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Week 2: Titans-Texans matchup analysis

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Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, at Reliant Stadium, Houston - TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots

*Keys to the game: Texans QB Matt Schaub has gorged on the Tennessee pass defense in his career, mostly as the beneficiary of play-action. Houston is committed to splitting the workload between Arian Foster and Ben Tate in the backfield. The passing game added a new dimension in rookie No. 2 receiver DeAndre Hopkins, a big-play threat who, along with Andre Johnson can deflate a scheme relying on bump coverage while overplaying to stop the run. The Titans went conservative last week to slow down the Steelers' pass rush and are likely to use a similar game plan behind their beefed-up blocking. OGs Chance Warmack and Andy Levitre were added in the offseason in part to contend with All-Pro DE J.J. Watt. RB Chris Johnson, who averages 89.3 rushing yards in his career against Houston, led the Titans' run-heavy attack at Pittsburgh. Don't expect a 2:1 run-pass ratio to fly at Houston. QB Jake Locker can still play at safe, looking to TE Delanie Walker and FB Collin Mooney on quick-hitters to loosen the Texans' coverage.

*Matchup to watch - Texans TE Owen Daniels vs. Titans LB Zach Brown: Brown is a do-it-all weak-side linebacker, posted two sacks last week but better known for his coverage skills. The Titans have a poor history defending tight ends, including Daniels, who caught two touchdowns Monday at San Diego.

*Player spotlight - Titans SS Bernard Pollard: He spent two seasons playing for coach Gary Kubiak (2009, 2010) and, more recently with the Ravens, he saw plenty of Foster and the Texans. Against a zone-blocking scheme, it's on Pollard to fill cutback lanes and cut off angles to limit Foster's damage.

*Fast facts: Schaub has 17 touchdowns and one interception in his past eight games in the series. ... Andre Johnson's career average of 82 receiving yards per game is the best all-time NFL mark.


Houston turns up the heat on QB Jake Locker and spreads the wealth on their evolving offense to pull away from the pesky Titans.

*Our pick: Texans 27-17

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