HOUSTON -- Quick thoughts from Houston's 20-0 victory over Tennessee.
What it means: The Texans and Titans are now both 5-6 and Houston’s in third place in the AFC based on this result. The two teams play in Nashville in three weeks.
What I liked: The Texans have been horrific against the pass all season. All it took was Jason Allen’s insertion into the starting lineup, the benching of nickel corner Brice McCain, a rookie quarterback and a lifeless effort by the Titans. Houston’s offense was efficient and precise, and it didn’t take until the second half for it to get that way. The Texans found and attacked soft spots and Tennessee had no answers. The Texans were the more physical team and played with far more of a purpose.
What I didn’t like: The Titans were ineffective on both sides of the ball. They crossed midfield on only one possession with Smith struggling but also getting little help. The defense got picked apart in the passing game by a precise Matt Schaub who spread the ball around, found open guys and threw for two touchdowns. Arian Foster went over 200 yards from scrimmage as Tennessee continued to struggle on third down and found another tight end, Joel Dreessen, it could not figure out a way to contain.
Suspension talk: Andre Johnson scored a win in a fourth-quarter fight with Cortland Finnegan where both helmets came off and punches were thrown. They both got ejected. While Johnson has an exemplary record, Finnegan’s been warned that another fineable offense could lead to a suspension.
Sad send off: Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger called plays on an ineffective afternoon. Monday he begins chemotherapy cancer treatment.
What’s next: Houston has a quick turnaround for a Thursday trip to Philadelphia where it’s likely to find much stiffer competition. The Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars for a rematch of a Tennessee blowout win earlier this season.