NASHVILLE -- The Titans face the Houston Texans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here's a look at six things to watch:
Can Tannehill Stay Hot?
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads the NFL with a passer rating of 118.5. He's has posted a passer rating of 100-plus in six of those contests and 130-plus in the past four games. With a passer rating of 130 or more this week, Tannehill would become the first player in NFL history to produce a streak of five straight games with a minimum of 10 pass attempts and a passer rating of at least 130. The Titans don't need Tannehill to be perfect. They'd just like him to keep doing what he's been doing.
Speaking of keeping on keeping on, the Titans would love to see Henry keep rolling. Henry has posted rushing totals of 188, 159, 149 and 103 yards in the past four games, and he's up to 1,243 yards on the season. Henry missed three days of practices this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Henry said on Thursday he expects to play. The Titans need Henry to make an impact on the Texans, who are ranked 18th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, including a No. 22 ranking in rushing average (4.5). Henry, by the way, is averaging 5.0 yards per carry.
Contain Deshaun Watson
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has thrown for 3,425 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season, and when he's hot, Houston is a problem. Watson has given the Titans problems in the past – in three games vs. Tennessee he's posted a 120.7 rating with 10 touchdowns (8 pass, 2 rush). What makes Watson so tough is his ability to extend plays with his legs, and his maneuverability. So the Titans need to not only defend the pass, they need to get him on the ground when they have a chance.
Defend DeAndre Hopkins
Watson's go-to guy has been an oh-no guy for teams trying to defend him. Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 93 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, and he had six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in his last game in Nashville vs. the Titans. With a banged-up secondary, the Titans will need to rise to the challenge against Hopkins, who will aim for his 17th game in a row with five-plus catches (the second-longest streak in the NFL).
A.J. & Co.
Tannehill completed passes to 10 different targets last Sunday in Oakland, but the biggest splash came from rookie receiver A.J. Brown, who had five catches for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns. In order for Tannehill to be successful, his receivers, tight ends and running backs are going to need to make plays, too. With Brown earning more attention, will it free up things for Corey Davis? Will Tannehill continue to spread the ball around? If the o-line continues to give him time – he wasn't sacked at all last week – then more big plays could be in store.
Not long after Tennessee's win over Oakland last week, Henry made a plea to the team's fan base to show up, get loud, and make a difference at Nissan Stadium vs. the Texans. Earlier this week, the team announced "Code Blue" is back, which added an extra jolt. On Sunday, the team will wear its light blue jerseys and light blue britches for the occasion. Wil fans yell 'til they're blue in the face? And will it make a difference? We're about to find out.