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Here come the Titans

Chris Johnson, Charles Godfrey AP

With pretty much every AFC team (except for the Dolphins and Colts) at some point this season being regarded as a potential contender, the Titans are the one team that has faded into and out of the picture enough times to make plenty forget that, as of right now, they have a realistic shot at making the playoffs.

And with the Texans reportedly losing quarterback Matt Schaub for the rest of the season, the Titans could make it not simply by stealing the sixth seed, but by swiping the AFC South.

As of right now, the Texans have a record of 7-3.  The Titans are 5-4.  That’s a current spread of only 1.5 games.

The good news for the Titans is that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck remains on pace for 3,969 yards, which would surpass his career high by three yards.  Without question, Hasselbeck is the best quarterback in the division right now, by a wide margin.

The better news is that, while running back Chris Johnson doesn’t still have his trademark explosiveness, he pounded out 130 yards on 27 carries in a 30-3 win over the Panthers.

The bad news is that the Titans face the Falcons, Buccaneers, Bills, and Saints over the next few weeks.  The Texans have a somewhat easier road, with only two objectively tough games in their next five — vs. Falcons and at Bengals.

But the ace in the hole for the team that used to be in Houston is that the Texans will now turn to Matt Leinart, a bust through five-plus NFL seasons.

On January 1, the Texans host the Titans.  Depending on the manner in which Leinart performs (and whether the Texans ultimately turn to T.J. Yates or someone else), the division title, and the job of coach Gary Kubiak, could come down to Week 17.

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20 Responses to “Here come the Titans”
  1. tebowsuxass says: Nov 15, 2011 9:23 AM

    Cj1k????

  2. mvpolamalu says: Nov 15, 2011 9:27 AM

    I think the texans still got this. Titans schedule is to hard, plus arian fistter and ben tate dont really care whos handing off to them

  3. wegonnadoitbaby says: Nov 15, 2011 9:35 AM

    No doubt the Titans Division looks different today than it did yesterday, but the schedule still favors the Texans by a wide margin. The Texans are simply a better team than the Titans on offense, defense, and special teams.

    It is possible the loss of Schaub could cause a meltdown, but the Texans just need Leinart to not lose games, they do not need him to win games. If Leinart can do that the division will be decided long before January 1st. If not, it will be must see T.V.

    Either way Mike M. has kept the Titans in the picture and the playoff hunt, and I don’t think anyone thought that was in the cards, so hats off to him on the job he has done there.

  4. vambomarble says: Nov 15, 2011 9:48 AM

    PLEASE… with their schedule the Tacks will be lucky to have a winning season.

    The Texans just have to run the ball to go the rest of the season and even Leinart can dump a pass or two off to a wide open Owen Daniels or ANDRE Johnson to go 4 and 2 for the rest of the season to finish 11-5.

  5. satanphoenix says: Nov 15, 2011 9:54 AM

    The chemistry between coach and QB is a vital elemnt in that QB’s performance. NFL history is full of instances when a successful Qb leaves via free agency and becomes a bust with hio second team.

    In Leinart’s case I suspect the episode of Punk’d killed him with Whisenhunt. I alos suspect Whisenhunt had the handcuffs on in regards to who the starting QB was to be in his first season as coach.

    let’s give Matt a chance under a different coach and see what he can do.

  6. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 15, 2011 9:59 AM

    If Leinart didn’t want to be in Houston he didn’t have to. He chose to come back. Hopefully he found some time to think on that bench and according to Kubiak, he’s been getting tons of reps in practice vs. that defense. Who knows? The guy did win a Heisman. He’s got touch.

  7. mud5h0vel says: Nov 15, 2011 10:01 AM

    Texans will still have the reigns in the AFC South at the end of the season…aside from the teams you named the Titans still have to face that Texans Def again too & the outcome will be the same as it was in week 7! AJ will be back & D-Man #38 will be back also, best def in the league, best rb tandem in the league, the best o-line in the league…nuff said

  8. otistaylor89 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:01 AM

    Eh….no.

    It would be different, of course, if they had Kenny Britt, but they have beaten some tin cans and now they have to play a couple of teams that know how to tie their own shoes without mommy’s help.

  9. smokinjoes91 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:02 AM

    We are going to learn a lot about both of these teams in the coming weeks. Can the Wade Phillips D hold off opponents enough to keep the offense in it? Can the Titans shake off their inconsistency and take full advantage of this golden oppertunity? This division is shaping up to potentially give us fans at least one meaningful week 17 matchup.

  10. gjones33 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:06 AM

    from a die hard texans fan…
    David Gerrard…pick up the phone.
    Getting dre back will really help, and having the best offensive line/run game combo in the nfl (insert arguements here) will help too…but matt lienart and tj yates are not a 4 or 5 win answer, which is probably what we need. Having watched both of these kids in college, even though im a trojans fan, Id go with yates, but that being said…david, what a better way to screw over the jags than coming to us and winning.

  11. winkeroni says: Nov 15, 2011 10:09 AM

    I thought the Titans would have a chance ever since they signed Hasselbeck. My mind has been full of memories of theat Seahawks team that ran the ball down everyone’s throat and got to the Superbowl.

  12. regisphilbin says: Nov 15, 2011 10:32 AM

    @gjones33 – David Jerrard had back surgery about a month ago. He’s done!!

  13. ch8878 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:39 AM

    mvpolamalu says: Nov 15, 2011 9:27 AM

    I think the texans still got this. Titans schedule is to hard, plus arian fistter and ben tate dont really care whos handing off to them

    Do you mean Arian Foster ?

    arian fistter never heard anyone call him that

  14. packerstexansfan says: Nov 15, 2011 10:42 AM

    This is almost as absurd as your suggestion that the Texans go get Favre

  15. themackstrong says: Nov 15, 2011 11:17 AM

    The comment about Leinhart hitting a wide open Johnson or Daniels made me laugh. He had weapons in Arizona, I watch Fitzgerald and Boldin get NFL open game after game Matt never can see it and check it down for 3 yards. Texans punter is gonna get some work if that run game doesn’t keep running like the machine it has been.

  16. jaxbill says: Nov 15, 2011 11:42 AM

    Don’t sleep on the Jags playing Spoilers. You don’t think Pot Roast wants a shot at those cut-blockin’ late-hittin’ Texans in 2 weeks? Jags beat the Titans opening week, should be a quality rematch in Week 16.

  17. Andre's Johnson says: Nov 15, 2011 12:11 PM

    No way. Texans will still win at least 11 games. Titans finish 8-8 at best.

  18. klunge says: Nov 15, 2011 1:06 PM

    Here they come…but don’t blink or you’ll miss ‘em!

  19. txtuff says: Nov 15, 2011 4:05 PM

    The Texans may have the most complete team in the AFC, better over all team the the Titans no doubt! Look at all the AFC QBs out there, the top QBs are Brady, Big Ben, Rivers (having a off year) and Dalton (rookie) all the other AFC QBs are avg or below avg. The only QB on that list that the Texans play is Dalton. I have no doubt the Texans will finish no worse then 11-5 and win the AFC South. Have seen lesser QBs win with overall complete teams like the Texans have finally put together.

  20. nflfan877 says: Nov 17, 2011 5:32 AM

    Hasselbeck gives Titans a chance.

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