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Insider

Young turns Titans' focus to run game

Adam Schefter answers readers' questions nearly every day in his blog. On Monday, he's fielding questions about the "Monday Night Football" matchup between the Houston Texans (5-4) and Tennessee Titans (3-6). Have a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: What do you think has clicked with the Titans the past few weeks? They're a completely different team since coming off their bye in Week 7.

-- Roy (Toronto)

A: Roy, the biggest reason is Vince Young, who has led to the emergence of Chris Johnson. When the Titans inserted Young into their starting lineup, they got away from the pass and leaned more on the run. Johnson's carries went up dramatically, and so did his production and the Titans' effectiveness. Now, those two factors are feeding off one another, Young and Johnson, Johnson and Young. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Football is about health, confidence and momentum, and often the three factors are interwined. Early on, none were working in Tennessee's favor; now they all seem to be.


Q: When you were describing your top two "tiers" of QBs, I think you left out a key guy: Matt Schaub! Do you really not think he's a top-10 QB? I definitely believe he belongs on that list.

-- Ken (Marietta, Ga.)

A: Ken, when Matt Schaub is healthy, he absolutely is a top-10 quarterback. But that's the whole key. This season he has been healthy -- and fantastic. And if he keeps that up, no doubt he belongs in the top 10. It's just that every time I watch him I feel like he's going to grab his hamstring at any moment. Hopefully he doesn't. And hopefully he cements his spot as a top-10 quarterback.


Q: Do you think any of the teams in the AFC South have a chance of beating the Colts for the division in the next few years? Or is it a pretty safe bet they won't be going anywhere so long as Peyton Manning's around, especially with the Titans playing the way they are this season.

-- Tyler (Long Branch, N.J.)

A: Tyler, there will be seasons when the Titans dethrone the Indianapolis Colts or the Houston Texans challenge them. But as long as Peyton is playing quarterback, the Colts have to be considered the favorites for the division title. Go back and look at how many times the Miami Dolphins won the AFC East with Dan Marino or the Denver Broncos won the AFC West with John Elway. If they didn't win it, they usually were in it. And it'll be that way until the day Manning retires, which, unfortunately for the rest of the division, might not be for a while.


Q: The Texans always seem to be big underachievers. They have so much talent but I feel like I never see their full potential on game day. How much longer can they be a .500-or-less team before Gary Kubiak is sent packing?

-- Chris (Milwaukee)

A: Let's hold off on this a little while, Chris. Right now, the Texans are 5-4, with a chance to get to 6-4 tonight and make a major push to the playoffs. If they fall short this season, and finish at 8-8, Coach Gary Kubiak is going to be in trouble, no doubt about it. But right now, after a slow start, the Texans are coming on. Let's see how it finishes up before we finish off Kubiak.


Q: I'm a firm believer in the theory that Vince Young would have been an absolute star in Houston and would have taken that team to the playoffs already. Mario Williams is a fine player; but playing in his hometown, I don't think Vince would have had many of the off-field problems and emotional struggles he's experienced in Tennessee. He's proven he's a winner, even this year, so do you think there's someone in the Texans' organization that still regrets passing on him?

-- Chet (Houston)

A: Nope, Chet. No way. Williams is one of the best young defensive players in the game and Young's ride so far has been like a roller coaster -- up, down, up, down. Plus, Schaub has proven to be a good quarterback. And whose skills better serve Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson -- Young's or Schaub's? It's not even a question. I don't think there's anyone in the organization who second-guesses that decision at all.