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Houston Texans

Scouting report: Tennessee Titans


Chris Johnson and the Titans return home for the first time in 2009.

The Texans travel to LP Field (capacity 69,143) in Nashville on Sunday for a Week 2 matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT.

Head coach Jeff Fisher and Tennessee are 0-1 after falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 in overtime in a Week 1 road loss.


Quarterback: Kerry Collins was 22-of-35 for 244 yards against a stingy Steelers' defense in Pittsburgh. He tossed a second quarter touchdown to Justin Gage and also was picked off once in the contest. Collins finished the game with a quarterback rating of 81.1.

In 2008, Collins led the franchise to a 13-3 record and passed for better than 2,600 yards after appearing in a combined 10 games as a backup the previous two seasons. Collins tossed 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions, starting 15 games and appearing in all 16.

Running back: In Week 1 against the Steelers, Chris Johnson was limited to 57 yards on 15 carries (3.8 avg.) and did not score a touchdown. He also caught one pass out of the backfield for 11 yards.

Last season with the Titans, the rookie running back rumbled for 1,228 yards, the third best total in the AFC. Johnson averaged 4.9 yards a carry, which was tops in the conference and fourth-best the NFL. Johnson also finished second on the team with 43 receptions for 260 yards, giving him a total of 1,488 scrimmage yards. Johnson ran for nine touchdowns and caught another touchdown pass as well.

LenDale White gained only 28 yards in Week 1 and carried the ball eight times. He also caught a pass for five yards in the loss to the Steelers. White barreled in for 15 touchdowns in 2008 more than doubling his two-year career total of seven. The former USC Trojan averaged 3.9 yards a carry and finished with 773 yards on the season.

Wide receiver: Against Pittsburgh, Gage led the team and tied his regular season career high with seven receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown. In the second quarter, he helped tie the game with a 14-yard touchdown reception from Collins. It was the fourth time in his career he posted seven catches in a regular season game.

In 2008, Gage played in 12 games and led the Titans with 651 receiving yards and a career-high six touchdown receptions. His 34 receptions ranked fourth on the team.

Nate Washington was acquired in the offseason from Pittsburgh and made his regular season Titans debut at the home of his former team, collecting one reception for eight yards. Last year with the NFL champions, Washington set career highs with 40 catches and 631 receiving yards, while also scoring three touchdowns.

Tight end:The tight ends are an integral part of the Titans' offense. Against the Steelers, Bo Scaife caught five passes for 48 yards, including a 20-yarder. During the 2008 season, Scaife led the Titans and set a career high with 58 receptions for 561 yards and two touchdowns. Scaife injured his knee at Pittsburgh, so keep an eye on his status as the week progresses.

Scaife is backed up by Alge Crumpler, who snared a pair of Collins' passes for five yards in the loss at Pittsburgh. In 2008, he ranked sixth on the team with 24 receptions for 257 yards and one touchdown. In Atlanta, Crumpler became the franchise's all-time leader among tight ends in career receptions (316) and career touchdown receptions (35) and was selected to four Pro Bowl squads.

Offensive line: The Titans have one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL with Pro Bowl left tackle Michael Roos, left guard Eugene Amano, center Kevin Mawae, right guard Jake Scott and right tackle David Stewart.

The group performed at a high level last year, allowing the team's offense to ascend several leaderboards. The Titans set a new franchise benchmark in sacks allowed and tied for the league lead yielding only 12 sacks. Previously, the lowest sack total given up by the Titans in a 16-game season (since 1978) was 17 in 1978. Also in 2008, the line helped the Titans finish the regular season in the league's top 10 in rushing for the third consecutive season. Tennessee's 24 total rushing touchdowns ranked second in the league behind only the Carolina Panthers (30).


Defensive line: The Titans' defensive line includes end Jevon Kearse, who had three tackles, including a six-yard sack of Ben Roethlisberger, last week at Pittsburgh. In 2008, the three-time Pro Bowler was the team's only defensive lineman to start all 16 games.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was busy in Week 1 with four tackles and one quarterback pressure. During the 2008 regular season, the two-time Pro Bowler was limited to playing in 10 games due to a groin injury. His season totals included 46 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 18 quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Defensive tackle Tony Brown registered four tackles, including a nine-yard sack of Roethlisberger, and added one quarterback pressure. He's filling in nicely for Albert Haynesworth, who now plays for the Washington Redskins.

Linebacker: Keith Bulluck posted five tackles and helped limit the Steelers to 36 rushing yards in Week 1. The 2008 season was the seventh consecutive year Bulluck started every game and surpassed 100 tackles. He is the third player in team history to reach 1,000 career tackles. During the 2008 regular season, Bulluck led the team with 120 tackles. It was the sixth time in seven seasons as a full-time starter that Bulluck led the squad.

David Thornton registered three tackles and helped to limit the Steelers to 36 rushing yards. In 2008, he started 15 games and tied for third on the team with 93 tackles.

Stephen Tulloch led the team with 12 tackles and added one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery against Pittsburgh. This is his first year as the incumbent starter at middle linebacker. A core special teams performer in his first two NFL seasons, Tulloch earned a career-high 12 starts in 2008 and ranked second on the team with 98 tackles.

Secondary: Cornerback Nick Harper tallied seven tackles in Week 1. In 2008, he played in 13 games and contributed 80 tackles (sixth on team), two interceptions (fourth), 17 passes defensed (second) and one forced fumble. His tackles in 2008 matched his 2007 total for the second highest sum of his career.

Pro Bowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan intercepted a Roethlisberger pass and returned the ball 80 yards in Week 1. In 2008, he started all 16 regular season games for the second consecutive year and tied for sixth in the NFL (tied for fourth in AFC) with a career-high five interceptions.

Pro Bowl safety Michael Griffin totaled six tackles, one pass defensed and one forced fumble at Pittsburgh. Last season, he led the team with seven interceptions, a total that tied for the 11th best figure in team history and ranked second in the NFL behind only Baltimore's Ed Reed (nine).

Pro Bowl safety Chris Hope ranked second on the team with 11 tackles against the Steelers. In 2008, he started every game and recorded four interceptions (tied for eighth in the AFC) and 93 tackles (tied for third on team).


Kicking game: In Pittsburgh last Thursday, kicker Rob Bironas made one of three field goal attempts, connecting from 45 yards.

In 2008, Bironas was second in the AFC and seventh in the NFL in scoring. He made 29 out of his 33 field goal attempts and all 40 of his extra point attempts to give him 127 total points, the fourth-highest scoring total in franchise history.

Against the Steelers, veteran Craig Hentrich recorded his 1,142nd career punt in the first quarter and in doing so broke a tie with Rohn Stark for seventh place on the NFL's all-time career punts list. In 2008, he punted 87 times for 3,725 yards, a 42.8-yard average with a net of 36.5.

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