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CloakNNNdagger
06-12-2010, 09:43 AM
There is another lull now, and it is certainly early to be accurately determine the progress and the ultimate direction of the team. But it's fun to have something to mull over now.


Key Matchups

September 26 vs. Dallas Cowboys: The Texans' offensive line will face its biggest weakness - a strong outside pass rush. The only time that the Texans faced a strong outside pass rush in 2009 came in their season opener versus the Jets, and the Texans lost 24-7. Quarterback Matt Schaub, who had an impressive 4,770-yard season in 2009, struggled mightily in the opener due to the constant pressure. Schaub had the worst game of the entire season on that day, passing for only 166 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Elite receiver Andre Johnson was held to only 35 yards, and the Texans only amassed 38 yards on the ground. The Cowboys' defense is built similarly to the Jets', and this could create major havoc for the Texans. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have more than enough weapons on offense to test first-round cornerback Kareem Jackson, who was drafted primarily to replace Dunta Robinson after Robinson signed with the Falcons in free-agency.

November 1 at Indianapolis Colts: Since their inception as an NFL franchise in 2002, the Texans have never had a winning record within their division. The Texans' losses within the division have often provided the crucial win or two that put the division champion ahead of the second-place team in the AFC South. If the Texans want a chance at making the playoffs for the first time ever, they have to start winning those divisional contests. Last year, the Texans finished with their first winning record ever, but five of their seven losses came from within the AFC South. Two of those losses came against the Colts, who finished 13-3. If the Texans had won those two games, they would've been tied with the Colts at 11-5, then won the tiebreaker and been AFC South champions. For many years, the Texans have posted strong records outside of the AFC South, but a poor divisional record has kept them from having a shot at the playoffs. If the Texans can beat the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, that would make a huge impact in the divisional race.

November 21 at New York Jets: This is the most complete team the Texans will face all year. Their outside pass rush is ferocious, which could lead to a very long day for Matt Schaub. Additionally, the Texans' defensive line, an area which the front office continually places an emphasis on upgrading, will be hard-pressed not to get blown off the ball by New York's massive offensive line. This is normally the part of the season where the Texans start to collapse, so if the Texans can hold up and win this game, then they will be in great shape for the final stretch of the season.

December 26 at Denver Broncos: Again, this is a late-season game, which tends to be the Texans' weakness. Also, Invesco Field at Mile High truly gives the Broncos an advantage, because the high altitude normally causes the opposing players to get out-of-breath more quickly than they usually do. This is most true for heavier players, such as the linemen on either side of the ball, so this game has major potential to spoil the Texans' playoff hopes. Another aspect to factor when trying to handicap this game is the fact that the Broncos are a highly unpredictable team, especially when you factor Tim Tebow into the equation. I'm no blind Tebow fan, but I'm highly impressed with his improvements since the end of his senior season, and I think that he could be doing well with the Broncos' offense by this point in the year. Due to the above reasons, this game could be the most pivotal point in the Texans' season.


Offensive Overview

The Texans have been getting better and better on offense for years now, and this year is no exception. Wide receiver Andre Johnson appears to have backed away from his original intent of holding out for a new contract, and he is one of the top receivers in the league. Receiver Kevin Walter provides a great complement to Johnson, and tight end Owen Daniels will be back from the ACL injury that ended his 2009 season prematurely. After Daniels was hurt last year, the passing game slowed down a little bit, and the Texans drafted tight ends Garrett Graham and Dorin Dickerson in the event of Daniels suffering another injury.

While the interior of the offensive line is fundamentally sound and does a good job of getting off of the ball, the Texans' offensive tackles struggled in picking up outside pass rushers, which caused quarterback Matt Schaub to face pressure and get rid of the ball sooner than he would have liked to at times. Despite that, Schaub had a Pro Bowl season and produced over 4,700 yards. If rookie running back Ben Tate turns out to be the solid between-the-tackles runner the Texans drafted him to be, Houston's offense could be one of the best in the league in 2010.


Defensive Overview

The most pressing defensive issue that the Texans face is the four-game suspension of linebacker Brian Cushing. The Texans signed former New York Giant Danny Clark to fill in during Cushing's suspension, and his performance in that role will be of paramount importance. Those four games include matchups against the Colts and Cowboys. The Texans also play the Redskins during Cushing's suspension, and quarterback Donovan McNabb is more than capable of exploiting Clark if the linebacker becomes the weak link in the defense. Clark's play will determine whether the Texans build a solid foundation during Cushing's suspension, or if they dig themselves into an inescapable hole at the start of the season that ends up keeping them at home during the playoffs.

Another issue is the departure of Dunta Robinson, who was the Texans' best cornerback for years. If rookie Kareem Jackson takes a while to transition to the pro game, he and second-year cornerback Glover Quinn will get picked apart by Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez, Philip Rivers, and Donovan McNabb this year. The Texans' corners will also be tested twice by Peyton Manning, Vince Young, and David Garrard, all of whom can make a defense pay for fielding weak cornerbacks.

Strong safety Bernard Pollard played phenomenally after signing with the Texans; he was great in run support and had a knack for getting to the ball once it was in the air. Free safety Eugene Wilson, the Texans' sole free safety on the roster, is a good player as well, but ended the 2009 season on injured reserve. If he stays healthy, the Texans' safeties are a position of strength, but the lack of depth behind him should be cause for concern.

Linebacker is a unit of strength for the Texans, especially if Clark plays well during Cushing's suspension. However, Houston's defense often got picked apart underneath the safeties and corners, because the Texans usually had to blitz at least one linebacker up the middle in order to get sufficient penetration against the opponent's interior offensive line. If third-round draft pick Earl Mitchell pans out, offenses will no longer be able to double-team defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. A strong push up the middle will free up defensive ends Mario Williams and Antonio Smith, making the Texans' defensive line even better at rushing the quarterback and stopping the run.


Special Teams Overview

Return man Jacoby Jones is absolutely electrifying, and has returned a kickoff and two punts for a touchdown already in his three-year career. He almost always puts the Texans in great field position, and that should continue this year.

Kicker Kris Brown was a weak spot in 2009, making only four out of ten field goal attempts of 40 or more yards. To remedy this situation, the Texans signed Neil Rackers, who is 13 out of 15 the past two years in field goals of over 40 yards.

Punter Matt Turk averaged 42.8 yards per punt, and landed 36% of his punts inside the opponent's twenty-yard line. While these may not be elite numbers, Turk is good enough to keep opposing teams from getting great field position.



Perceptions surrounding Kubiak are somewhat curious:

Head Coach: Gary Kubiak


While Kubiak was considered to have been on the proverbial "hot seat" at the start of the 2009 season, he kept his job after the Texans produced their first-ever winning season. The Texans' zone-blocking scheme has allowed their running game to be productive despite a lack of quality running backs, and it will be interesting to see if Kubiak has the Texans stick with that scheme despite offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's departure to Washington. Kubiak keeps a low profile, but his team is always prepared and the Texans rarely, if ever, make an egregious coaching mistake that keeps the team from winning a game they should have won.

LINK (http://www.xtrapointfootball.com/20100612399/2010-archives/june/houston-texans-2010-team-preview.html)

infantrycak
06-12-2010, 10:05 AM
Since their inception as an NFL franchise in 2002, the Texans have never had a winning record within their division.

Incorrect statement. In 2004 the Texans swept both the Titans and Jags to go 4-2 within the division.

November 21 at New York Jets: This is the most complete team the Texans will face all year.

WTF is with all the Jets man love? Last I checked they finished 9-7 last year. They couldn't throw worth a damn. Somehow a rookie QB with a 63 QB rating is a star. Most complete team. I'm going to go with the Colts that have been winning for a decade and were in the super bowl last year.

December 26 at Denver Broncos: Again, this is a late-season game, which tends to be the Texans' weakness.

Really? What friggin' league has this guy been watching? The Texans are 10-2 in the final quarter with Schaub at the helm. I'd like that tendency to extend to the whole season.

While the interior of the offensive line is fundamentally sound and does a good job of getting off of the ball, the Texans' offensive tackles struggled i

I think 99% of fans would disagree with where with this one.

he and second-year cornerback Glover Quinn will get picked apart by Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez, Philip Rivers, and Donovan McNabb this year

Seriously why is Sanchez in this list?

The Texans' zone-blocking scheme has allowed their running game to be productive despite a lack of quality running backs, and it will be interesting to see if Kubiak has the Texans stick with that scheme despite offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's departure to Washington.

As if Kyle had anything to do with the Texans being a ZBS team. Dumbass comment.

SheTexan
06-12-2010, 10:07 AM
" Kubiak keeps a low profile, but his team is always prepared and the texans rarely, if ever, make an egregious coaching mistake that keeps the team from winning a game they should have won."


JEAN!!! Not fair! Now my sides hurt from laughing so hard! :lol: :lol:

DavidC
06-12-2010, 10:09 AM
Are they watching the same Texans team we are watching? Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought on Offense our Tackles were the strength of the line and our interior G/C play was the weakness of the line, and the pressure up the middle was the downfall against the Jets not the outside rush.

b0ng
06-12-2010, 10:34 AM
Okay good, I was reading that thinking the author was either insane or horribly misinformed. The Jets are the most complete team, Tebow, Sanchez, good interior line play, bahahahaahaha.

Without clicking the link, I'm going to guess this came from bleacherreport.

EDIT: And I would be wrong, although the author is an aspiring journalist! Sounds like a journalist the Chron would love to have.

Lucky
06-12-2010, 10:40 AM
EDIT: And I would be wrong, although the author is an aspiring journalist! Sounds like a journalist the Chron would love to have.
It wasn't bad for a teenager who clearly hasn't watched much Texans football. I've seen similar from folks who post here....and they watch every game. Over and over.

dc_txtech
06-12-2010, 11:01 AM
Just to add on to some of the discrepancies Icak mentioned.

The Texans' zone-blocking scheme has allowed their running game to be productive despite a lack of quality running backs

ha ha


Texans drafted tight ends Garrett Graham and Dorin Dickerson in the event of Daniels suffering another injury.


Dickerson was drafted to play WR

Return man Jacoby Jones is absolutely electrifying, and has returned a kickoff and two punts for a touchdown already in his three-year career. He almost always puts the Texans in great field position, and that should continue this year.

Holiday?

especially when you factor Tim Tebow into the equation

LOL Tebow

b0ng
06-12-2010, 11:03 AM
It wasn't bad for a teenager who clearly hasn't watched much Texans football. I've seen similar from folks who post here....and they watch every game. Over and over.

I don't think I've ever seen a poster here claim Sanchez is an elite QB, Tebow can be a difference maker (As a 3rd stringer no less), our guards/centers are better than our tackles, and that we do terribly in the home stretch of a season all in one go. That's not a lack of knowledge on the Texans that's just. . . wow.

Also, I've seen a 14 year old call working offensive plays in a football game (http://baltimorebrew.com/blog/2010/01/15/thank-this-baltimore-teenager-for-ravens-winning-offense/). Teenagers these days.

dalemurphy
06-12-2010, 11:37 AM
Are they watching the same Texans team we are watching? Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought on Offense our Tackles were the strength of the line and our interior G/C play was the weakness of the line, and the pressure up the middle was the downfall against the Jets not the outside rush.


The Jets were missing Pace and Shaun Ellis that game. They don't have a great outside pass rush anyway, but that day, it was all about the 'A' gap.

wagonhed
06-12-2010, 04:35 PM
" Kubiak keeps a low profile, but his team is always prepared and the texans rarely, if ever, make an egregious coaching mistake that keeps the team from winning a game they should have won."


JEAN!!! Not fair! Now my sides hurt from laughing so hard! :lol: :lol:

Seriously. That gave me a mighty good chuckle.

devo-x
06-13-2010, 06:13 PM
Will the Texans establish their second winning record in the division at 4-2 with at least wins over the Jags and Titans next year?

DocBar
06-13-2010, 07:04 PM
I know it's the offseason, but that was a complete waste of time.

El Tejano
06-14-2010, 11:46 AM
Are they watching the same Texans team we are watching? Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought on Offense our Tackles were the strength of the line and our interior G/C play was the weakness of the line, and the pressure up the middle was the downfall against the Jets not the outside rush.

Thank You!!!

This is just more proof that he didn't watch the games. Had he watched, he could clearly see that Chris Jenkins and Reevis were killing us.

El Tejano
06-14-2010, 11:49 AM
I believe the first game is key for us this year, although not a season breaker. Tony Dungy has repeatedly said that we are a good team but we just need something good to happen to us early. I believe that beating The Colts wk 1 will put confidence in this team and get everyone on the same page altogether as well as open up the division.

Hardcore Texan
06-14-2010, 01:37 PM
Glad to see most of the discrepancies have been pointed out.....you guys save me a lot of typing. Thanks :)

Indy Skinnz
06-14-2010, 03:07 PM
I believe the first game is key for us this year, although not a season breaker. Tony Dungy has repeatedly said that we are a good team but we just need something good to happen to us early. I believe that beating The Colts wk 1 will put confidence in this team and get everyone on the same page altogether as well as open up the division.

As most have mentioned, the write from that kid was really off base with several factual errors and simply wrong assumptions. One of the first I picked up on was exactly what you mentioned. Isn't the season opener, at home no less a much more important game for Houston than the November game in Indy? I would think that would be a much more devasting loss or season building win than anything that happens in November.

76Texan
06-14-2010, 04:08 PM
The Jets were missing Pace and Shaun Ellis that game. They don't have a great outside pass rush anyway, but that day, it was all about the 'A' gap.

Sorry DM, but I would disagree strongly with "that day it was all about the A gap".
I think our perception was skewed by the replay that they showed again and again, and by Phil Simms one-sided comments (quite a few I would challenge).

- Please understand that I like Simms and agree with him about the need for a QB to shorten his delivery, which I was glad to see MS did in the last third of the season. But Simms is a "New Yorker" and saw things in the spurt of the moment without the help of game tape to isolate each incident.

It was a pain every time to rewatch that game, and the conslusion remains the same as the first time I rewatch it. It was all about our coaching, from our HC to our OC, and our O-line coach, and down the line.

It was all a mess; AJ and Duane Brown were somewhat exceptions.

Otherwise, it would just be one or two players here and there throughout most of the game. And that came back to rest with the coaching who had the team so ill-prepared, it pains me everytime I rewatch the game.

And yes, I rewatch it over and over and over still.

Jagsbch
06-15-2010, 04:23 PM
WTF is with all the Jets man love? Last I checked they finished 9-7 last year. They couldn't throw worth a damn. Somehow a rookie QB with a 63 QB rating is a star. Most complete team. I'm going to go with the Colts that have been winning for a decade and were in the super bowl last year.

Seriously why is Sanchez in this list?


Jets are way overrated their QB is their achilles heel for goodness sakes