, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Patriots defeated the Titans 34 to 13.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With as great as the Houston Texans have been to open the season and as inconsistent as the Titans have been, fans in Houston may be assuming that their Week 4 matchup is an automatic win.

Gary Kubiak certainly won't be thinking that way.

As many pundits and talking heads who have slathered the Texans in praise, the team hasn't accomplished a whole lot just yet. The teams they've defeated are a combined 3-6.

A loss to the Titans would certainly sting.

The schedule has a number of potential losses waiting on Matt Schaub and company. They play the Ravens, Patriots, Bears and Packers in coming weeks.

The Titans game is one they should win, but there are potential pitfalls lurking. 

The following are the things that Texans need to avoid in order to get to 4-0 and avoid a letdown against a divisional foe they are a heavy favorite against. 


Chris Johnson is Due

The Titans' well-paid running back has averaged a paltry 1.4 yards a carry. It seems that every other time he gets the ball, he's been met in the backfield by multiple defenders.

Johnson may never get to the level of production he had in 2009, but he won't finish the season without a few good games.

His rushing yard totals so far this year: four, 17 and 24.

Johnson is too talented a player to continue to produce at that low a level. Even with a shaky offensive line that Johnson recently blamed for his struggles, he is one big play from eclipsing his yardage total for the year.

Texans have the fifth-best rush defense in the league and should contain Johnson, but he will be desperate and angry, which combined with his speed could make him dangerous.


Limping Receiver Corps

Wide receiver Lestar Jean did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to a knee injury. A groin injury kept Andre Johnson from competing in full practice activities.

According to SB Nation Houston, Johnson is expected to play on Sunday.

With his injury history in recent seasons, fans can't be extremely confident that Johnson's legs, groin and various other body parts will hold up all season.

The Texans can certainly beat the Titans without their best receiver and with or without Jean, but it will harder to exploit the Titans' lowly secondary if Schaub's weaponry isn't at full strength.



The Hardest League To Predict

Raise your hand if you picked the Cardinals to beat the Patriots in New England. How about the Vikings beating up on San Francisco?

There is no such thing as a sure win in the NFL.

There are surprises every week, especially early in the season when we don't truly know who the teams are. Our view of many teams will be a lot different once the season is complete.

The Titans don't look special now, but the narrative of their season changes with an upset over Houston.

They do already have two losses to their name, but one is to a Patriots team many people think will contend for the Super Bowl, and the other one is to the Chargers, who many expect to win the AFC West.

The Texans have home-field advantage, a better defense and a better offense than their rivals, but nothing is guaranteed in this league. If Houston's swagger drifts into overconfidence territory, then we could see one of the week's biggest surprises.