Texans: top 10 defense.
I'm so encouraged by the play of the defense on Sunday. Not just because they played well but also because I think changes were made that will continue to positively effect the unit the rest of the season. Below are two lists... The first is a list of the areas we will be very good at through the last 12 games... The second are the reasons why I think the defense has/will suddenly make rather dramatic improvements.
1. top 10 in Yards allowed
2. top 10 in PPG
3. top 10 in Rush Yards allowed
4. top 10 in interceptions
Here's why I think we're so much better going forward.
2. Found an identity: pressure with 4 man line... limit interior stunts, rotate Okoye on passing downs, keep everyone fresh with a heavy rotation... I even saw Cochran rotate in as NT late in the game- which seemed to work well in passing situations.
3. Weaver is playing solid ball at DE the past 2 weeks- he's being used on run downs and moved out on passing downs.
4. Dunta coming back
5. Unspectacular but solid CB play with a lot of depth.. We're 5 deep upon Dunta's return with CBs that can hang with 80% of NFL receivers.
6. Safeties that can cover and be helpful over the top in some cover 2, which we'll be playing more often. Brandon Harrison is something we haven't had since McCree- a safety that can cover.
7. Mario is a monster! and his presence on the field alone is going to create a lot of havoc for opposing offenses. Still the defense was able to get him one on one with a RB and a TE for his two sacks.
8. The LBs in coverage all of a sudden seemed to be in position to make plays. They ran more underneath man coverages and other things to make it less predictable... It paid off with a Diles INT.
9. Realization that TJ isn't a NT and the use of different schemes to compensate for it and the improvement of Okam in the NT role, of which he is suited.
10. Infusion of highly athletic players as the season continues: Dunta, Molden, BHarrison, Okam, Adibi (maybe)
11. Good health.
12. an offense that can run the ball and control the clock and score enough to pressure the opposing team to take risks.
13. Despite the lack of sacks, every game this season the front 4 has regularly collapsed the pocket and limited the QBs time to throw... Now that the middle of the field isn't wide open, the sacks will come as will the forced throws. The injury to CCBrown may have been the catalyst for a lot of improvement in pass coverage- Harrison and Wilson can even man up on the slot receiver.. that sure is a change from what we've had at safety.
That's it! No more silly, telegraphed blitzes. Get ready for a hybrid of the Tampa 2. Safeties in coverage, corners pressing, and a 4 man rush most of the time.