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ProFootballFocus -- Re-Focused: Texans @ Bengals
Re-Focused: Texans @ Bengals, Week 14
December 12th, 2011 | Author: Khaled Elsayed
You keep putting obstacles in the Houston Texans way, and they keep knocking them down. This week they didnít have to deal with any injuries, but rather overcoming a 9-point deficit with only 5:35 left to play as impressive rookie T.J. Yates made his watching parents (and all Texan fans) proud with a late drive that involved a completion on 3rd-and-15, as well as throwing the game winning touchdown.
All this after it seemed so unlikely in the first half, with a Bengals offense finding plenty of joy on the ground, and Houston running game that just couldnít get Arian Foster going. But, as they did when Mario Williams went down, and continue to do as they were forced to cope without both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, Houston won. Itís what they do now, and itís why theyíre the AFC South champions for the first time since their formation.
As for Cincinnati theyíll be left ruing a Geno Atkins fumble and other plays as they couldnít put a way a Texans team they had on the ropes. Instead the unlikely playoff contenders have surrendered their spot in the top six in the AFC, and have it all to do if they want to play some postseason football. Letís look at some of the key performances.
Houston Ė Three Performances of Note
It may seem odd in a game where the Bengals picked up five sacks, but near enough the entire Texans line had a great day in pass protection. The problems (and sacks) came in a variety of ways. Mike Brisiel (-3.7) didnít give up any sacks, but the pressure he allowed from Jonathan Fanene (Q4, 9:28) forced T.J. Yates into the arms of Manny Lawson. Yates himself took two sacks for holding onto the ball too long, whilst the other two sacks came with Arian Foster getting beat, and Kelly Jennings coming unblocked. It may look like a bad day for the offensive line, but they held up extremely well, earning a cumulative grade of +6.7 for their pass protection with just six combined sacks, hits and hurries given up between them. They were a big part of the reason their QB was pressured on only 26.9% of plays.
You can say a lot of things about Antonio Smith (-4.4), but one thing you wonít say is that he struggles to make an impact. At least not normally. His encounter with Nate Livings saw him rendered impotent by one of the worst starting left guards in the league as Smith failed to deliver his trademark pressure (a blank in this regard), while getting handled in the run game. Sometimes brains will win over brawns, and Livings had no problem using Smithsí desire to get up field to seal him outside. Even when Smith did make a play he was fortunate not to get flagged, grabbing the facemask of Bernard Scott in a play that wound up being his only contribution to the stat sheet (Q3, 6:27).
With our new normalized QB grades, the +1.2 grade that T.J. Yates received is more impressive than it may seem. There were some very bad moments. his interception with 3:35 to go in the first was as bad an overthrow as youíre likely to see, but by and large he avoided mistakes, grading negatively on six plays as he made good decisions and took what the defense gave him. Heíll need to work on holding onto the ball, but the poise of Yates was incredibly encouraging as we start to wonder just how far this Texans team can go.
- This game featured just 11 missed tackles.
- Itís not easy tracking A.J. Green, as Johnathan Joseph (+0.4) found out. He gave up a penalty and 67 yards, but did manage to break up two passes in another example of how good a signing he has been for the Texans.
- Anthony Collins (+2.1) has yet to allow a pressure of any variety since coming into the lineup for 40 snaps in Week 13.
read more: http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog...ngals-week-14/
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