The NFL season is winding down, but much has yet to be determined. As we close out the regular season, many teams are looking ahead to the playoffs, while others are focusing on the players in the upcoming draft. However, there is still football left to be played, and on the NFL’s inaugural Week 18, the Tennessee Titans will be facing off against the Houston Texans. These teams are in two very different positions, but any time two division rivals face-off, there’s sure to be some fireworks.
The Titans and Texans are playing in the last game of the season, which means playoff football is right around the corner. If you’re an NFL bettor, you’ve probably been placing bets all season one of the many great NFL betting sites out there, but the playoffs ups the action. It will be a wild playoff this year, with so many competitive teams, and the Titans will look to stamp their ticket with a victory over the Texans, while Houston will look to play a role in spoiling their season.
The Titans and the Texans will face off on January 9th, 2022, at 1 pm EST. The game will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston and will showcase two teams that have had very different seasons.
The Tennessee Titans were one of the NFL darlings of the early year. Behind Derrick Henry, who was obliterating every defense he faced and a much-improved defense, the Titans started their year 8-2 with wins over some of the best teams in the league, like the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams. They weren’t just winning either; they were dominating.
The wheels fell off after Henry received a serious injury that should sideline him until the playoffs. Since their 8-2 start, the Titans are 2-3 with some brutal losses, including a defeat to the Texans the last time they played.
However, the Titans still very much are in control of their destiny and are fighting the Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC. Because the Titans have won both of their games against the Colts this year, who are in second in the division, Tennessee just needs to win one more game to clinch their spot as the AFC South champions. With star receiver A.J Brown having returned from injury, the Titans could see things open back up for their offense.
Meanwhile, the Texans have struggled in their first year under David Culley, their new head coach. The Texans are one of the teams that are in the fight for one of the first picks in the draft. However, unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars, their fellow division rival, it appears the Texans still have some fight left in them.
The Texans started the year off 1-8 and looked dead in the water. They lack talent on just about every level of their team. The offense is inexperienced and has no run game and few weapons. The defense doesn’t have any major playmakers. The quarterback position has been up and down for the team.
However, Culley has his team playing with pride, and they’ve gone 3-3 in their past six games, including impressive wins over the Chargers and the Titans. The rookie quarterback Davis Mills has looked surprisingly effective. The second-round pick has showcased a big arm and a willingness to push the ball downfield, and the Texans now have the ability to look elsewhere in the draft because they may have found the answer.
Still, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who is their only established weapon in the passing game, is injured. Their pass-catching corps really doesn’t inspire confidence, and their running back room might be the weakest in the NFL.
I predict that this matchup will be closer than some might expect. Tennessee will have something to play for in this one, as they will still likely be competing for the first seed and the division. They won’t be resting their starters, and on paper, their starters are far better than the Texans.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has crashed back down to earth for the Titans this year, but that can definitely be attributed to the lack of talent around him. The wide receiver room has been decimated, and Derrick Henry’s injury left the team devoid of any playmakers.
However, I feel like this game ends in a close victory for the Titans and a get-right game for Tannehill. With A.J Brown back in the lineup, things should open up, and the Texans’ secondary doesn’t inspire fear.
While Davis Mills has shown a lot of promise, the Titans’ defensive line is mean and talented, and they’ll be in his face all day. The final score prediction for this one is Tennessee Titans 24- Houston Texans 17.