Both teams look to rebound from sloppy performances when they meet at Reliant Stadium.
Tennessee was routed 31-10 by the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, while Houston lost 16-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Titans and Texans may have both lost to undefeated teams, but their own mistakes cost them the game as well.
Tennessee, the league’s youngest team, had nine penalties for 76 yards, a missed 38-yard field goal, several dropped passes and an interception on the Colts’ one-yard line which killed its momentum.
“Things like that against a great team like Indianapolis you can’t afford to come out and score three points. You’ve got to score touchdowns, and we didn’t do that,” Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair said.
Houston, meanwhile, saw David Carr get sacked seven times and lose a fumble with 3:27 to go and the Texans trailing by three points.
“I thought our guys played with passion,” Carr said. “They wanted to win this football game. That is why this loss hurts. Our guys were full of confidence out there throughout the game. We just came up a little short.”
Among the problems facing the Titans are too many costly penalties and a lack of getting the wideouts involved in the offense. Tennessee has been penalized 32 times for 252 yards this season, and its receivers have combined for only one touchdown.
“Our tight ends have a lot of catches. Our backs have a lot of catches, and our receivers don’t have a lot of catches,” said Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who is looking for his 100th career win. “We expect that to improve as we improve some of the other areas on offense.
“We need to increase the number of explosive plays down the field.”
Despite being winless, owning the league’s worst offense and 26th-ranked defense, Carr insists the Texans are improving.
“We are moving in a positive direction,” Carr said. “The offense is moving up, and our defense is going to keep getting better. We have nowhere else to go. We’ve got to win some football games.”
Linebacker Antwan Peek said Houston desperately needs a victory.
“This was our third loss, and enough is enough,” Peek said. “As a player you want to win ball games, and it is time for us to start winning. The Bengals are the hottest team in the NFL right now. Today is something we can build off.
“We are going to look ahead to Tennessee this week.”