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By JACK CASSIDY

STATS Writer

 

(AP) -- From what first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt has observed, people surrounding the Tennessee Titans organization expected failure even before the season began.

 

Mired in losing ways, the Titans look to avoid a sixth defeat in seven games when they start third-string rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger against former signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick and the visiting Houston Texans on Sunday.

 

"I've noticed a sense of pessimism ever since I've gotten here," Whisenhunt said. "That's, I think, from previous times."

 

The current struggles are certainly not helping matters. After dropping four straight, the Titans (2-5) edged previously winless Jacksonville 16-14, then lost 19-17 to Washington last week.

 

Charlie Whitehurst, filling in for the injured Jake Locker, was 17 of 26 for 160 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Redskins. The running game proved equally anemic with 76 yards, and the 236 total yards were the Titans' fewest in 17 games.

 

Whitehurst and Locker have each played in four games and passed for an average of 191.0 yards, which would rank last in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks.

 

Whisenhunt said Thursday that the decision to go with Mettenberger was made Tuesday. A sixth-round draft pick out of LSU, Mettenberger threw five passes in a 41-17 loss at Indianapolis on Sept. 28 in his only NFL action.

 

"By no means am I a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning," Mettenberger said. "This is going to be my first game, so really I just got to get the ball out of my hands quick, avoid turnovers and put the ball in the (hands of) guys who can make plays for us. Really that's the biggest thing a young guy's got to do."

 

He will face pressure from a Houston defense led by J.J. Watt, who picked up his NFL-leading third fumble recovery Monday in a 30-23 defeat at Pittsburgh.

 

Their third straight loss left a bad taste in the Texans' mouth.

 

Houston (3-4) led 13-3 with under two minutes remaining in the second quarter but entered halftime trailing 24-13 after allowing three touchdowns, two of which resulted from Texans turnovers. Arian Foster fumbled for the second time this season, and Fitzpatrick threw his seventh interception.

 

"It was miserable, a terrible display of football," Fitzpatrick said. "It was as bad as I think it can get. As bad as I've seen, with two turnovers inside the 5-yard line and basically giving them 14 points. It's unacceptable."

 

Foster finished with 102 yards on 20 carries. He ranks second in the NFL with 615 rushing yards.

 

Fitzpatrick has completed 65.1 percent of his passes, but he's averaging 218.6 yards, has thrown only eight touchdowns and ranks 22nd in the NFL with an 88.2 passer rating. Playing for the Titans last season, Fitzpatrick owned an 82.0 rating in 11 games.

 

Linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who returned to practice last week and is expected to play Sunday, could provide a much-needed spark for the Texans. The No. 1 overall pick has been sidelined since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery following a Week 1 injury.

 

"I'm very anxious to be out there with my teammates playing in a NFL game because I haven't played since the first game," Clowney said. "I'm looking forward to playing again and just taking it one day at a time and getting back out there."

 

Clowney, however, may not be on the field as often as he'd like. Whitney Mercilus has played well in Clowney's place, and coach Bill O'Brien would prefer to ease his touted rookie back into the equation.

 

"When JD comes back, hopefully this week, we're not going to put him back in there and play 70-80 plays," O'Brien said. "Whitney will still be out there but that will be a competition. That will definitely be a competition. You don't just hand it to a guy coming off of six weeks being out, especially when the other guy has played pretty well."

 

Fitzpatrick helped the Titans end a three-game losing streak in the series with a 16-10 home win in Week 17 last season.

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans.

Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger.
Inactive for the Texans are ILB Brian Cushing (knee), WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage, LB Jeff Tarpinian, OT Jeff Adams, DB Josh Aubrey, and DB Darryl Morris.

 

 

 

Shonn Greene is active for Week 8 against the Texans.

Greene was arrested Friday night for parking in a handicap spot. Funny, we know. It's a non-issue. He'll back up Bishop Sankey, but could steal some goal-line looks.
Inactive for the Titans are RB Antonio Andrews, QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Kris Durham, DL DaQuan Jones, OL Will Svitek, CB Coty Sensabuagh, and TE Taylor Thompson.

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Best part from yesterday's game...

 

http://nflteamcfimg.mo2do.net/s/imgscale?url=http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static.texans.clubs.nfl.com%2F%2Fassets%2Fimages%2Fimported%2FHOU%2Fphotos%2Fthumbnails_186_126%2F186_WattSelfie--nfl_thumb_185_125.jpg

 

J.J. "taking a selfie" with Mettenberger after sacking him. This was making fun of all the selfies Mett was posting online leading up to this game.

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Best part from yesterday's game...

 

http://nflteamcfimg.mo2do.net/s/imgscale?url=http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static.texans.clubs.nfl.com%2F%2Fassets%2Fimages%2Fimported%2FHOU%2Fphotos%2Fthumbnails_186_126%2F186_WattSelfie--nfl_thumb_185_125.jpg

 

J.J. "taking a selfie" with Mettenberger after sacking him. This was making fun of all the selfies Mett was posting online leading up to this game.

 

And then JJ Watt turned in to a douchebag in the post game press conference talking about how this is "the NFL and not high school" and Mettenberger's "selfies" were for some reason wrong.

 

Dunno what his deal is.

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And then JJ Watt turned in to a douchebag in the post game press conference talking about how this is "the NFL and not high school" and Mettenberger's "selfies" were for some reason wrong.

 

Dunno what his deal is.

Ah I never saw that. I guess a good retort could be the stupid letterman jackets the Texans did a couple years ago.

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Ah I never saw that. I guess a good retort could be the stupid letterman jackets the Texans did a couple years ago.

 

 

It surprised me cause JJ Watt is always the one having fun on and off the field, doing commercials and shit as well.

 

Maybe he was just having a bad day and wanted to rant about something.

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Maybe he's just a meathead...

 

MAYBE IT'S MAYBELINE!

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