HOUSTON TEXANS UPDATE 

lTITANS DEFENDERS WILL FOCUS ON STOPPING CARR, JOHNSON

According to Nashville Tennessean staff writer Paul Kuharsky, Keith Bulluck has never been high on David Carr.

But having seen the Texans quarterback post a 97.9 passer rating, maintain a ridiculously high completion percentage (currently 70.35) and guide his team to two victories in its last three games, the veteran Titans linebacker conceded his view has changed.

"I'm definitely impressed," Bulluck said. "Just for the simple fact, I'll be the first to admit, I was a guy that's always been tough on David Carr. With his new coaches and their offense, it's putting him in position to make plays and he has time to get the ball off."

As the Titans and Texans prepare to meet on Sunday, both teams are still trying to establish themselves as up-and-comers.

But while Titans rookie quarterback Vince Young has struggled at times, Carr has found a rhythm. He's hitting on seven of every 10 passes, a rate in line with the best in NFL history.

"We've dumped the ball around a little bit and thrown some screens, but he's a fairly accurate player," head coach Gary Kubiak said of Carr. "When he's got some time to set his feet, he's throwing the ball pretty accurately. For us to have a chance to be successful he's going to have to do that. We're not going to sit back there and hold the ball long, and that's something we've tried to teach him."

Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Carr is "much improved" but the completion percentage does not really mean Carr has been more accurate.

"His command is better, that's a better way to put it," Schwartz said. "It's his understanding of the offense plus his ability to hit his check-downs."

Carr was sacked a body-numbing 208 times in his first five NFL seasons, but the combination of better protection and quicker releases is starting to help him avoid such trouble.

He's been sacked 16 times this season, but in three of his last four games he's gone down just once or not at all.

The Texans have also traded some distance for more frequency with Andre Johnson, the NFL's top receiver with 47 catches for 591 yards.

Johnson was slowed last year by a calf injury, but in the two seasons before that he averaged 14.6 yards a catch. This season that number is 12.6 yards.

For the Titans to topple the Texans, they believe it will be necessary to generate a pass rush, handle Carr's bootleg plays and bottle up Johnson.

"He's the biggest weapon that they've got, the best football player that they have on that roster," Titans safety Chris Hope said of Johnson. "That offense goes through David Carr and Andre Johnson. It's going to be big for us not to let him be the reason that they are successful."


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