Houston Texans at Titans: 2017 Week 13: Three things to watch

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16: Delanie Walker
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16: Delanie Walker /

The Houston Texans will continue their marred 4-7 season by taking on the 7-4 Tennessee Titans Sunday at noon CST.  Here are three things to watch ahead of today’s match up.

The Houston Texans sputtered and broke down against the Baltimore Ravens this past week, failing to get a win out of vulnerable team that could’ve been beatable.  It was certainly because the heroics of many guys on defense such as Terrell Suggs and Brandon Williams.  It also didn’t help that Tom Savage found a way to muff the game down the stretch by having it picked off by Anthony Levine, his first career interception.

But enough about the gloom and doom about last week’s loss as it’s in the rear view mirror but let’s talk about our date with the Tennessee Titans.

Here’s three things to look for today:

1.)  The emergence of Ufomba Kamalu

Ufomba Kamalu, an undrafted rookie defensive end, flashed plenty in the Houston Texans training camp and has been shuttled back and forth from the practice squad.  He’s now on the active roster and because of the injuries we’ve had on the defensive front, he’s going to get plenty of playing time.

He has made an impact while he has been here and he already has five tackles and 2.0 sacks on the season.  Those said sacks were toward the middle of the season when Deshaun Watson was calling the signals but it goes to show the promise this guy brings.

The Titans have a incredibly solid offensive line featuring former Houston Texans center Ben Jones, Taylor Lewan, Quinton Spain, Josh Kline and Jack Conklin.  Will he be able to punch through to get to Marcus Mariota?  We’ll have to see about that.

2.) How well the team contains Delanie Walker

Delanie Walker, the talented tight end, is Mariota’s top target and is one of the important keys to the Titans offense.  If he’s contained, then one has effectively shut down their offense.  This 6’1,” 241-pound framed monster has been doing it right for the past 12 seasons of which the last five have been quite fruitful with the Titans.

According to Pro Football Focus, Walker has the 2nd lowest drop rate among active tight ends

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with a 1.85 rating, second to only the Minnesota Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph.

He has been targeted 72 times with 53 receptions, one drop out of 54 catchable balls which is outstanding.  Can the Texans mitigate that?  That’s possible and we’ll see.

Mariota’s other top targets are wide receivers Eric Decker (51) and Corey Davis (39).

3.)  When will Bill O’Brien reach his breaking point with Tom Savage?

If this a game where Bill O’Brien will get so upset with the play of Savage, this is likely to be one.  The Titans, although inconsistent as a team at times, are a complete on both sides of the football and they could force turnovers to no end.

Their defense currently has 15 takeaways on the season — the Texans have 14 — so their effectiveness rests on how accurate Savage is.  If it gets extremely ugly, would this be the time where O’Brien pulls the plug?

It’s likely that he won’t but he has surprised us all with the decisions he’s made QB all these years.  I’m just saying — keep an eye on those facial expressions on the sidelines throughout the entire game on today’s telecast.

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And there’s your three things to watch for today!  Hopefully this equates to a win because it’d be nice to topple over the Titans playoff chances but they’re on a trajectory that I don’t think this team could stop whatsoever.  We’ll have to see.

Go Texans.