Titans vs. Texans: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans rushes is with the ball against strong safety Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Texans defeated the Broncos 31-25.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have played like "the team" in the NFL through three games. It will take a big effort for the Tennessee Titans to change that.

Tennessee comes into the Week 4 matchup on its biggest high of the season after a 44-41 victory over the Detroit Lions, but the Titans were outscored by 49 points in the first two games.

Conversely, the Texans have been dominating their competition at home and on the road with an incredibly talented and balanced team.

This divisional matchup should be entertaining throughout. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming battle.


Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

When: September 30, 1 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket 


Spread: Texans -12, according to Vegas Insider

This is the biggest NFL line of the day, and for good reason. Houston has looked nearly flawless after winning its first three games by a combined 46 points.

The Titans finally woke up offensively in the win over the Lions, but the Texans provide a much tougher challenge. The defense is No. 2 in the NFL in yards against and No. 3 in points allowed.

Tennessee should struggle to score and even keep this game close.


Over/Under: 44.5 according to Vegas Insider

Houston has a better defense than offense, but the team has totaled over 27 points in each game so far this year. To make things easier, the Titans have not prevented a team from scoring 34 points in any of the three games.

Even if Tennessee is stymied by this defense, there should be enough points on the board to reach the over.


Injury Report (via ESPN)


LB Colin McCarthy (Ankle) Out

TE Jared Cook (Shoulder) Questionable

WR Kenny Britt (Ankle) Questionable

RB Javon Ringer (Elbow) Probable



WR Andre Johnson (Groin) Probable

RB Arian Foster (Knee) Probable

CB Johnathan Joseph (Groin) Questionable

S Quintin Demps (Thumb) Questionable

WR Lestar Jean (Knee) Out


Fantasy Big Plays

Titans: Jared Cook, TE

Running back Chris Johnson has struggled all season long, and it is unlikely he wakes up against the Texans. This leaves the Titans to look toward the passing to game to try to move the football.

Jared Cook has been a steady target for the Titans over the past two years while the receivers stay inconsistent. He scored his first touchdown of the year last week against the Lions and could be in line for more as the season progresses.

If Houston is able to shut down the deep targets, Cook could rack up a lot of catches and yards on Sunday.


Texans: Arian Foster, RB

He is one of the best fantasy players in the league. Expecting him to be anything other than great would just be irresponsible.

Foster has topped 100 rushing yards in each of the last two games and scored two touchdowns in the one game he did not. Against this struggling defense, there is little doubt he should be able to put up some big numbers.

Offensive players like Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are also in line for big days.


Key to Titans Victory: Get the Run Game Going

The Titans are dead last in the NFL in rushing with 39 yards per game. A lot of it lies on Chris Johnson, who is averaging only 1.4 yards per carry. In fact, he actually trails quarterback Jake Locker for the team lead in rushing yards.

While the offensive line is also to blame, it could be time for the team to make some adjustments. Javon Ringer has had some quality seasons as a backup, and this would be a good chance to see what he can do with more carries.

This team is too easy to slow down when it only has a one-dimensional attack.


Key to Texans Victory: Stop the Pass

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos exposed a weakness in the pass defense of the Texans. The veteran threw for 330 yards and connected with Eric Decker for 136 of those yards.

Houston should be able to guard the top receivers, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington, but a guy like Kendall Wright might have the quickness to be successful on the underneath routes. The defense needs to work on stopping these plays to help prepare for the rest of the schedule.

On a championship-level team, every little thing must be accounted for to keep winning.


Prediction: Texans 31, Titans 14

The Texans simply have too much talent to lose this game at home. If the Titans find a way to stop the pass, Houston will counter with a great running back duo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. It will just be too much to overcome.


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