Texans four-fold mission

Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 1:00am

1.Don't wreck the Carr. David Carr somehow survived 70-plus sacks in his rookie season. He has only been dropped seven times this year. In order for him to have a chance to get the ball to playmakers like Andre Johnson, he'll need adequate protection against the likes of Jevon Kearse and Kevin Carter.

2. Swing for the fences. The Texans already have TD pass plays of 78 and 43 yards this season, as well as another 33-yard play. Houston should keep trying to dial up the big play and test a Titans defense weakened by injuries.

3. Get the Mack. Stacey Mack is now the Texans' feature back, but has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry. His struggles aren't as severe as what Eddie George and the Titans have experienced, but Houston does need better production from its running game in order to pull the upset.

4. Keep them guessing. Texans coach Dom Capers is regarded as one of the NFL's better defensive minds, and chances are he'll have something up his sleeve for Steve McNair and the Titans offense to keep the game close, just as he did in both meetings last year.

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