Join Date: Apr 2008
ProFootballFocus, ReFocused -- Buffalo@Houston
ReFo: Bills @ Texans, Week 9
Houston – Three Performances of Note
If Sunday’s game is any indication, J.J. Watt (+4.7) won’t be slowing down in the second half of the season. As usual, Watt was exceptional rushing the passer, producing a sack and an unheard of five QB hits – consider that only seven 3-4 ends recorded more hits than that in the entire 2011 season. And with four stops, his effort against the run may have been even better. Few players in the league, let alone a 3-4 end, are capable of controlling a game the way Watt has been able. This was on the display early in the fourth quarter; when the Bills needed a score to stay in the game following a Texans touchdown. Watt beat his man and got into the backfield on three consecutive plays, hitting Fitzpatrick twice, as the Houston defense forced a key three-and-out.
After a few rough games, Johnathan Joseph (+1.7) bounced back nicely versus the Bills. Though he was targeted nine times, he allowed just five catches and registered a pass defense. What was most impressive was the way he limited yardage even when he allowed the ball to be completed into his coverage. Receivers averaged 5.3 yards per catch and gained just five yards after the catch against Joseph, with a long gain of only 15. Much of his success came while covering Steve Johnson, who was limited to two receptions on six passes against Joseph.
Success in the Air
While the running game was solid as usual, the Texans did much of their damage through the air. It’s easy to do when they get the kind of performance they did from Matt Schaub (+2.9), who was solid, if unspectacular, completing more than 70 percent of his passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Of those yards, 118 went to Andre Johnson (+3.6), as he took advantage of the Buffalo secondary for eight catches with his best game since Week 1. Many of these catches came to the right of the numbers, an area of the field where Schaub completed 10 of 11 passes, while throwing just three to the left side.
The Texans were deadly on play-action passes as usual with Schaub completing five of five for 103 yards. The best of these came with 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter, when the play-fake allowed Owen Daniels to get behind the Buffalo defense for a 39-yard touchdown. On the season, only Alex Smith has a higher QB rating on play-action passes than Schaub.
- Arian Foster gained 111 yards on the ground, despite not breaking any tackles, with only 26 of his rushing yards coming after initial contact.
- The Buffalo defense blitzed only three times in 29 passing plays. On these plays Schaub was 2 of 2 passing for 48 yards and was sacked once.
Where the Texans are concerned, this might as well be the ‘J.J. Watt Game Ball’. After yet another dominating performance, Watt gets the honor for the sixth time in eight games.