The Texans and Titans will face each other on Sunday, but a lot has changed in the nine weeks since the two AFC South rivals last played.
The Texans biggest win in franchise history came in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans. Houston won the first matchup between the two teams 57-14, which was the largest margin of victory and the most points scored in team history.
"They're different, we're different, obviously," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "I can tell you that it will be a much tougher football game, no doubt about it."
In his first start at NRG Stadium, Deshaun Watson threw four touchdown passes and rushed for one in the Week 4 win over the Titans. Will Fuller V caught two of those scores. Tom Savage did see action in the fourth quarter, entering the game after a strip sack by Jadeveon Clowney with 6:03 left in the game. Marcus Mariota started the game but did not return after halftime following a hamstring injury.
Since then, the Texans have placed starters Watson, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus on injured reserve. Mariota has since returned to the starting lineup and has orchestrated four game-winning drives in the last six games. This season, he has thrown for 2,273 yards, nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
"I think it's pretty well documented what I've said about Marcus Mariota," O'Brien said. "I think he's a very good young quarterback. I think that he's got a lot of ability throwing the ball to be a pocket passer and obviously he can run the ball. Look, sometimes interceptions, there's a story that goes with every interception. Some of them are batted balls, some of them are bad decisions. But I think overall that Marcus is a very dangerous quarterback that if you let him get into a rhythm, he's going to hurt you."
With a 20-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts along with a Jaguars loss to Arizona, Tennessee and Jacksonville are currently tied for first place in the AFC South. The Titans defense, which recorded eight sacks against the Colts last week, has also made adjustments since that Week 4 loss to the Texans.
"I think we've gotten better," Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said. "Since we've last played the Texans, our guys have really done a good job of just playing their role, doing their job, not making a lot of mistakes, being in the right place, not trying to do more than what we're asking them to do and it's paid off in a lot of ways."
The Texans will head to Tennessee to face the Titans on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Check out photos from Thursday's practice as the Texans prepare for Sunday's game in Nashville against the Titans.