Behind Enemy Lines

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Behind Enemy Lines: A Quick Look at the Houston Texans

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NASHVILLE – The Titans face the Houston Texans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a quick look at the Texans:

Record: 8-5.

Last game: Lost 38-24 to Broncos.

Points for/against: 24.4/23.8 ppg.

NFL RANKINGS

Offense: 9th overall, 376.0 ypg (7th rushing, 10th passing).

Defense: 25th overall, 375.3 ypg (18th rushing, 27th passing).

TEAM LEADERS

Head coach: Bill O'Brien.

Offense:

QB: Deshaun Watson (295-of-436, 3,425 yards, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 101.0 rating).

Top RB: Carlos Hyde (198 carries, 926 yards, 4 TDs).

Top WR: DeAndre Hopkins (93 catches, 1,023 yards, 7 TDs).

Top TE: Darren Fells (30 catches, 312 yards, 7 TDs).

Defense:

Sacks: OLB Whitney Mercilus (5.5).

Leading tackler: LB Zach Cunningham (114).

Interceptions: S Teshaun Gipson (3).

Take/Give: minus-1.

Kicker: Ka'imi Fairbairn (16-of-21 FGs, 33-of-38 PATs).

Punter: Bryan Anger 45.8 (43.8).

Last meeting: November 26, 2018: Texans 34, Titans 17.

Injury Report

T Chris Clark (hip)

CB Gareon Conley (hip)

WR Will Fuller V (hamstring)

RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring)

OLB Brennan Scarlett (achilles/shoulder)

DE Carlos Watkins (hamstring)

FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS

TEXANS HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT

(on what has stood out on film about the Titans)

Very tough football team. They play very, very hard, they play aggressive, they've made a lot of plays. Plus five in the takeaway-giveaway. They've got 20 takeaways, they've blocked kicks. Derrick Henry's running the ball real well, a really tough offensive line, the rookie wide receiver's playing really well, (Ryan) Tannehill's playing really well. Defensively, Dean Pees and Mike (Vrabel) do a great job, so it's a big challenge.

(on if the Titans are tough to defend when they get all their receivers involved)

Absolutely. They've got a lot of guys – (A.J.) Brown, (Tajaé) Sharpe, the tight ends, (Adam) Humphries when he has been in there, (Kalif) Raymond caught a nice touchdown pass against the Colts. They can throw the ball out of the backfield to the backs. I mean, they've got a lot of weapons, so it's going to be a very big challenge for us.

(on what he saw out of A.J. Brown coming out of the draft)

A very physical player. He's got good hands, very competitive. He's got great playing strength, very hard to tackle, hard to cover in man-to-man coverage because of how physical he is. We really liked him in the draft. He's a really good player and he was ready to play in the NFL, and he's showing that. He's playing really well.

(on what Ryan Tannehill is doing to make himself so effective on the field)

They're doing a great job with the offense. They're doing a great job with the design of the offense. He's a good football player. He's accurate, very accurate. He's been accurate his whole career. He's making really good decisions with the ball, he's getting them into the right play, out of a bad play, he can run, he's very athletic. He's playing really well.

(on the challenge of trying to slow down a hot offensive team like the Titans)

I don't know, that's what we're trying to figure out today and yesterday. We're still trying to figure it out. I think they've scored over 30 points in the last four or five games, so they're explosive. We have to do a good job of playing good, sound, fundamental football. We've got to get lined up, we've got to play hard and we've got to play smart.

(on how often he talks with Mike Vrabel and what he thinks about the job he's done in his first two years of being an NFL head coach)

Mike (Vrabel)'s a great coach. I think everybody knew he would be a head coach in this league. He did a great job for us for four years. Our families are close. I watch Tyler (Vrabel) every week at B.C. (Boston College) on Saturdays – he's having a great year there. Our wives are good friends. I mean, Mike's a good friend of mine, and yeah, we definitely stay in touch.

(on if he's talked to Mike Vrabel this week)

Hell no. Hell no we don't talk this week. We're not exchanging Christmas cards yet. Not this week, but throughout the year. When you're in coaching, and you work with guys, and you spend 18 hours a day with a guy, you've got some good friendships. I'm close with Doug Marrone, a lot of people know that. We're friends outside of football. When we do talk, it's always about family. We rarely talk about football. We don't talk this week. I tried to call him this morning, but he didn't call me back (laughs).

(on if it's nice to have the stakes for both teams laid out plan and simple headed into the final three games of the season)

I think that's what it's all about. The NFL is such a competitive league. Our division is very competitive. We've got four teams in the league, and that's what it's all about. I think at the end of the day, that's what the league is setup like. The league is setup for games like this in strong divisions. We have a strong division in the AFC South, and it should be a good game on Sunday.

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