The Titans have played just one division contest this season, a win at Jacksonville on Oct. 18. However, five of their final six games are against AFC South foes, including three straight home games following this week's road trip: Dec. 5 vs. Jacksonville, Dec. 9 vs. Indianapolis and Dec. 19 vs. Houston. The Titans conclude their season with games at Kansas City (Dec. 26) and at Indianapolis (Jan. 2).
At 5-5, the Titans are within one game of the 6-4 Jaguars and Colts, who are tied atop the AFC South standings. The Texans are in fourth place at 4-6. The Jaguars travel to New York to face the Giants this week, while the Colts host the San Diego Chargers.
This week's game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties, while Dan Fouts will provide analysis.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
Last week at LP Field, the Titans lost their third straight game, succumbing to the Washington Redskins in overtime by a final score of 19-16. Rookie Marc Mariani returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown, and Rob Bironas booted three field goals in defeat.
Rookie Rusty Smith finished the game at quarterback for the Titans after starter Vince Young injured his right thumb in the third quarter. Kerry Collins, who has served as Young's primary backup for most of the season, was listed as the third quarterback against the Redskins due to a calf injury.
Head coach Jeff Fisher indicated after the loss that Smith will get the starting nod at Houston. If so, Smith would be the third different player to start at quarterback for the Titans in three weeks.
The Texans have lost four consecutive games after winning four of their first six. Last week they traveled to face the New York Jets, and despite trailing 23-7 at one point in the fourth quarter, they stormed back to take a 27-23 lead. However, with 10 seconds remaining in the game, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez delivered a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, and the Jets prevailed 30-27.
The Texans own one of the NFL's top offenses. Their average of 369.9 net yards per game ranks eighth in the NFL, and they have players at or near the top of several statistical categories. Running back Arian Foster, a product of the University of Tennessee, leads the league with 1,004 rushing yards and became the first player this season to reach the 1,000-yard mark. Quarterback Matt Schaub is eighth in the league with 2,574 passing yards, and his primary target, wide receiver Andre Johnson, is fifth with 813 receiving yards.