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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
December 7, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CLE at CIN* OAK at NYJ SF at SEA MIA at SD* Mon 9 PM
IND at JAC TB at CAR BAL at DEN Updated* Times ET

Prediction: Houston 20, Tennessee 27

This is a replay game since the Titans already beat the Texans 34-20 in week five at Houston this season. Granted, the Titans have now lost two of their three rookie wideouts but they weren't using them much anyway and the Texans on the road can only hope to get scores close enough to keep fans in the stands.

Houston Texans (1-11)
1 7-22 @BUF 10 17-31 @IND
2 7-27 PIT 11 17-45 KCC
3 Open Bye 12 27-33 STL
4 10-16 @CIN 13 15-16 @BAL
5 20-34 TEN 14 Dec 11 @TEN
6 10-42 @SEA 15 Dec 18 ARI
7 20-38 IND 16 Dec 24 JAC
8 19-16 CLE 17 Jan 1 @SFO
9 14-21 @JAC . . SAT
HOU at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr 0 0 200,1
RB Domanick Davis 110,1 30 0
TE Marcellus Rivers 0 10 0
WR Andre Johnson 0 90,1 0
WR Corey Bradford 0 20 0
WR Jabar Gaffney 0 40 0
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Texans come off a tough loss when they allowed the Ravens to mount a comeback for a one point win. By this point, a loss like that isn't even all that frustrating anymore. The offense scored well two weeks ago in the St. Louis loss and the Texans were in the game until the end in Baltimore. So what if both games had the Texans squandering leads - take your victories where you find them and they are not on the scoreboard for Houston this season.

Quarterback: David Carr had been consistently throwing one score in each game this season and now has sandwiched a three touchdown game in St. Louis with two scoreless efforts in the last three weeks. He's been more consistent at losing the ball at least one each week. Carr only managed to throw for 131 yards and one score in the previous meeting with the TItans this season.

Running Backs: Domanick Davis comes off his season best game - turning in 155 rushing yards on 29 carries against the Ravens in Baltimore last week. He also ran for 130 yards and gained 43 yards receiving in the prior meeting with the Titans so he should see more success this week.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson only had four catches for 70 yards last week and he only has one touchdown on the year but at least David Carr has been making the effort recently. Johnson has been getting about a dozen passes thrown to him in each of the last three games and - 'gasp' - he does better when he has more passes. Jabar Gaffney remains stuck in "40 yard" mode.

Andre Johnson had no catches in the week five game against the Titans while Bradford had the passing score and a mere 35 yards.

Tight Ends: Perhaps Carr will throw his first pass in the game to Marcellus Rivers this week and get it out of the way early.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans have been playing better on offense lately and Davis already had good success against the Titans earlier this year. Look for another nice game here from Davis with a decent chance for one score that could come on a pass or a run.

Carr should have much more success throwing the ball this time than he had back in week five against the Titans. The corners are getting softer every week and Andre Johnson is finally back to being the primary receiver with a heavy dose of passes. Figure him for a productive game and a very good chance he nets his second score of the year here.

Tennessee Titans (3-9)
1 7-34 @PIT 10 Open Bye
2 25-10 BAL 11 28-31 JAC
3 27-31 @STL 12 33-22 SFO
4 10-31 IND 13 3-35 @IND
5 34-20 @HOU 14 Dec 11 HOU
6 23-31 CIN 15 Dec 18 SEA
7 10-20 @ARI 16 Dec 24 @MIA
8 25-34 OAK 17 Jan 1 @JAC
9 14-20 @CLE . . SAT
TEN vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Steve McNair 0 0 230,2
RB Chris Brown 90,1 10 0
TE Ben Troupe 0 50,1 0
TE Bo Scaife 0 50 0
WR Drew Bennett 0 60,1 0
WR Tyrone Calico 0 20 0
WR Courtney Roby 0 40 0
PK Rob Bironas 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The idea that the Titans could save some money by relying on a set of three rookie wideouts and Drew Bennett this year did not likely consider that two of the wideouts (Roydell Williams and Brandon Jacobs) would be lost for the season with knee injuries. To make up for the loss of receivers, now the Titans are back to using the rookie Bo Scaife more. With all these young players, the Titans are the only NFL team that shows cartoons before game film review on Mondays. The offense is scoring more though, last week not counting.

Quarterback: Steve McNair threw for 220 yards and two scores against the Texans in week six and he's been scoring more lately with two of his last three efforts producing two or more passing scores. At home against the Texans, McNair should be able to get back to multiple scores after last week's game in Indianapolis derailed a scoring streak the last few weeks.

Running Backs: Chris Brown was banged up last week and had to share with Travis Henry. Brown only managed to gain 32 yards on 11 carries against the Colts and Henry had just 18 yards on six carries. But Brown gained 78 yards on 22 carries in the previous meeting with the Texans and when healthy has been taking a more primary role.

Wide Receivers: This offense has been using a collection of tight ends more than the wideouts this year and that happened again last week. With both Brandon Jones and Roydell Williams now lost for the year, the Titans only have Drew Bennett and Courtney Roby. Bennett only has one score on the year and no 100 yard games as does Roby. The only wideouts for the Titans with more than one score this year are the recently departed Williams and Jacobs. Tyrone Calico returned to play last week but only had two catches for 26 yards.

No wideout had more than 33 yards against the Texans earlier this year.

Tight Ends: Erron Kinney injured his knee last week and his availability for this game is not yet determined. Ben Troupe had a nice game last week with 67 yards on five catches and Bo Scaife replaced Kinney and ended with 53 yards on six receptions. The tight ends are where most pass plays end up and Kinney had been the lone consistent player for the Titans receivers this year.

Ben Troupe led the tights ends in week six with eight catches for 67 yards and one score. Kinney only had 27 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans had a big game against the Texans already this year and back at home this could likely be the final win for the franchise. Look for a decent game by Chris Brown here depending on his health that should produce a rushing score and around 100 yards unless Henry is added to the mix as well.

McNair could have his final big game of the year in this match-up and his 220 yards and two scores back in week six against the Texans should be the least of what he'll do even without Williams and Jacobs. Consider this as one of Bennett's big shots at actually catching a touchdown this year and either Scaife or Troupe should be a lock for a score as well.