NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Tennessee Titans (2-1) travel this week to face the reigning AFC South Champion Houston Texans (1-2). Kickoff at NRG Stadium (capacity 71,795) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan and analyst Rich Gannon will call the action.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
Additionally, Westwood One Sports will broadcast the Titans-Texans game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer John Sadak and analyst Mike Mayock will have the call.
TITANS LOOK FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE WIN**
The Titans used 115 rushing yards by DeMarco Murray and two touchdown passes by Marcus Mariota to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 last week. They scored 24 points in the second half, including 21 points in the third quarter.
Murray, who was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury entering the contest, picked up 75 of his rushing yards on a touchdown run in the third quarter. The play equaled his second-longest career run, behind only a 91-yarder as a member of the Dallas Cowboys against the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 23, 2011. He finished the Seattle game with 14 carries for 115 yards, recording his 27th career 100-yard rushing game (including playoffs) and his sixth with the Titans.
Mariota, who was playing in his 30th career game, completed 20 passes for 225 yards on 32 attempts. He threw touchdown passes of 55 yards to wide receiver Rishard Matthews and 24 yards to tight end Jonnu Smith. It was his 11th career performance with a passer rating of at least 100 and his 17th career game with at least two touchdown passes.
Three weeks into the NFL season (through Sunday, Sept. 24), the Titans offfense ranks among the league leaders in several categories. The unit is fifth in total offense (386.7 yards per game), second in rushing offense (156.3 yards per game), sixth in scoring (28.7 points per game) and tied for first in sacks allowed (two).
The Texans traveled to New England last week and fell to the Patriots by a final score of 36-33. They had the lead in the final minute of the back-and-forth affair before Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed the game-winning touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.
Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has started each of the last two games for the Texans. The former Clemson Tiger, who the Texans traded up to select with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has completed 49 of 80 passes for 528 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He had 301 passing yards and 41 rushing yards against the Patriots.
Defensive end J.J. Watt returned to the Houston lineup at the beginning of the 2017 season after spending all but three games of last season on injured reserve. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has 76 sacks since entering the NFL in 2011, ranking second behind only Von Miller (76.5).
The Titans and Texans had identical 9-7 records in 2016, but the Texans took the AFC South crown by virtue of their 5-1 record within the division. The Titans were 2-4 in division matchups. In the playoffs, the Texans defeated the Oakland Raiders in the wild-card round before falling to the eventual Super Bowl winning New England Patriots in the divisional round.
It was the second consecutive division title for Houston under head coach Bill O'Brien, who was named to his current post in 2014. In 2016, O'Brien became the 14th NFL coach since 1978 to begin his head coaching career with three consecutive winning seasons.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Houston Texans. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)