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Houston Texans vs. Browns: Week 13: All the fixings of a trap game

Nathan Jones

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The Houston Texans will take on the Cleveland Browns in their Week 13 matchup this Sunday. But what’s to make of this matchup? It’s time to talk about why it has all the fixings of a trap game. On what grounds? Take a look.

The Texans are coming off an electric performance Monday night against the division rival, Tennessee Titans. They are set to host the Cleveland Browns Sunday at noon (CST) who are coming off a great showing themselves. The Houston Texans, riding an eight-game winning streak, seem to be firing on all cylinders. Playing the Browns sounds like a lock for the Texans, but are Texans’ fans going to be shocked with a loss? This week has “trap game” written all over it. What is it about the Browns that could give the Texans trouble?

Last week, the Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals 35-20. While Baker Mayfield, the 1st overall pick from this year’s draft, threw for 258 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The previous week they bested the Atlanta Falcons 28-16. For the first time in a long time, the Browns seem to have something going for them.

The key to their turnaround was the firing of head coach Hugh Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Now coach Freddy Kitchens is calling the plays on offense and his impact is clear.  Mayfield has thrown nine touchdowns and only one interception since the coaching change. According to Pro Football Focus, in the last two weeks, Baker holds the best passer rating among QBs with 30 or more dropbacks.

Mayfield is not the only rookie on the Browns who has a hot hand. Running back Nick Chubb is now the featured rusher on Cleveland’s squad. Since Kitchens became the offensive play-caller, Chubb averages 23.3 rushes and 115 yards each game.

Cleveland’s whole team has taken on the edge that Mayfield was drafted to bring. They have a “chip-on-shoulder” mentality and have eyes on the playoffs…yes, the playoffs. The Browns have a record of 4-6-1 and though the road to the playoffs is slim, they need help from other teams around the league.  The new leadership truly believes as long as they handle their own business, a postseason berth is not out of the question.

This matchup seems like a trap game to me. The Texans are still trying to climb the playoff standings, to solidify the second seed, but the Browns are a desperate team.  In a way, the Browns approach each week as if it’s a playoff game and desperate teams usually can win those. The key for the Texans is to have mental toughness.

As in last week’s game, if the Browns build an early lead, the Texans cannot freak out. They need to stick to their game plan, play smart, one drive at a time. The Texans SHOULD win the game but crazy things happen every week in the NFL.

Do you think this a trap game for the Texans, or am I giving the Browns to much respect?  Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

I’m a student at Texas A&M University, Class of 2022. I am a statistics major who enjoys talking about football as well as backpacking and hiking. I've come to like the Texans out of a pure respect for the franchise. The fan base is strong and players like J.J. Watt inspire me daily. Do not test my Madden NFL skills. Follow me on Twitter @natn03

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Brian K. Patterson

Brian and Robert say goodbye to Locked on Texans.  After 540 episodes, we bid a tearful farewell to Houston Texans faithful, reminisce about our tenure and share some final thoughts on the Houston Texans future.

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.

The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.

DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.

While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.

Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.

In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.

His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.

An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.

Ronald Darby and Lamarcus Joyner are the best players available in free agency that can cover receivers in the slot and both players should be targeted by Bill O’Brien.

The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment in the section below.

Interested in writing for Locked On Texans?  Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What are the Houston Texans biggest weaknesses going into the 2019 off season?  Rob and Brian bring on State of the Texans’ BigRon to discuss what needs to be done to fix a team that has tons of potential to be dominant.  What’s the best way to improve the offensive line?  Is Julién Davenport still worth developing and what should we expect to see in additional development?

How about the thought of shifting Greg Mancz to center and Nick Martin to guard?  The trio also discusses the future of Whitney Mercilus on the roster as well as certain defensive lineman not getting enough playing time.  What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

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Houston Texans

Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs

Brian K. Patterson

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Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best way for the Houston Texans to fix the running backs position for the 2019 season?  They certainly can do better than bringing back Alfred Blue.  Rob and Brian talk about what the team needs to do and gives their top free agent running backs to help this offense flourish.  Is bringing in Le’Veon Bell a possibility?  Can the Houston Texans get the back they want in this season’s draft?

The duo discusses that plus gives their thoughts of Indianapolis Colts’ firing offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and the interesting back story that likely factored into the move.  Plus, Gary Kubiak finds a new job in the NFL.   What else?  Take a listen to find out more!

Subscribe to us daily on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein or the Google Podcast app.
Email [email protected] or call (903) 265-9629 for Questions or Comments.
Follow us on Twitter @LockedonTexans, @HSTPodcast @HouseofHouston & @LockedonNFLNet

 

 

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