The Houston Texans visit the Tennessee Titans in Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 24
Coverage by: Aaron Resnick
Matchup: Houston Texans offense vs. Tennessee Titans defense
- QB Tom Savage vs. S Kevin Byard – Having started the last four games, there is now a decent sample to view when looking at Savage’s 2017. His overall grade of 55.8 ranks 36th among quarterbacks, and since Week 9 his adjusted completion percentage of 65.7 ranks 32nd. Savage has had 65.7 percent of his passing yards come through the air, rather than after the catch, which is the sixth-most in that span. That will be put to the test against the ball-hawking Byard whose overall grade of 89.9 is the third-highest among safeties. In coverage, Byard is allowing just 0.42 yards per coverage snap but for the season he has also allowed five touchdowns when targeted. Savage will take some risks, so a big play from Byard could change the course of this game.
- WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. CB Adoree’ Jackson – Since Savage took over, Hopkins has seen 45 targets, the most in the league over the past four weeks. In that span, Hopkins’ passer rating when targeted of 88.9 ranks 47th among qualifying receivers while his 2.50 yards per route run rank 14th. The past two weeks, the Titans have used Jackson in shadow coverage and as a result has been targeted once every 5.1 coverage snaps. For the year, Jackson’s overall grade of 77.7 ranks 49th among corners, while his 1.00 yards allowed per coverage snap is 40th. The Texans trust Hopkins against anyone in single coverage, and with few receivers matching his physicality, this also serves as a fantastic test for Jackson who figures to once again be tested early and often.
- RB Lamar Miller vs. DI Jurrell Casey – The last time these teams played, Miller had a game grade of 83.5 as he had 131 total yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. While Miller made a big impact as a wideout in that one, they’ll need him in the running game to take pressure off of Savage. It has been tough sledding the last two games, as Miller has accumulated 92 of his 111 rushing yards after initial contact. Going against Casey this week, things don’t get any easier. Coming in with an overall grade of 88.8, Casey has continued to establish himself as a premier interior defender. Along with ability to rush the passer, Casey’s 23 run stops rank fourth among interior defenders, while his run-stop percentage of 13 is fifth best. If Miller is going to have success on the ground, odds are it won’t come from running at Casey.
PFFELO Ranking: 16
Coverage by: Sam McGaw
Matchup: Tennessee Titans offense vs. Houston Texans defense
- WR Corey Davis vs. CB Kareem Jackson – Davis has struggled in his rookie campaign, earning an overall grade of 46.9. His 36.6 wide receiver rating is the third-lowest among wide receivers that have seen a minimum of 31 targets, and his average of 1.17 receiving yards per route run ranks 62nd. Jackson has allowed an average of 1.77 receiving yards per coverage snap, which is the third-highest rate among cornerbacks. Quarterbacks targeting a player in his coverage have earned a passer rating of 117.9.
- T Taylor Lewan vs. Edge Jadeveon Clowney – Lewan enters Week 13 with a pass-blocking efficiency of 96.0, which is good for 14th among tackles. He’s given up three sacks this season, including only one over the past six games. In addition, he has a run-blocking grade of 76.0. Clowney has a pass-rushing productivity of 9.4. He’s forced 26 total pressures from the right side. Clowney has also been effective against the run, earning a run-stop percentage of 7.9.
- TE Delanie Walker vs. S Andre Hal – Walker has been one of the league’s top pass-catching tight ends since Week 7. During that span, he’s averaged a position-best 2.35 receiving yards per route run. He’s also registered a wide receiver rating of 99.9 over his last five games. Walker leads his position with 12 targets on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield this season. He’s caught five of those passes for 148 yards. Hal has given up 15 catches on 23 passes into his coverage for 298 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Quarterbacks throwing to a player in his coverage have averaged a passer rating of 108.5. He has a coverage grade of 77.8.