National Football League
Preview
Houston at Tennessee
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 16, 2018
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee

The Tennessee Titans started the Mike Vrabel era with a loss last week, but the first-year head coach should have his team well prepared for Week 2. Vrabel and the Titans will try to earn their first win when they host his former team, the Houston Texans, on Sunday.

Vrabel spent three seasons coaching the linebackers in Houston before serving as defensive coordinator in 2017 and certainly has the respect of the Texans. "Any time guys in this league have a guy like that teaching them, it's a good thing," Houston head coach Bill O'Brien told reporters of Vrabel. "He's been there. Mike did a great job for us. He's an excellent coach, a good teacher. He can inspire his players. Everybody here had great respect for Mike, and we appreciate everything he did for us." Vrabel's new team dealt with a pair of lightning delays in his debut before falling at Miami 27-20 in Week 1 and is experiencing some key injuries on offense heading into Sunday. The Texans are looking for their first win as well after dropping a 27-20 decision at New England and lost a pair of key players as right tackle Sentreal Henderson (ankle) and cornerback Kevin Johnson (concussion) were placed on injured reserve.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texans -1.5. O/U: 45

ABOUT THE TEXANS (0-1): Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson opened eyes during an injury-shortened 2017 rookie campaign but struggled in Week 1, completing 50 percent of his passes for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception. "For me as a quarterback, I want to be on the same page with the receivers all the time," Watson told reporters. "We just misconnected on some throws and wasn’t on the same page. So, we’re going to correct that this week and move forward." Watson is expected to get another weapon in the passing game on Sunday with the return of wide receiver Will Fuller V, who sat out Week 1 with a hamstring injury.

ABOUT THE TITANS (0-1): Tennessee franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota endured a season debut to forget when he managed 103 passing yards and was intercepted twice before leaving with an elbow injury, but he returned to practice this week. "I am feeling pretty good," Mariota told reporters after practice on Wednesday. "I am kind of taking it one day at a time, but I was able to go through practice today and felt pretty good. For me, I just went through practice and felt it went fine." Mariota may be dealing with some protection issues in Week 2 with left tackle Taylor Lewan in the concussion protocol and right tackle Jack Conklin (knee), who sat out Week 1, still limited in practice.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Texans S Tyrann Mathieu recovered a fumble and recorded an interception in his team debut last week.

2. Titans rookie LB Rashaan Evans (hamstring) was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and is on track to make his NFL debut Sunday.

3. The home team took each of the last four in the series, with Tennessee grabbing a 24-13 victory in the most recent meeting on Dec. 3.

PREDICTION: Texans 31, Titans 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Houston 0-1 L1 20.0 27.0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 - - 0-1
Tennessee 0-1 L1 20.0 27.0 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-0 - - 0-1
Last Meeting
Houston Tennessee
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/3/17 HOU 13 TEN 24 384 53 331 344 198 146
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Houston T. Savage 63.3 365 1 1
Tennessee M. Mariota 65.2 150 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Houston L. Miller 15 56 3.7 0
Tennessee D. Henry 11 109 9.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Houston D. Hopkins 8 80 10.0 0
Tennessee D. Walker 5 63 12.6 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Houston S. Anderson 1
Tennessee D. Henry 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Houston D. Watson 50.0 176 1 1
Tennessee B. Gabbert 50.0 117 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Houston L. Miller 20 98 4.9 0
Tennessee D. Lewis 16 75 4.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Houston D. Hopkins 8 78 9.8 0
Tennessee C. Davis 6 62 10.3 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Houston A. Blue 1
Tennessee D. Jennings 1