NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 03: Alfred Blue #28 of the Houston Texans tuns with the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

In Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season the 4-7 Houston Texans traveled to Nissan Stadium to face the 7-4 Tennessee Titans. Would Tom Savage implode or play like a starting NFL quarterback? How would the addition of Andre Ellington help the Houston offense?  How would the Texans decimated defense fare against a rugged and physical Titan offense? Would the Houston Texans get back on track with a win, or would Tennessee stay at the top of the division? Here are some Week 13 Houston Texans takeaways.

Tom Savage Not Solely To Blame For the Loss

Texans quarterback Tom Savage came into Sunday’s game with zero touchdowns and five interceptions on the road. And for the Texans to win they would need a strong performance from Savage due to the Titans having the fifth ranked run-defense in the league. Houston got what they needed out of Savage with his 31 completions on 49 attempts, one touchdown and one pick.

Even though Savage’s one interception was the final nail in the coffin for the game, Houston fans cannot put this loss directly on the Texans signal caller. Savage threw for a career high 365 yards and looked as calm as could be for most of the game. Savage might not have been perfect, but he’s not the reason the Texans lost on Sunday.

One Ellington In, One Ellington Out

Before last week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens the Texans signed free-agent running back Andre Ellington, cousin of current Houston receiver Bruce Ellington. Andre Ellington’s versatility was on full display on Sunday, mainly due to injuries suffered by Braxton Miller, C.J. Fiedorowicz, and Bruce Ellington.

The newest Texan running back only carried the ball twice and lost four yards in total, but his best skill-set is as a receiver. In his first time playing on the Texans he caught five passes for 56 yards, averaging more than eleven yards per catch. Head Coach Bill O’Brien must be excited about expanding Andre Ellington’s role in the offense going forward.

Tired and Hurt

It was a rough day for the usually stout Houston defense as they gave up 348 yards to the Titans. When a team only has one real pass-rushing threat and the opponent has arguably the best offensive line in the league, there will usually be a ton of clean pockets for the quarterback. That’s exactly what transpired on Sunday. Marcus Mariota got to show off his ability to slice up a defense through the air while Jadeveon Clowney fought double and triple teams all day.

Some would say Mariota’s 150 passing yards aren’t even close to being dangerous numbers, but that’s where Tennessee’s run game comes into play.  The Titans ran for 198 yards against an injury-plagued defensive front for Houston. That number should come with an asterisk because seventy-five of those yards came on one garbage time play by Derrick Henry, but the Texans run defense did not do their job on Sunday.

Looking Ahead

With a 4-8 record the Houston Texans come back home to NRG Stadium to play the 2-10 San Francisco 49ers. As much as Houstonians don’t want to believe it, this will be a competitive game. Jimmy Garoppolo has won over the 49ers locker room for the most part and that team is playing with nothing to lose. The Texans must stay disciplined and healthy to keep themselves out of the bottom group of teams.

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