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View Full Version : Fact or Fiction: The Texans stuggle against 3-4 teams


Hooston Texan
09-11-2009, 02:15 PM
I've seen it mentioned here that the Texans' offense has not played well against 3-4 defenses in the past (by "the past", I mean the last two seasons; the Carr-era teams were an entirely different ball of wax), but I'm not convinced that those struggles were due to the mere fact we were playing against a 3-4.

We have played six games against 3-4 defenses the past two years: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Miami and Cleveland last year and San Diego and Cleveland in 2007. Our offense certainly struggled against San Diego, Baltimore and (especially) Pittsburgh, but those were elite defensive teams when we played them.

That leaves three other games against 3-4 teams: Miami last year and Cleveland the last two years. Against Miami last year, we went up and down the field on them almost at will and were stopped only by turnovers or because Duane Brown couldn't handle Joey Porter. We put up 480+ yards on a team that gave up an average of only 330 on the season.

Last year at Cleveland was a Rosenfels game, but we still managed to gain 370 yards on the day against a team that gave up an average of 350. We were limited to 16 points because of our usual redzone struggles and the fact that we went completely conservative in the second half after two really dumb picks by Sage (he didn't lose the coaches with the Rosencopter; he lost them in the second half against the Browns). Plus, it became apparent in the second half that Cleveland's pop-gun offense was no threat even to our pitiful defense.

The one game where we can't say the offense had a good game was at Cleveland in 2007 when we lost 27-17. But we dominated that game early until a second quarter interception completely changed the momentum. We then got rolled in the second half. We only got 315 yards against a team that was giving 360 per game.

So we had one great game, one good game, and one bad (but by no means terrible) game against non-elite 3-4 units. We averaged about 388 yards against teams that were surrenduring about 347 per game.

I would revise the conventional wisdom that says we struggle against 3-4 defense as follows: we struggle against elite 3-4 defenses. In our small number of games against non-elite 3-4s, we've generally done pretty well.

Are the Jest an elite 3-4 unit? They were good last year, but nowhere near as dominant as the Steelers and Ravens. They ranked just behind Miami--whom we shredded--as the #16 overall defense in the league. Will Ryan and Bart Scott prove to be the missing pieces? We'll see, but we need not believe we will struggle against them just because they run a 3-4.

m5kwatts
09-11-2009, 02:33 PM
A 3-4 is only as good as its best rush OLB... the Jets are missing their best (Pace).

Its going to be tough running against them because thats what Rex Ryan does, puts all his chips on stopping your run, forces your hand to pass then brings the house. Look at the Ravens, they were always a top run stuffing team and their pass defense rank varied from average to above average. We're not stupid, I'm sure our offense has watched last years Ravens game more than the Erin Andrews hotel video. We know what they want to do its all about execution now.

DocBar
09-11-2009, 02:38 PM
Teams tend to struggle against 3-4 teams with good OLB's when they don't face them often. They are hard to mimic in practice. I would have to say fact on this.

76Texan
09-11-2009, 02:41 PM
Good posts!

In the end, I would say we struggled against good teams mostly PERIOD. :tiphat:

Big Lou
09-11-2009, 02:47 PM
I've seen it mentioned here that the Texans' offense has not played well against 3-4 defenses in the past (by "the past", I mean the last two seasons; the Carr-era teams were an entirely different ball of wax), but I'm not convinced that those struggles were due to the mere fact we were playing against a 3-4.

We have played six games against 3-4 defenses the past two years: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Miami and Cleveland last year and San Diego and Cleveland in 2007. Our offense certainly struggled against San Diego, Baltimore and (especially) Pittsburgh, but those were elite defensive teams when we played them.

That leaves three other games against 3-4 teams: Miami last year and Cleveland the last two years. Against Miami last year, we went up and down the field on them almost at will and were stopped only by turnovers or because Duane Brown couldn't handle Joey Porter. We put up 480+ yards on a team that gave up an average of only 330 on the season.

Last year at Cleveland was a Rosenfels game, but we still managed to gain 370 yards on the day against a team that gave up an average of 350. We were limited to 16 points because of our usual redzone struggles and the fact that we went completely conservative in the second half after two really dumb picks by Sage (he didn't lose the coaches with the Rosencopter; he lost them in the second half against the Browns). Plus, it became apparent in the second half that Cleveland's pop-gun offense was no threat even to our pitiful defense.

The one game where we can't say the offense had a good game was at Cleveland in 2007 when we lost 27-17. But we dominated that game early until a second quarter interception completely changed the momentum. We then got rolled in the second half. We only got 315 yards against a team that was giving 360 per game.

So we had one great game, one good game, and one bad (but by no means terrible) game against non-elite 3-4 units. We averaged about 388 yards against teams that were surrenduring about 347 per game.

I would revise the conventional wisdom that says we struggle against 3-4 defense as follows: we struggle against elite 3-4 defenses. In our small number of games against non-elite 3-4s, we've generally done pretty well.

Are the Jest an elite 3-4 unit? They were good last year, but nowhere near as dominant as the Steelers and Ravens. They ranked just behind Miami--whom we shredded--as the #16 overall defense in the league. Will Ryan and Bart Scott prove to be the missing pieces? We'll see, but we need not believe we will struggle against them just because they run a 3-4.



The Browns 2007 was Bu----it!!!!!!! That interception cam off of a full fledged pass interference of Owen Daniels. The only reason the ball popped up in the air was because the defender was tackling OD before the ball got there. There was some other BS call, but I can't remember. That was a Texans win as far as I'm concerned, or maybe a victory for the zebras, as you can tell I'm still a little bitter.

pappy
09-11-2009, 05:14 PM
A 3-4 is only as good as its best rush OLB... the Jets are missing their best (Pace).

Its going to be tough running against them because thats what Rex Ryan does, puts all his chips on stopping your run, forces your hand to pass then brings the house. Look at the Ravens, they were always a top run stuffing team and their pass defense rank varied from average to above average. We're not stupid, I'm sure our offense has watched last years Ravens game more than the Erin Andrews hotel video. We know what they want to do its all about execution now.

Well in the preseason Gholston filled in very nicely and rex set the bar very high indeed saying the jets are superbowl bound .

b0ng
09-11-2009, 05:50 PM
I would say that our offense struggles against elite defenses no matter what the scheme.

m5kwatts
09-11-2009, 06:05 PM
I would say that our offense struggles against elite defenses no matter what the scheme.

Struggling against mediocre defenses would concern me more. An elite defense is elite for a reason.

Carr Bombed
09-11-2009, 06:30 PM
Teams tend to struggle against 3-4 teams with good OLB's when they don't face them often. They are hard to mimic in practice. I would have to say fact on this.

Maybe this is another area where Connor Barwin can help... He's just as athletic as any 3-4 OLB, so hopefully he can be a great scout team player. Who knows???

RipTraxx
09-11-2009, 10:34 PM
A 3-4 is only as good as its best rush OLB... the Jets are missing their best (Pace).

Its going to be tough running against them because thats what Rex Ryan does, puts all his chips on stopping your run, forces your hand to pass then brings the house. Look at the Ravens, they were always a top run stuffing team and their pass defense rank varied from average to above average. We're not stupid, I'm sure our offense has watched last years Ravens game more than the Erin Andrews hotel video. We know what they want to do its all about execution now.

I'll respectfully disagree...i would say the 3-4 is only as good as its nose tackle. If the big man doesnt anchor the middle, teams can run right up the middle, negating the outside rush.

m5kwatts
09-11-2009, 10:45 PM
I'll respectfully disagree...i would say the 3-4 is only as good as its nose tackle. If the big man doesnt anchor the middle, teams can run right up the middle, negating the outside rush.

What about San Diego last year? Lost Merriman, whole defense went to shambles including run defense.

Miami has an average NT in Jason Ferguson, Jerry Porter makes their defense what it is. The Browns had a top 5 NT in Shaun Rodgers and had an awful defense. Size is more important than ability when it comes to a NT in a 3-4, whereas having a dominant 3-4 rush OLB makes a regular 3-4 defense elite.

steelbtexan
09-11-2009, 11:28 PM
It's afact.

The Texans had trouble running the ball against the 3-4 last year.

Hill was drafted to rectify this situation.

I hope it works.

nunusguy
09-12-2009, 07:59 AM
Teams like the Texans that primarily use the ZB schemes for their OLine tend to feature a quick but relatively smallish center like Chris Myers, who's under 300 lbs. This then creates a mismatch agaisnt a 3-4 team like the Jets which feature large, sometimes very large NTs who play head up on the center. And Jenkins isn't just large, he's exceptional large at a reported weight of 'bout 350-360 lbs. And he's also athletic for such big man.
Another more obvious problem for us is we just don't see 3-4s that often. Some divisions might have a couple 3-4 teams (like the AFC East and the AFC West), so they see the 3-4 defense frequently every year. We have none in our own division, so our offense is basically unfamiliar with the 3-4.

Spike
09-12-2009, 09:48 AM
I am expecting a tough day running the ball, but eventually being able to move the ball through the air. After all of these years watching the Texans, I am not sure that you can pass to set up the run, but you definitely need to stick with the run to be able to open up the pass. I think it will be frustrating to watch the Texans offense run the ball for 0-2 yard gains, but we are going to have to keep the Jet's D honest.
Our success will depend on our ability to convert on third downs...

l_j_r
09-12-2009, 10:50 AM
... we are transitioning from a passive read & react 3/4 under mangini to a risk vs. reward aggressive 3/4 under rex ryan ...

... having to go with gholston instead of pace is a HUGE loss for the jets ... if he performs at an ok level i'll be thrilled ...

... jenkins, harris, & scott as the inside triangle are all beasts and those 3 are going to have a monster game ...


... kerry rhodes will be used as an ed reed-lite type ... if he can make 3 or 4 plays (ints,sacks,break up of passes to sheppard's wr) the jets will have a good chance ...

... if the texans mercilessly pick on sheppard and gholston the entire game and don't try to get too creative or force throws to AJ against revis they will win ...




l_j_r

infantrycak
09-12-2009, 11:23 AM
Fact: the Texans struggled as a 3-4 team.

leebigeztx
09-12-2009, 11:29 AM
Through my observations and experience, the best way to handle a odd front is balance up the formation with 2 te on the los. Just like what tenn was doing the other night. What this does is bring the olb's to the los and make their rushes wider and puts them in the combat zone.The 2 te personell gives the line and qb a clear look at what's going on. Now of course, its alwayss great if the center can single block the nose, but its pretty much 7 on 7 and now with the 2 wr's and the rb, it gives the offense a chance to run the ball. The te's can release on sight adjust to make sure the d.c. doesn't overload a side.

Hooston Texan
09-13-2009, 02:22 PM
I think I'm going with FACT onthis one. Sheesh.

m5kwatts
09-13-2009, 02:25 PM
The offense would struggle against the Lions today, total meltdown disappoint disgrace

Mr. White
09-13-2009, 02:27 PM
Fact.

True that they struggle against good defenses, but it seems like the best AFC defenses are 3-4 defenses.

You'd think Kubes would have an idea on how to handle a 3-4 by now.

Blake
09-13-2009, 02:33 PM
Fact.

Thorn
09-13-2009, 02:54 PM
Well, at least next week it's only the Titans.

gtexan02
09-13-2009, 02:54 PM
The Titans don't blitz, so thats good I guess. Schaub and our OL cannot handle a blitz