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Houston Texans: Week 5: The good, bad and ugly vs. the Dallas Cowboys

Calvin Crawford

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The Houston Texans were able to get a key win over the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday. What were the most important things that stood out in this matchup? Let’s delve into to it. Do you agree?

The Houston Texans have beaten the Cowboys for the first time since 2002 and have won two games in a row for the first time since 2016 as they prevailed in overtime, 19-16. For the most part, this game was pretty ugly and the Houston Texans squandered opportunities throughout the night to win in pretty handily, or in regulation at the very least. Let’s take a look at what was good, bad and ugly following Houston’s second win of the year.

The good

DeAndre Hopkins literally put the team on his back in the overtime period with a 49-yard catch and highlight-reel run that ultimately set up the game-winning field goal; he shook off an early fumble and was perfect for the rest of the game. Hopkins has proven yet again that he’s extremely underrated when it comes to getting national attention as one of the league’s best wide receivers and without a doubt should be mentioned in the same conversation with players Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.

I thought the offensive line did a solid job as well Sunday night with only a few miscues as far as plays that resulted in a loss; the only time the Cowboys were able to get any pressure was when they blitzed and even then Watson was able to complete a pass or take off. I mentioned in my pregame article that this matchup vs. the Cowboys defensive line was one to watch and the Texans’ O-Line came out on top.

Defensively, Houston came to play in a lot of areas. The run defense contained Ezekiel Elliott well, as that was another one of my matchups to watch, and held him to just 54 yards off 20 carries. The red-zone defense was also strong and able to hold the Cowboys to two field goals in the first quarter instead of touchdowns; we’ve seen earlier in the season when Houston gets down by 14 points in the first, then the game is basically already over. Finally, the pass defense was also able to capitalize on Cowboys’ receivers mistakes, intercept two Dak Prescott passes and win the turnover battle.

The bad

I only have one thought that was pretty concerning — Deshaun Watson’s decisions running the football. Watson is a fierce competitor and absolutely hates not getting the big play it seems like each time the ball is in his hands but he took some huge hits this past game and was very lucky that was all they were.

Each time he took off to run, especially in the red zone, the Cowboys’ defense made him pay when he didn’t give himself up and go out-of-bounds. The Texans were fortunate none of these hits led to an injury and that there minimal effect on overall flow of the game.  Watson got hit hard by Jaylon Smith, forcing him to throw a deep prayer intended for Hopkins but intercepted by Xavier Woods.  The Cowboys did get the ball back but the Texans dodged a bullet with Prescott throwing two incomplete passes to Cole Beasley and Allen Hurns with 10 seconds left in regulation.

And speaking of the red-zone…

The ugly

Bill O’Brien’s play calling in the red zone was absolutely appalling. The Texans’ offense was an atrocious one for six (I believe that includes the overtime field goal, though) in the red zone Sunday night. The 4th-and-goal call right before halftime I think fans understand; you’re 1-3 at the time and you’re playing your in-state rivals on national television but you have to have a better play call than that.

But Dallas was able to get stops on 1st-and-goal from the four yard-line and 1st-and-goal from the one yard-line in the 3rd and 4th quarters, respectively. If just one of those trips results in a touchdown, the game is basically out of reach because of the Texans’ defensive performance. O’Brien owes Colts’ and Cowboys’ head coaches Frank Reich and Jason Garrett a beer or something for their questionable decisions in these overtime periods in back-to-back weeks because the Texans could easily be 0-3-2.

Houston welcomes the Buffalo Bills to town next week in a matchup of two teams that possess a 2-3 record. The Bills beat the AFC South division-leading Tennessee Titans on Sunday so anything can happen in Week 6.

Follow me on Twitter: @billybobcalvin

That’s how feel about the Texans’ matchup against the Cowboys.  What are your thoughts?  Feel free to share 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 graduated from Texas Tech University in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Sport Management, as in I had no idea what I wanted to do but wanted to be around sports. I’ve always have had a rooting interest in the Texans as they have been secretly consistent these past few years, making the playoffs four times in seven seasons since I was a freshman in college in 2011. I am currently a student at Texas Chiropractic College getting my doctorate in chiropractic, and my medical background has been very helpful covering the NFL and the Texans.

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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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