View Full Version : HOUSTON/ATL Preview

09-29-2007, 12:34 PM

By Brad Lorkovic (LORK 88)

Despite strong efforts by our team (including a group of backups who were forced into playing time), it was enough last week against the Colts. However, we do get a chance at them again this season and it does speak well for the progression of our team when we only lose to the defending world champs by 6 points. Anyways, this week will serve as possibly one of the more interesting games all season, as its Schaub's return back to Atlanta. After being traded to Houston, Vick ran into troubles with the law and it forced Harrington into action. Despite what records Atlanta has, odds are they will be determined not to let Schaub get the best of them, and will be out to prove that they made the right direction. So who takes it, the unexpected 2-1 team determined to make a run at the playoffs, or the 0-3 team motivated to not let their old backup QB show them up?

Houstonís Running Game vs. Atlantaís Run D: With Green out, the big question will ultimately come down to can Dayne, Gado, and Cook all carry the load? Dayne hasnít looked like he did at the end of last season, but a good majority of his carries have come when we were running the clock out, so the defense wouldíve have to be idiotic not to know it was coming. Gado hasnít looked special either, he has struggled hitting the holes given and seems to be playing like a more athletic version of Dayne. Cook was a bit of a surprise after the fiasco last season where he didnít show up in a few key situations, but actually looked decent last week. As far as Atlanta goes, their run defense thus far has been decent thus far this season. They will be missing both Jonathan Babineaux and Rod Coleman, so that should be beneficial. On the inside, they will have Grady Jackson and Trey Lewis. Jackson is pretty old, but still is a huge man. Lewis is only a rookie, but has been drawing good praise from the coaches. Outside will be John Abraham and Jamaal Anderson, both who are better known for the pass rushing abilities. At LB, Keith Brooking will be the leader, and is also a tackling machine. Outside will be Demorrio Williams and Michael Boley. Williams is undersized, but finds a way to get to the ball with Boley being more of the playmaking type. For us, we need to hit the hole hard and focus on running north and south. Luckily for us, Dayne and Gado donít have the speed to go many other directions. I know it wonít be the same without Green, but we still need to get the running game going to keep their defense honest and control the clock.

Houstonís Passing Game vs. Atlantaís Pass D: This will actually be another challenge for us because of the injuries to Andre and Jacoby. The starters will end up being Kevin Walter and Andre Davis. Walter hasnít really been a huge asset in the passing game, but he does do a lot of the little things well (blocking, running routes hard, etc). Davis will be sort of a mystery, but had a good showing last week. After being plagued by injuries in Cleveland, he came here and has shown that he can step up when need be. Question is, how does he respond to being the starter like he used to be when he started his career? Outside of those two, we have Mathis and Anderson, who are both two WRs who havenít really seen time at WR in their career, but will be given the chance to step up this week. Owen Daniels also figures to have a big week, as he was Schaubís go-to go last week with the injuries. Defensively, John Abraham will be our biggest threat as a pass rusher as heís a great speed rusher. All of the LBs also have the potential to get to the QB, especially Williams who would actually line up at DE in Nebraska in pass rushing situations. Boley is actually pretty solid in coverage too. In the secondary, their safeties remind me a lot of what we had because both Crocker and Milloy are both the Strong Safety type. They are both better known for being big hitters and will blitz. At CB, we will see DeAngelo Hall and our old CB Lewis Sanders. Hall has great speed, but has been struggling lately (although he should benefit from playing against backup WRs). Sanders, who was actually with us last year, is the other starting CB. From what I remember last year, he was a solid tackler and could cover pretty well on short to intermediate routes, but will get burned occasionally. Schaub hopefully wonít have to pass that much, but should be able to move the chains and manage the game like he always does.

Atlantaís Rushing Game vs. Houstonís Run D: Despite Atlanta having to and being more reliant on the pass more than they would like, they still have two RBs who can do some damage. First up is Warrick Dunn who doesnít show his age or size like a good majority thought he would by this time (including myself), and a good reason for this is because heís a smart runner. He hits the hole, makes quick cuts, and most importantly doesnít take any unnecessary hits. The other RB who will see carries is Jerious Norwood. While he may not be big or powerful like Dunn, Norwood is the home run threat with his speed. If he gets a good hole, he will hit it without a stutter-step and can go the distance. However, the big difference this year has been that the O Line hasnít looked as good as it has in past years. Some think that they are starting to show their age, but I would be more inclined to believe that it would have more to do with transitioning to Petrinoís offense. For us, the key will be to get penetration and disrupt the lanes. Maddox has done an amazing job of this so far, and weíll need him and the other DTs to get involved. Weíll also need to make sure that we donít let them hit the corner. This will be more of a responsibility for Mario (who has done a great job of not allowing much to happen on his side), Weaver, and the OLBs. Overall, Atlantaís running game isnít the same as it has been, but can still be dangerous if you donít respect it enough.

Atlantaís Passing Game vs. Houstonís Pass D: Oh, good olí Joey Harrington, the QB who seems to just fall into starting jobs. Despite the struggles heís had in the past, he hasnít looked as bad as some thought he wouldíve. He does have a solid arm, but he forces passes when heís pressured and also needs to work on looking off the defense. As far as targets, Roddy White has been stepping up this year. After being criticized as a bust last year for drops, he turned on the switch this year after being named the #1 WR and itís showed. He has good size, can stretch the field, and can make people miss. Alge Crumpler will be Atlantaís second target. Heís got good size, but he plays like a WR and can stretch the field. Outside of those two, Joe Horn and Michael Jenkins are the other two WRs who will see time. Horn is on the down slope of his career, but still is a great leader and has great hands. Jenkins has great size, but needs to work on the little things as a WR. For us, Dunta will most likely be matched up against White, which will be a good match up after heís show so much against Smith, Wayne, and others. Petey will have to take on Horn, which should be interesting, but I think its better because Horn isnít as athletic as Wayne, Harrison, and others have been. For the rest of our defense, the key will be getting to Harrington. Atlanta so far has been disastrous in pass pro and has allowed the second most sacks in the league. We need to get to the QB and not even let them have the chance to get their pass offense going.

QB Advantage: HOUSTON
RB Advantage: ATLANTA
WR Advantage: ATLANTA
TE Advantage: ATLANTA
OL Advantage: HOUSTON
DL Advantage: HOUSTON
LB Advantage: ATLANTA
CB Advantage: PUSH
S Advantage: PUSH
K/P Advantage: HOUSTON
RET Advantage: HOUSTON

INJURY REPORT (as of 9/29)
Jonathan Babineaux, DT Ė Out (knee)
Dwayne Blakley, TE Ė Out (pectoral)
Rod Coleman, DT Ė Out (knee)
Chris Crocker, S - Probable (knee)
DeAngelo Hall, CB - Probable (elbow)
Lewis Sanders, CB Probable (head)
Todd Weiner, OT Ė Probable (knee)

Andre Johnson, WR - Out (knee)
Jacoby Jones, WR - Out (shoulder)
Jerome Mathis, WR - Doubtful (shin)
Ahman Green, RB - Questionable (knee)
Ndukwe Kalu, DE - Probable (hand)

09-29-2007, 05:56 PM
with mathis and jones out i think it may be a puch for return.....JMO

09-29-2007, 06:07 PM
Hopefully AJ is back next week though.

09-29-2007, 06:39 PM
I see us winning handily with ball control and an adequate running game that gains 3 yards a carry. sets up 3 and 4 or so and schaub hits the open guy most of the time for 1st downs or runs it himself on occasion. If we get a few decent 5 or 6 yard runs on first down it will set up play action and Schaub nails the underneath stuff. I dont think it will be that pretty, but I think our defense overall is better than theirs and our QB is way calmer than theirs. A few turnovers either way could shift momentum either way. I still say we win it by 2 scores 27-14.

09-29-2007, 08:33 PM
I feel confident we'll win tomorrow, but I don't think it will be by much. Hopefull we don't lose any more recievers.

09-29-2007, 08:41 PM
Here's some sobering words from LZ. He makes some good points. I hope Flannigan and Dayne step up and prove him wrong.


09-29-2007, 10:34 PM
Hopefully AJ is back next week though.

that would be a dream.:texflag:

09-29-2007, 10:46 PM
How long is he suppose to be out? Kubiak said two-four weeks right?

False Start
09-30-2007, 11:01 AM
I'm thinking the Texans win by 7 points , something like 17-10 .