Texans, Titans divisional matchup has plenty of question marks

It’s always interesting when the division rival Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans square off on the football field, but Sunday’s Week 17 matchup is even more intriguing, as there’s a lot of uncertainty as to who’ll actually be playing in it.

The Titans go into this game needing a win to retain their playoff berth, and they’ll do so riding the momentum of knowing that star running back Derrick Henry will be returning to the football field. Henry sat out of action last week, when the Saints came into Tennessee and torched the Titans for 38 points, and now he’ll be out to get the team’s offense back on track. All the pressure was squarely on Ryan Tannehill last week, and it showed, but now that Henry will be back, the Titans will look to restore that balance on offense that made them so difficult to stop. 

Dec 21, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA; Houston Texans strong safety Jahleel Addae (37) celebrates with his teammates cornerback Gareon Conley (22) and quarterback Deshaun Watson (4)during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

And, lucky for them, the Texans may have absolutely nothing to play for. The Chiefs are currently holding the 3-seed in the AFC Playoffs, but if they defeat the Chargers, which seems highly likely, the Texans will be locked into the 4-spot. As such, Houston will likely rest quarterback Deshaun Watson, as well as wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, both of whom are a bit banged up. The Texans could rest a number of other players as well, although head coach Bill O’Brien has been mum about what exactly he’ll do on Sunday. Still, it doesn’t appear as if many first-teamers will be out there, which is why the Titans are six-point favorites — in Houston, no less — at an Online Sportsbook, where you can wager on them. 

Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) passes against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans, however, will continue to ride Tannehill, who has provided a spark that the team desperately needed. Tennessee has started No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota every season, after having taken him in the 2015 NFL Draft, but the whispers do appear true — that he was holding the offense back. His tenure in Tennessee is all but over, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next. For now, it’s Tannehill’s team, and he’ll continue to attempt to do what he’s done since taking over — win. The Titans had won five consecutive games until losing to the Saints last week, and Tannehill has been the straw that stirs the drink on offense. And, given how the Texans secondary has played this season, expect him to put up big numbers on Sunday.

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.