A lot has changed since the Texans last faced the Titans. It was the last win for Houston, a 30-24 overtime thriller. Since then, the Texans have endured a 13-game losing streak and both teams have made changes at quarterback.
Tennessee has had seven weeks to adjust their offense knowing that starter Jake Locker was out for the season. In the 2013 season finale, the Titans may look like a different offense than what the Texans saw in Week 2.
"I think, when he (Fitzpatrick) took over the first time, a couple of weeks back after Week 4, we kept things relatively the same," Titans head coach Mike Munchak said in a conference call Thursday. "Once Jake (Locker) was out for the year, that's where we made more of the drastic changes for Fitzy, do what he's more comfortable with. People saw us do a lot more no huddle, things like that, empty backfield, things like that. That's probably what we did the most."
Locker, who missed five games in 2012 with a shoulder injury, was ruled out for the season with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot after the Titans lost to Jacksonville in Week 10. The 2011 first-round offered more mobility to the Tennessee offense when he was healthy.
"Jake, you're going to call more things for him to use his legs," Munchak said. "You're going to be using more boots and run designs, zone reads, things like that that we've done with running-type quarterbacks that we've had in the past that have the ability to run I should say."
With Locker dealing with injuries from Week 4 onwards, Fitzpatrick has started 8 of the 10 games he has played in this season. Fitzpatrick, added as a free agent in March 2013, offers limited mobility but is more experienced in reading defenses, according to Munchak.
"Obviously, defenses aren't going to be as concerned for where he may be in the pocket than when you play Jake," Munchak said. " He makes some really good decisions and recognizes coverages really well. He's put some big numbers, really. Two weeks ago, 400 on Arizona, which is a very good defense. He's thrown well against the Raiders and things like that. He's done a lot of really good things and we've just got to adjust to what he's good at."