PFF Preview: Texans @ Titans, Week 8

Titans' rookie QB Zach Mettenberger receives his first career NFL start as Tennessee hosts Houston in this AFC South tilt.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Texans @ Titans, Week 8

2014-Prev-WK08-HOU@TENLast week was a rough week for both the Titans and the Texans, as they suffered a last-second defeat and a blown-lead loss, respectively. This week, the two teams will look to get their season back on track with a win against one another as they square off in this divisional matchup.

This season has been another great one for Texans’ end J.J. Watt, especially when rushing the passer. While his five sacks may not seem like a lot, it’s the incredible pressure he gets so often that really tells the whole story. Watt has hit the opposing quarterback 22 times and hurried him an additional 19 times. He’s also batted down six passes and intercepted one. That means Watt has directly impacted 53 passing plays on 271 passing snaps, or, roughly one in every five passing plays.

The Titans will have to figure out a way to stop Watt too, and they likely won’t want to leave right tackle Michael Oher out there on his own. Oher is having his worst season to date, already with a -16.3 overall grade, fifth-worst in the NFL among tackles. While a majority of that grade (-11.3) has come from run blocking, he has not excelled at pass blocking either. He’s allowed 20 total pressures, giving him a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 93.8, 46th out of 59 tackles in the league.

The Titans will look to give Oher a lot of help, whether it comes from the running backs, tight ends, or other offensive linemen. The Titans are starting rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger for the first time so finding a way to stop, or at least slow Watt down, should be at the top of their list of priorities.

Here are three more notable players from each team:

Houston Texans

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick’s +9.2 overall grade is the ninth-best among QBs in the league. 62.4% of his yards thrown have come before the catch was made, which is the third-highest percentage in the NFL.

Kendrick Lewis – Lewis has a +6.6 overall grade, which is the fifth-best among safeties in the NFL.

Arian Foster – Foster has the fourth-best Elusive Rating among running backs of 60.4, thanks to his 29 forced missed tackles on only 129 rushing attempts.

Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker – Walker has the third-best overall grade for tight ends in the NFL at +7.5. He has also forced a second-best 10 missed tackles.

Ropati Pitoitua – Despite missing three games due to knee and finger injuries, Pitoitua has the third-highest run stop grade among 3-4 defensive ends at +9.0.

Jurrell Casey – Casey has 23 total QB pressures in 211 snaps, giving him a Pass Rush Productivity of 8.6, fifth-best among 3-4 defensive ends.

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| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

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