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Old 11-09-2011   #1
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Default Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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From ESPN Insiders...
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After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 10 things to watch in this week's Texans-Buccaneers matchup.

1. Establish the run early: The Houston Texans managed to have two running backs run for more more than 100 yards against the Cleveland Browns last week, with Arian Foster gaining 124 on 19 carries and Ben Tate gaining 115 on 12 carries. With that kind of production on the ground, they were able to survive a rather sub-par game by quarterback Matt Schaub. Look for head coach Gary Kubiak to focus on the run again this week as they face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that gives up more than 123 yards per game on the ground.

2. Mix up the coverage looks: Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman struggled against the different blitz schemes and coverage looks brought by the New Orleans Saints last week, as he converted on just two-of-12 third-down attempts. Expect defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to bring a lot of heat from a variety of angles while also devoting seven or eight defenders to coverage at times.

3. Look for a short passing game: Houston hopes to get All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson back for this game, but we will likely see more of a short passing game with a lot of screen passes against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay struggled to deal with New Orleans running back Darren Sproles in the open field on multiple screen passes, and Foster is an accomplished receiver in his own right. Schaub is at his best when working off the play-action pass and throwing a lot of underneath passes and screens.

4. Stay home on defense: Houston will want to take away the Buccaneers' ground game, which is led by powerful and explosive LeGarrette Blount. Blount averaged 5.5 yards per carry last week. He is an excellent cutback runner who has enough speed to burn a defense for six points once he gets past the first line of defense. Houston's front seven needs to maintain gap control and force Blount to run east and west rather than north and south.

5. Matchup to watch: Foster and Tate vs. Tampa Bay strong safety Sean Jones: Foster and Tate are both on pace for 1,000-yard seasons through the first nine games and give the Texans one of the more dominating ground games in the NFL. They will both get many touches as Houston tries to establish a ground game early. Jones is Tampa Bay's second-leading tackler and will likely spend a lot of time in the box as the Buccaneers try to limit the run lanes available.
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Old 11-09-2011   #2
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

part deux...

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6. Tampa Bay will want to crowd the box: The Buccaneers know that Houston will want to establish the ground game and then hit them with a play action passing attack. Look for head coach Raheem Morris to slide an eighth defender up into the box to counter the run. Tampa Bay can't afford to let Houston run the ball at will like New Orleans did last week.

7. Gain positive yards on early downs: Tampa Bay faced far too many third and long situations last week, one of the reasons Josh Freeman converted on just two of 12 third-down chances. Freeman is not enjoying one of his best seasons so far, and he needs to keep his team in less predictable situations where he pretty much has to pass the ball in order to convert.

8. Protect the football: Both teams are in the positive column when it comes to turnovers, but Houston is plus-6 while the Buccaneers are plus-1. The biggest difference is Freeman has thrown 10 interceptions, second-most in the league, and needs to do a better job of avoiding turnovers that give opponents good field position.

9. Get Blount going early: After coming back from missing two games with a knee injury, Blount ran for 72 yards last week on only 13 carries. Look for the Bucs to get him 20 to 25 carries this week as the Buccaneers try to control the clock and play more of a ball control game against Houston.

10. Matchup to watch: Blount vs. Houston LB Brian Cushing: The Buccaneers need Blount to come up with a big game this Sunday as they try to dominate the time of possession. The more productive Blount can be, the less pressure on Freeman to carry the team on his shoulders. Cushing is Houston's leading tackler and having another great season. He needs to get to Blount before he gets to the second level and into open field.

[Their] Prediction

Houston 27
Tampa Bay 21
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Old 11-09-2011   #3
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

And for free here's the CBS guys' take

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/feature...s/prisco/picks

Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1 p.m. <--- Link to detailed breakdown
Quote:
24
17
This is almost a have-to game for the Bucs. They have lost two consecutive and suddenly are in third in the division. The Texans are riding high and behind the running game and their defense. The defense is tops in the NFL, which will make it tough for the Bucs to get anything going.
Houston keeps rolling.
Damn, I like the sound of that!
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Old 11-09-2011   #4
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

Re: ESPN

The Bucs are averaging 18.4 points per game. Why would they score more than their average against us?
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Old 11-09-2011   #5
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

Teams will be sticking 8 in the box against us from here on out. We have got to learn how to run against that look.

It benefits us that we run & throw out of the same formations, being able to run on 8 defenders will make us unstoppable.
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Old 11-09-2011   #6
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
Teams will be sticking 8 in the box against us from here on out. We have got to learn how to run against that look.

It benefits us that we run & throw out of the same formations, being able to run on 8 defenders will make us unstoppable.
To Dennison/Kubiak's credit, they never abandon the running game. Even when it's not paying big dividends (see the Jags game - foster got 100+ yds but it took 33 carries to get it done). And the way this offense is designed, they have to. Otherwise, the play action you alluded to won't work.
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Old 11-09-2011   #7
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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To Dennison/Kubiak's credit, they never abandon the running game. Even when it's not paying big dividends (see the Jags game - foster got 100+ yds but it took 33 carries to get it done). And the way this offense is designed, they have to. Otherwise, the play action you alluded to won't work.
It's also another reason we've got to keep the game close. If we're down two or three scores late in the game, then they'll know we're going to be throwing regardless what formation we show.
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Old 11-09-2011   #8
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

Blount is a fiery kinda guy too, I can't wait to see Cushing try to knock him around!!
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Old 11-09-2011   #9
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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It's also another reason we've got to keep the game close. If we're down two or three scores late in the game, then they'll know we're going to be throwing regardless what formation we show.
Why do we see them up two or three scores late in the game? If that happens something went terribly wrong.

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Old 11-09-2011   #10
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

eit:double post
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Old 11-09-2011   #11
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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Blount is a fiery kinda guy too, I can't wait to see Cushing try to knock him around!!
Try? Cush will "knock him around". Cush might be bloodied a bit, but he WILL "knock him around". And Blount will know he's been knocked around. JMHO, of coarse.
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Old 11-09-2011   #12
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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Why do we see them up two or three scores late in the game? If that happens something went terribly wrong.

Mike
It's just my opinion, but if we go down by two scores early in the game, I don't believe we "have to" abandon the run game. 2006, Kubiak's first game against the Colts @Reliant. Pretty similar to what happened to the Browns this past Sunday.

Indy opens the game on offense, they score. We get the ball & fumble it too them, they score right after that.

We pretty much abandoned the run game & started throwing the ball. I don't know that we couldn't run, we just didn't. Freeny went off, we commited more turnovers, Manning put up more points.

So, especially if you are good at running the ball, keep running it.

If you find you're still having trouble scoring & it's all of a sudden the 4th Qtr, you have no choice.. throw the ball.

We've been lucky this year, we've been able to get the lead & stay in the lead. Against Baltimore, if we'd have taken the lead on that 3rd Qtr drive, I don't think we lose that game. We continue to run the ball even though we're only averaging 3.5 ypc at that time. We control the clock & force Baltimore to throw.
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Old 11-09-2011   #13
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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Teams will be sticking 8 in the box against us from here on out. We have got to learn how to run against that look.

It benefits us that we run & throw out of the same formations, being able to run on 8 defenders will make us unstoppable.
You nailed it. Having Thunder(Tate) and Lightning(Foster) gives us an edge that no other team in the NFL can defend. Throw in Ward, and there you have it. Unstoppable. We might be the only team in th NFL that can actually slow down the Packer juggernaut. We already know they can't stop an NFL offense, much less ours. The Lombardi Trophy will belong to Houston after 2011. This is the start of the Texan Revolution. Dynasty, baby!!!!
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Old 11-09-2011   #14
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Default Re: Scouts, Inc - 10 Observations on Texans/Buccs

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2. Mix up the coverage looks: Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman struggled against the different blitz schemes and coverage looks brought by the New Orleans Saints last week, as he converted on just two-of-12 third-down attempts. Expect defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to bring a lot of heat from a variety of angles while also devoting seven or eight defenders to coverage at times.

4. Stay home on defense: Houston will want to take away the Buccaneers' ground game, which is led by powerful and explosive LeGarrette Blount. Blount averaged 5.5 yards per carry last week. He is an excellent cutback runner who has enough speed to burn a defense for six points once he gets past the first line of defense. Houston's front seven needs to maintain gap control and force Blount to run east and west rather than north and south.
2. The Vikings dominated the Bucs in the first half, but started to play soft in the second half for some reason. I hope Wade keeps up the pressure throughout the game. The last thing we want to see is Freeman feeling comfortable in the pocket.

4. Blount is a big strong guy (both upper body and the lower legs).
He has no second gear to speak of. If we continue to play sound gap assignment as to force him to slow down out of the gate, he won't be much of a factor. Knock on wood!
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