Commentary

Texans, Titans on opposite paths

Houston is getting healthy while Tennessee continues to struggle after a 3-1 start

Updated: October 25, 2011, 12:37 PM ET
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders
Andre Johnson Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesAndre Johnson could return this week, giving Houston its top offensive weapon back.

After Andre Johnson hurt his hamstring in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a malaise seemed to set in over the Houston Texans.

Though they hung on to defeat Pittsburgh without their best player, they proceeded to lose two games in a row and fall behind the Tennessee Titans in the standings. Their second-place status didn't last long, as they delivered a 41-7 thrashing to Tennessee on Sunday, regaining the lead in the AFC South. With Johnson ready to take the field again and a soft schedule of opponents ahead, you can expect the Texans to stay in first place until the playoffs begin in January.

Johnson's absence has had a noticeable impact on Houston's offense, but not where you might expect. If anything, the Texans actually got better at throwing deep passes (more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage).


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