Titans vs. Texans: 7 Keys to Blowout Win for Texans

Ben Layman@@houtexmajorinCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

Titans vs. Texans: 7 Keys to Blowout Win for Texans

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    The Houston Texans capped off the first quarter of their schedule with a convincing 38-14 blowout win over the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium Sunday.

    The Texans are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.  The way the team is currently playing, it's hard to argue against them being touted as the best team in the NFL.

    The blowout win over their division rival was one of the most impressive showings on the year for the Texans.  The defense continued to show why it's one of the best units in the league, and the offense complemented the unit with more solid execution.

    Here were seven keys to the Texans coming away with a blowout win over the Titans in Week 4.

Texans Mount Big Early Lead

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    The Houston Texans were able to jump out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

    The Tennessee Titans were sloppy in coverage and with their tackling, and the Texans looked a step quicker to start the game on both sides of the ball.

    Andre Johnson was involved in the offense early.  He reeled in three catches for 56 yards alone in the first quarter, which would end up being his total output for the day.

    Houston's ability to get a quick jump on the Titans immediately put Tennessee in a hole for the rest of the game. The Titans lacked the firepower to overcome the early deficit they were put in.

    The early deficit allowed Houston's defense to be aggressive whenever it needed to be, and it gave the offense a cushion to work with for the rest of the game.

    Houston's offense rarely struggles to score early in games, and the Texans went to the familiar formula of jumping out to an early lead against the Titans.

Matt Schaub Was Brilliant

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    Matt Schaub's excellence this season continued against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4, as he completed 20 of 28 passes for 202 yards.

    Schaub threw for two touchdowns and did not turn the ball over.  Houston's star quarterback threw the ball to seven different targets at every level of Tennessee's defense.

    This marks Schaub's third game of the year with a quarterback rating over 100, as well as his third game without a turnover.

    The Texans have been getting exactly what they've needed from their quarterback so far this year, and Houston would not be 4-0 without Matt Schaub.

Overcame 2nd-Quarter Offensive Woes

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    After jumping out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Houston's offense fell into a lull in the second quarter.  The offensive drop-off was so bad, the Tennessee Titans were able to creep back into the game.

    The Texans only led 14-7 at the half, after looking as if they might blow Tennessee out of the building before the 30-minute mark of the game.

    Houston's second-quarter offensive troubles were because of poor play on short yardage and a failure to win at the line of scrimmage.  The Texans struggled to run the ball effectively all day, and especially in short yardage situations.

    Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was particularly troublesome for Houston's interior offensive line, as the lineman alone was responsible for stuffing a few of Houston's short yardage runs.

    Despite struggling offensively in the second quarter, the Texans were still able to finish the game in dominant fashion.

    The offense picked back up in the second half, and Houston was well on its way to a fourth straight win.

James Casey Moves the Chains

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    James Casey's five catches for 36 yards won't knock any fans off of their feet, but it's the ways he's making catches that's such a big impact on this offense.

    Casey has become a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators because of the number of roles he fills on the offense.  Defenses can't clue in on what the Texans are doing when Casey is on the field.

    James Casey caught a touchdown pass lined up as a wide receiver on Sunday, a score which helped the Texans jump out to an early lead.

    Casey lined up as a fullback and wide receiver all Sunday and made catches that moved the chains at crucial times.

    The Texans ran a play-action fake in the fourth quarter with Casey lined up as a fullback, and the jack-of-all-trades weapon leaked out of the backfield for a wide open catch that sealed the game.

    The play came on short yardage after the Texans had struggled to convert on short yardage downs earlier in the game.

    James Casey has one of the most important roles on Houston's offense, and it showed in the win over the Titans Sunday.

Titans Lose Locker

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    Getting hit by a combination of Texans defenders knocked the Tennessee Titans quarterback out of the game early on.

    Losing Jake Locker took the Titans out of their game plan, and in the end, likely played a big part in the Texans rolling to a big win.

    Despite leading the Titans on a convincing scoring drive in the second quarter, Matt Hasselbeck was largely ineffective on the day.  Tennessee's backup quarterback was hit hard and faced a slew of pressure in the second half, which led to turnovers and punts.

    Jake Locker hasn't seen much of the Texans so far in his career, and he still hasn't.  The Titans' young quarterback spent the day watching the Texans' defense terrorize his backup.

Defense Dominant Again

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    The Houston Texans were able to get yet another dominant performance out of their defense at home.  This time the defense even chipped in with the scoring, as it delivered two interceptions for touchdowns on the way to another impressive showing.

    Each level of the defense flashed at times, and the Tennessee Titans struggled all day to put together quality scoring drives.

    Chris Johnson did manage to rush for 141 yards, but the Texans had a comfortable lead before he crossed the 100-yard mark.  Johnson found some rushing lanes on his 25 carries but never threatened to score.

    The final score would have been even more lopsided if it weren't for a late touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Kendall Wright when the game was already out of hand.

    In Week 3, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were able to mount a late comeback against the Texans that fell just short.

    In Week 4, Houston's defense slammed the door on the Titans from the beginning of the second half and never gave them hope from then on.

J.J. Watt's Monster Season Continues

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    J.J. Watt continued his torrid pace this past Sunday, notching two more sacks, giving him 7.5 sacks through the first four games of the season.

    Watt has been in offensive backfields all season, and when he's not in the backfield, he's batting down passes.  Watt has become a defensive superstar this year and is making a strong case to be the Defensive Player of the Year.

    Watt is Houston's most valuable player through the first quarter of the season, and there's a case to be made that he's been the NFL's MVP as well.

    Houston's fans need to appreciate Watt's level of play at the moment, as he's an NFL superstar in the making.