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Tennessee Titans

vs.

Houston Texans

Week 4

NFL Pick

10/2/16

As the Titans head to play the Texans all that can be thought about from my standpoint is two underwhelming offenses through three weeks of the NFL season. Houston is a 4.5-point favorite on their home field. The over/under is set at 40.5 according to the 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

Tennessee has been expecting big things from Marcus Mariota since he entered the NFL. He's off to a bit of a slow start this season. Mariota has thrown under 250 yards per game so far. He's also thrown four picks to match his four touchdowns. Lastly, Mariota is averaging under 20 yards rushing per game.

Demarco Murray has been fantastic in the early going. This is exactly what the Titans envisioned when he was brought in from Philadelphia after his explosion in Dallas a couple of years ago. Murray has already gained 245 yards on the ground, with a touchdown, on only 41 rushing attempts. This gives him an average of 6.0 yards per carry on the season -- fourth-best in the league. Additionally, Murray has 132 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 17 catches this year.

The big issue for the Tennessee offense is that none of the receivers, outside of what Murray is doing out of the backfield, offer any kind of threat. Tajae Sharpe is Mariota's leading target. He is barely averaging over 50 yards receiving per game. On the season, Sharpe has 14 receptions for 157 yards and no touchdowns.

Houston has been similarly disappointing on offense, but they find themselves sitting at 2-1. Brock Osweiler was brought in during the offseason and is supposed to be an upgrade for DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver. So far it's been more hope than substance.

Osweiler has only thrown for 695 yards in three games. To add to that, he's thrown four interceptions to only three touchdowns. Judgment can't be passed yet, but the early signs are not as encouraging as Texans' fans had hoped.

Wide receiver is one of the brighter positional groups for Houston. The aforementioned Hopkins is a true up-and-coming star. He's been held in check, though, to start the season. Hopkins hasn't been bad, but there were higher expectations to start the season after going for over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. So far in 2016, Hopkins has found the end zone twice and has 223 receiving yards. To pair with Hopkins, the Texans drafted Will Fuller out of Notre Dame. Fuller is a true deep threat with 242 yards receiving and a touchdown on 12 receptions.

Lamar Miller has done his best this season. He's been a workhorse, but there hasn't been a ton of production. Miller has a 3.6-yard average per carry on 74 attempts. The durability is key as Osweiler tries to get settled in, but the receivers need to be making more plays to help open more holes for Miller.

With JJ Watt out with his back injury, it will be interesting to see how that effects this game. The Titans have not been able to score more than 16 points in any game this season. Houston simply hasn't found its rhythm offensively.

We'd expect the Texans performance to improve greatly this week after last weeks debacle. Texans -4.5

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