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Old 09-25-2010   #1
dalemurphy
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Default Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

At this point, Iím not sure how I will ever predict the Texans to lose a game this season. I just donít see a better team in the NFL right now. And, even if there is one, it will be very difficult to navigate through the rose-colored hue that my fandom is coloring everything with right now. So, instead of focusing on why the Texans will win the game, I will focus on what I think are the keys to the game. That being said, I like the Texans to win this game going away:

Rashod Butler and Wade Smith vs. Cowboy blitzes and stunts

I know there has been a lot of talk about the matchup between Demarcus Ware and Rashod Butler. Frankly, I am as worried about Anthony Spencerís pass rush against Eric Winston as I am about that matchup. I think Butler will hold his own and receive a fair amount of help. However, the real issue that I see is the ability/inability for he and Wade Smith to react and communicate effectively to twists, stunts, and blitzes that Wade Phillips will surely call to exploit Butlerís inexperience. Expect a ton of pre and post-snap movement in front of Smith and Butler. Bradie James and Keith Brooking are both experienced and effective blitzers as ILBs. James recorded 8.5 sacks in 2008 playing ILB. So, they will surely focus on confusing Butler. If Butler and Smith have difficulty working together in the midst of all the movement, Schaub could be in some trouble.
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Old 09-25-2010   #2
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
At this point, Iím not sure how I will ever predict the Texans to lose a game this season. I just donít see a better team in the NFL right now. And, even if there is one, it will be very difficult to navigate through the rose-colored hue that my fandom is coloring everything with right now. So, instead of focusing on why the Texans will win the game, I will focus on what I think are the keys to the game. That being said, I like the Texans to win this game going away:

Rashod Butler and Wade Smith vs. Cowboy blitzes and stunts

I know there has been a lot of talk about the matchup between Demarcus Ware and Rashod Butler. Frankly, I am as worried about Anthony Spencerís pass rush against Eric Winston as I am about that matchup. I think Butler will hold his own and receive a fair amount of help. However, the real issue that I see is the ability/inability for he and Wade Smith to react and communicate effectively to twists, stunts, and blitzes that Wade Phillips will surely call to exploit Butlerís inexperience. Expect a ton of pre and post-snap movement in front of Smith and Butler. Bradie James and Keith Brooking are both experienced and effective blitzers as ILBs. James recorded 8.5 sacks in 2008 playing ILB. So, they will surely focus on confusing Butler. If Butler and Smith have difficulty working together in the midst of all the movement, Schaub could be in some trouble.
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Great writeup as usual.

However, let me pick a grammar nit:

Quote:
The Texans have been a dominate run defense the past 15 games.
That should be "dominant", not "dominate."
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Old 09-25-2010   #3
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Nice analysis.

If Antonio Smith is not recovered (not just playing,) the picture could be hindered.
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Old 09-25-2010   #4
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Thanks for your matchup preview. Yes, Abidi concerns me as well. Hope, it is just an experience thing. BTW, Butler's first name is Rashad instead of Rashod right?

Go Texans!!!

Get it together Xman!!!
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Old 09-25-2010   #5
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Thanks good read. Can't wait for the game!!!

Go Texans
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Old 09-25-2010   #6
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

I was wondering about this too. The Stunts etc. are going to be an issue, are we going to run some screens and do some quick outs to counter? I'm confident Kubiak will be ready. After last week and the beating Schaub took, I'm sure this week will feature shorter plays.

I'm curious as to what you all think of our defensive sets. Are we going to be trotting out a nickel like we did in the Colts game more often because of Dallas' deep threat? I imagine having a nickel (and as a result not having Adibi on the field) will give us a better ability to stop the pass, assuming we can shutdown the run with just a nickel.
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Old 09-25-2010   #7
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Quote:
Originally Posted by hradhak View Post
I was wondering about this too. The Stunts etc. are going to be an issue, are we going to run some screens and do some quick outs to counter? I'm confident Kubiak will be ready. After last week and the beating Schaub took, I'm sure this week will feature shorter plays.

I'm curious as to what you all think of our defensive sets. Are we going to be trotting out a nickel like we did in the Colts game more often because of Dallas' deep threat? I imagine having a nickel (and as a result not having Adibi on the field) will give us a better ability to stop the pass, assuming we can shutdown the run with just a nickel.
We can't simply decide to run nickel like we did versus Indy. The Cowboy O-line and TEs are too good at power running. Whether we run nickel will be dependent on the packages Dallas runs on offense.
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Old 09-25-2010   #8
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Default Re: Texans vs. Cowboys Matchup Preview

Quote:
Originally Posted by hradhak View Post
I was wondering about this too. The Stunts etc. are going to be an issue, are we going to run some screens and do some quick outs to counter? I'm confident Kubiak will be ready. After last week and the beating Schaub took, I'm sure this week will feature shorter plays.

I'm curious as to what you all think of our defensive sets. Are we going to be trotting out a nickel like we did in the Colts game more often because of Dallas' deep threat? I imagine having a nickel (and as a result not having Adibi on the field) will give us a better ability to stop the pass, assuming we can shutdown the run with just a nickel.
I think you're right with the nickel. Whenever we face a team with a very strong receiving threat TE (like Dallas Clark and Jason Whitten), w seem to play a lot of nickel to avoid having a guy like Adibi running 5 yards behind their TE.
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