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View Full Version : Red zone woes stall Texans offense


Wolf
12-25-2008, 09:34 PM
http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_11309836

HOUSTON—The Houston Texans are third in the NFL in offense but rank 20th in scoring.

A big reason for that discrepancy is Houston's struggles in the red zone. On Sunday against the Raiders, the Texans got inside the 20 twice in the fourth quarter and came away with just 3 points.

Houston had third-and-inches on one of those drives and settled for no points after two straight incomplete passes to Kevin Walter.

Two week ago, the Texans beat the Titans 13-12 despite scoring a touchdown just once in four trips inside the red zone.

Andre Johnson is baffled about why they have so much trouble in that area.

"I can't put my finger on one particular thing," Johnson said. "When we get down there we're just not executing the plays like we should. I think that's the biggest thing. I think if we just go out and execute the plays like we know how to then that wouldn't be a problem. We'd be able to score touchdowns."

Coach Gary Kubiak had several reasons for the problem, but isn't sure how to fix it.

ChrisG
12-25-2008, 09:48 PM
i gotta say that is my biggest complaint all year. when im watching i hate when we get in the redzone b/c it pretty much equals 3points. I like it better when we are outside the 20 - we have a better chance of scoring lol

Norg
12-25-2008, 10:50 PM
alot of teams have trouble in the red zone because the D has the atvantage less less and less ground to cover

Yankee_In_TX
12-26-2008, 05:51 AM
alot of teams have trouble in the red zone because the D has the atvantage less less and less ground to cover

It would seem 19 teams have less trouble than us.

I've been complaining about this all year. I think I even made a thread about it.

Lack of red zone efficiency and turnover have kept us from being a 10 win team.

Number19
12-26-2008, 06:02 PM
From the Houston Chronicle this morning (hard copy) : Kubiak blames their lack of points on an ineffective close-quarters ground attack. Kubiak is then quoted as saying, "We need to run the ball better down there...".

I know what he means, at least I think I do, but I disagree with the way he says it. I think Steve Slaten runs the ball just fine. Give him a small crease and he will find the end zone. The problem is lack of BLOCKING.

I keep seeing, and hearing, that the blocking is just fine and we will likely be starting the same 5 next year. Well, maybe one more off season and one more training camp of "continuity", with Alex Gibbs, will result in improved red zone play next season.

I'm just not convinced.

gary
12-26-2008, 06:52 PM
A bigger back would help out somewhat and also better blocking would make a difference.

SteveSlaton20
12-26-2008, 07:46 PM
A bigger back would help out somewhat and also better blocking would make a difference.

What happen to Ron Dayne? Did he just had one year on the contract or what?

Number19
12-26-2008, 09:09 PM
Everybody keeps saying we need a bigger back, and I just don't understand this. I guess I'm too old school. I think the fullback should be able to perform this heavy duty running and I think we have a pretty good fullback in Vonta Leach.

FILO_girl
12-26-2008, 09:17 PM
Everybody keeps saying we need a bigger back, and I just don't understand this. I guess I'm too old school. I think the fullback should be able to perform this heavy duty running and I think we have a pretty good fullback in Vonta Leach.

Me too
I need to hear what is wrong with Leach, he does fine to me. :)

edo783
12-26-2008, 09:34 PM
One of the issues with a Gibb's style O-line is that they aren't heavy enough to consistently move the D-line off the ball when plowing straight ahead. Just not built for the close in power stuff. However, a heavy back can mitigate that a bit. I'm also one of those that wonder why they don't use Vonta for the close in stuff if they think Steve is too light for it. Put someone like TJ as the lead blocker and Vonta as the carrier. Bound to move it a yard or two no matter what IMO.

Number19
12-26-2008, 10:01 PM
This is where Kubiak's age is a factor. Think back to the power running game used by Lombardi's Packers, which was slightly before my time, but also the running game of the 70's Steelers. You had Slants, misdirections, dives off of the tackle(instead of up the middle),pulling guards....you remember the old triple option used by Daryl Royal at UT.

There are decades of running schemes and blocking schemes to draw upon, that allow a lighter line to successfully attack a heavier line.

I remember a sweep we had in high school, lining up in a full house backfield, we had one HB and the FB leading the sweep to one side or the other. And the QB was expected to be quick enough to get in front and hit a lick on someone.

My point is, our Red Zone Offense is too vanilla.

(edit) And on the sweep play described above, we had a variation where the HB, with the ball, would pull up short and toss a pass to a wide open WR, who had come all the way across the field from the opposite side, to catch the ball in the corner of the end zone.

Norg
12-26-2008, 10:26 PM
leech has drop a few passes in his career but thats not a biggy hes a FB

but when he has the ball sometimes he runz over people sometines a guy smaller then him takes him down with ease to many times

LonerATO
12-27-2008, 01:40 AM
This is where Kubiak's age is a factor. Think back to the power running game used by Lombardi's Packers, which was slightly before my time, but also the running game of the 70's Steelers. You had Slants, misdirections, dives off of the tackle(instead of up the middle),pulling guards....you remember the old triple option used by Daryl Royal at UT.

There are decades of running schemes and blocking schemes to draw upon, that allow a lighter line to successfully attack a heavier line.

I remember a sweep we had in high school, lining up in a full house backfield, we had one HB and the FB leading the sweep to one side or the other. And the QB was expected to be quick enough to get in front and hit a lick on someone.

My point is, our Red Zone Offense is too vanilla.

(edit) And on the sweep play described above, we had a variation where the HB, with the ball, would pull up short and toss a pass to a wide open WR, who had come all the way across the field from the opposite side, to catch the ball in the corner of the end zone.

Could not agree more with you about how vanilla the offense is in the RZ. Im not happy taking Brown every year in FF since I know the team will end up kicking FG's instead of scoring TD's. I agree with many other post here in using Leach to either hand off to or even using some play action pass to either the RB or FB.

gary
12-27-2008, 09:52 AM
leech has drop a few passes in his career but thats not a biggy hes a FB

but when he has the ball sometimes he runz over people sometines a guy smaller then him takes him down with ease to many timesThat is all he should be used for an FB we need a normal everyday backup RB.

Brandon420tx
12-27-2008, 09:56 AM
I know what he means, at least I think I do, but I disagree with the way he says it. I think Steve Slaten runs the ball just fine. Give him a small crease and he will find the end zone. The problem is lack of BLOCKING.

I think he means the short yard running game in general.

ArlingtonTexan
12-27-2008, 10:06 AM
The texans have failed in the Red Zone more because of turnovers and poor decisions to go for it on 4th downs.

gary
12-27-2008, 05:14 PM
What happen to Ron Dayne? Did he just had one year on the contract or what?Did you want him to stay?

IlliniJen
12-28-2008, 02:01 AM
So, I'll be going along, playing a repeatative riff in Rock Band 2 on hard or expert guitar and my fingers get it for awhile, but at some point, something in my brain short circuits and I manage to mess up because I get a little to worried about messing up.

This is my painfully awkward analogy to what I think is going on with our RZ offense. We'll chug along just fine between the 20's, but when it comes down to the RZ, we just seem to seize up and forget how we got into the red zone in the first place.

Turnovers have been a big factor in coming away with zero points in a good deal of trips into the red zone, but I also have to turn an eye towards Kubiak and sometimes it seems he goes too vanilla and forgets that he does have playmakers in guys like Slaton, and sometimes he tries to get too cute for the situation. I also think that perhaps the playcalling leads to some turnovers because instead of going for the high-percentage plays, Kubiak tries to (again, I'll use the word) get "cute" and out-think the defense. And I honestly don't believe his "out-thinking" has led to us being more successful or efficient in the end zone, I think it's just led to frustration and some head-scratching.

It's gotten to the point where I tense up when we get into the red zone and I EXPECT to come away with 3 or 0 points. This is NOT a good feeling as a Texans fan and I want to see the same type of "oomph" used to get them into the red zone IN the red zone.

I lay blame at the feet of the coaches and believe that the team would best be served by a change in several places, INCLUDING head coach, so please keep that caveat in mind. I also do firmly believe we need a bruising back to compliment Slaton, although the coaches seem to show a lack of faith in Slaton in red zone situations, which I think is unwarranted if the playcalling was a little less predictably up the middle. Slaton is great, and I'd like to see him running outside the tackles more, but the playcalling has been stubbornly up the middle in many games, when he's shown what he can do breaking plays on sweeps and whatnot. Our playcalling lacks imagination at crucial times, as well as lacking logic in critical situations. This disappoints me more than the turnovers, IMHO.

Ole Miss Texan
12-28-2008, 10:25 AM
It's all on the run blocking. When the point of attack is 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage, you're not going to be successful consistently. Our OL gets pushed back at the snap.

Ron Dayne kept getting hit 2 yards behind the LOS on short yardage situations. The board lit his rear up and I felt like I was the only guy defending him saying it's on the OL. Guess what, we're seeing the same thing when Slaton's in the game.

This OL is more finesse than power. It doesn't take rocket science to see that a lineman that is lighter, quicker and uses their strengths of lateral movement probably will not fair too well with a power run blocking assignment against DT's that outway them by 30 lbs. It's not what they're used to doing, the DT's are coming straight through.

I think the OL needs to play more together because everybody has to be on the same page. I think we could use some upgrades but think they need to "gel" (even though I dislike this term:))

euro-Texan
12-28-2008, 12:50 PM
I would love to see what our red zone offense looks like today. I wonder if we'll ever get there????

euro-Texan
12-28-2008, 01:15 PM
jumpball for Dre in the corner..... Who would have thunk it?