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Texans vs. Titans NFL Preview: Week 7 Free Pick

NFL Football Previews – Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans

The AFC South is officially up for grabs this Sunday. Houston had a golden opportunity to distance itself from Tennessee last week with the Titans on the bye but couldn’t get the job done against a tough Baltimore team. The winner of this week’s Texans/Titans showdown will sit alone atop the division.

NFL Week 7: Texans vs Titans
Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Venue: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
Broadcast: CBS
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans Betting Lines from BetOnline.com
Money Line: Texans +160, Titans -190
Spread: Titans -3
Over/Under: 44.5

Houston Texans (3-3)

It feels to cheesy to toss out the term “must-win” in Week 7, but this Sunday’s game will tell us a lot about Houston. After starting 3-1, the Texans have slipped to 3-3. A loss at Tennessee could signal the start of yet another Texans collapse. A victory might tell us that the defeats to Oakland and Baltimore were simply blips on the radar against strong opponents.

It’s not like Baltimore blew Houston’s defense out of the water last week. In fact, the game ended 29-14 and the 15-point margin came from five Billy Cundiff field goals. Under Wade Phillips and even with Mario Williams injured, Houston’s “D” is much improved in 2010.

What’s really suffering of late is Houston’s passing game. Is it a conservative approach? A lack of a gamebreaker with Andre Johnson injured? For whatever reason, Matt Schaub hasn’t shredded defenses like he has the last few seasons. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Tennessee Titans (3-2)

Week 7 is important for Tennessee, too. Its last outing was ugly. The Titans got walloped 38-17 by Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger lit them up for five touchdown passes. Tennessee also got little offense going in that contest.

Before that loss, however, (a) The Titans had a top-10 defense and (b) Matt Hasselbeck and their passing game were flourishing. Which version of Tennessee is the real one?

The pick:

Personally, I believe the Tennessee team that lost to Pittsburgh was closer to the real thing. Yes, the Week-2 win over Baltimore was impressive, but Tennessee’s other two victories came against Denver and Cleveland. The Titans also lost to Jacksonville of all teams.

Matt Hasselbeck is still pushing 40, he no longer has Kenny Britt (torn ACL) as his top downfield weapon and teams may be figuring out that they can slow him down if they get enough hits on him. I expect Houston to get to Hasselbeck with solid game-planning from Phillips. I also think the Texans’ balanced offense, which mirrors Pittsburgh’s in some ways, will do enough to solve the Titans’ “D.”

Texans vs Titans prediction:  Texans 27, Titans 17

Money Line: Texans +160
Spread: Texans +3
Over/Under: UNDER 44.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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