WHEN THEY PASS
WHEN THE TITANS PASS
On Friday, coach Mike Vrabel said he expects to play both quarterbacks. Since new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur took over, Marcus Mariota has struggled to adapt to the new system in preseason and the first game at Miami. He threw two interceptions before leaving with an injury to his right elbow and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert. The Titans lost their best receiver in tight end Delanie Walker, who’s out for the season. They’ll have to rely on wide receivers Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews. The Texans allowed Tom Brady to throw three touchdown passes in the first half before shutting him down in the second. Mariota is a threat to run when the protection breaks down, unlike Brady, a pure pocket passer. The Texans are playing without cornerback Kevin Johnson (injured reserve with a concussion), but they’re still five deep in the secondary.
WHEN THE TEXANS PASS
Deshaun Watson was uncomfortable in the first half at New England. He couldn’t locate receivers and held the ball too long. He was under tremenpressure dous at times. In the second dent. He half, got Watson rid the looked ball quicker. more confiof The Titans have a fierce pass rush led by Jurrell Casey, Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo. They have a lot of talent on the back end, led by safety Kevin Byard. In free agency, they added cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Kenny Vaccaro. They have more terrific corners in Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson. Expect them to mix their coverconfuse ages to try to Watson. Unlike the Patriots, they must contend with Will Fuller and his deep speed. They’ll have to double DeAndre Hopkins and shade a safety to Fuller’s side, which should leave open the middle of the field for slot receiver Bruce Ellington and tight end Ryan Griffin.