Game Preview: Titans Host Texans on Christmas Eve

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The Tennessee Titans (7-7) host the Houston Texans (1-12-1) this week in a Christmas Eve divisional battle. Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for noon CST on Saturday, Dec. 24.

This is the second of two annual games between the AFC South rivals. On Oct. 30, the Titans visited NRG Stadium and defeated the Texans by a final score of 17-10. It was the Titans' fourth win in a five-game span against Houston.

The Titans will be playing their first Saturday game in the regular season since 2018, when they hosted Washington and prevailed 25-16.

THE BROADCAST

The contest will be regionally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon, analyst James Lofton and reporter Amanda Renner.

Fans in Nashville can stream live Titans games with the newly-launched NFL+ subscription service, which offers access to all local games and all primetime games on phones and tablets, live local and national audio for every NFL game, and more.

The Titans Radio Network and Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone carry all Titans games across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and gameday host Rhett Bryan.

TITANS HOLD ONE-GAME DIVISION LEAD WITH THREE WEEKS REMAINING

The Titans traveled to Los Angeles last week to face the Chargers with hopes of preventing their first four-game losing skid since Mike Vrabel became head coach in 2018. Trailing by seven points in the final minute of the fourth quarter, quarterback Ryan Tannehill engineered a game-tying drive that culminated with his one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. The extra point knotted the score at 14-14 with 48 seconds on the clock, but it left the Chargers just enough time to produce their own late-game heriocs. Cameron Dicker's 43-yard field goal sent the Titans home with a 17-14 defeat.

Running back Derrick Henry, appearing in his 100th career regular-season game, totaled 163 scrimmage yards at Los Angeles. He rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown and added a team-high 59 receiving yards. It was his third career game in which he totaled at least 100 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards. In the process, he became the seventh player in NFL history to record 8,000 rushing yards (8,100) and 75 rushing touchdowns (77) within his first 100 NFL games, joining Eric Dickerson, Jim Brown, Emmitt Smith, Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Titans have a one-game lead in their division, ahead of the 6-8 Jaguars and 4-9-1 Indianapolis Colts. The Texans have already been eliminated from contention. After playing the Texans, the Titans host the Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 29) before finishing the regular season with a rematch against the Jaguars in Jacksonville (Jan. 7 or 8). Prior to hosting the Titans in Week 18, the Jaguars have road games at the New York Jets (Dec. 22) and Houston (Jan. 1). The Colts' final three games are at home against the Chargers (Dec. 26), at the New York Giants (Jan. 1) and at home against the Texans (Jan. 7 or 8).

THE TEXANS

The Texans are in their first season under Lovie Smith, who was promoted to head coach after serving as Houston's associate head coach/defensive coordinator in 2021. This is his 12th NFL season as a head coach, having spent nine years with the Chicago Bears (2004-12) and two campaigns with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-14).

Smith's team hosted the Kansas City Chiefs last week and lost by a final score of 30-24. The Texans pushed the game to overtime before Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon ended the contest with a walk-off rushing touchdown of 26 yards.

Davis Mills has started at quarterback in 12 of Houston's 14 games this season, including the initial Titans-Texans matchup. Last week against the Chiefs, the second-year veteran passed for 121 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing score.

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