Which team will manage to minimize mistakes & work around injuries? This question seems appropriate because this feels like a game which the winning team won’t play great; just do fewer things wrong.
The Titans remain in a paralyzed and utterly hopeless state. They were plummeting in the standings before this past Sunday, and while they can say that their defense allowed only 10 points, the offense scored only seven in a brutal defeat. Marcus Mariota did not play, putting Zach Mettenberger in position to save the day for his team. However, Mettenberger could not figure out the Atlanta Falcons’ defense, and as a result, the Titans’ season plunged to a new low. Allowing 10 points should lead to a win almost 100 percent of the time. Failing to get a victory under those circumstances, at home, represents a commentary on the lack of quality depth the Titans’ offensive roster really possesses. The team lost 38-10 to Miami the week before. Something is badly broken, and there appears to be no real fix in sight.
Yet, as bad as the Titans are, the Texans might be worse. Houston fell behind 41-0 to the Miami Dolphins at halftime this past Sunday. Arian Foster is done, as you’ll see below in the injury report. There’s no quarterback worth anything on the roster. Ryan Mallett has been a total embarrassment in terms of his play and his behavior. This is a disaster.
The NFL odds show no total listed for this game. The combination of the Mariota situation and the Arian Foster news, both detailed below, have put this game in a state of betting limbo. There is no point spread yet established for the game, either.
For the Titans, the main injury news is that quarterback Marcus Mariota is questionable with a knee injury. Wide receiver Harry Douglas is questionable with a rib injury. Linebacker Deiontrez Mount is out for the season with a knee injury. Defensive tackle Sammie Hill is questionable with an illness. Running back David Cobb is on injured reserve. So is center Brian Schwenke. Linebacker Zaviar Gooden is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury. Defensive back Brandon Harris is on injured reserve with a knee injury. Cornerback Perrish Cox is questionable with a hamstring injury. Running back Terrance West is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Safety Michael Griffin is questionable with a knee injury.
For the Texans, the main injury news is that running back Arian Foster is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Linebacker Carlos Thompson is on injured reserve. So is linebacker Mike Mohamed. So is quarterback Tom Savage. Tackle Jeff Adams is on injured reserve with a knee injury. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts is questionable with a hamstring injury. Guard Brandon Brooks is questionable with a toe injury. Defensive back Kareem Jackson is questionable with an ankle injury. Tight end Ryan Griffin is uncertain with a knee injury. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney is questionable with a concussion.
Handicapping The Game
The Tennessee Titans have gone straight downhill over the past several weeks. The Houston Texans have done the very same thing. These two teams are in a race to the bottom in a division that could very easily produce a losing team, the AFC South.
The fact that Tennessee and Houston are both playing miserable offense means that the game, once given a betting line, should probably go under. If the number is anywhere above 35, go with an under for your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Titans & Texans Under (if 35 or higher)