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Houston Texans: Why Kareem Jackson will be the X-Factor against Colts

Joseph Esquivel-Murphy

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The Houston Texans will take on the Indianapolis Colts this Saturday in the playoff Wild Card matchup. The team will be tasked with trying to stop deep ball threat T.Y. Hilton. Why will Kareem Jackson be the X-Factor? Look.

The AFC Wild Card game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans is the rubber match between the top two teams in the AFC South. The Texans clipped the Colts in Indianapolis to start their historic nine-game winning streak, only to have it snapped at home to the Colts back in  Week 14. The 11-win season is the second most in franchise history but a Wild Card exit to the Colts would leave sour taste in the mouths of many Texans’ fans.

When the teams met three weeks ago, Andrew Luck had all day in the pocket to find his receivers down the field, as he finished with 399 yards and a pair of touchdowns. T.Y. Hilton was Luck’s main target as he torched the Texans’ secondary for 199 yards on nine receptions. Kareem Jackson will need to neutralize Hilton as he is one of the league’s best deep threats and has always played well in Houston.

In his seven career games at NRG Stadium, Hilton has recorded 41 receptions for 933 yards and six touchdowns. He always plays well against the Texans and if he has a big game against them on Saturday, it’s going to be a long day for the Texans’ defense. Covering a big-time receiver like Hilton is not a one-person job but the secondary as a unit because of Hilton’s speed and route running.

Jackson will be lined up against Hilton for the majority of the game as he is the Texans’ best cornerback. His 17 passes defended were the most on the team and trails only Justin Reid for the most interceptions with two. Jackson has bounced around throughout the Texans’ secondary but he will exclusively play cornerback this Saturday against the Colts.

In their last two losses, the Texans have allowed 870 passing yards and six touchdowns as they have struggled to defend tight ends and deep threats. Of the 870 yards allowed, 480 of them came from their opponents’ top tight end and deep threat. While Eric Ebron‘s red zone ability will cause trouble for the Texans, Hilton is the key to the Colts’ offense as Luck relies on him to make big plays during the game.

Jackson has been good all year at limiting big plays against him and he needs to continue that against the Colts in this match up. Johnathan Joseph has been solid on the opposite but does not have the speed to stick with Hilton. Justin Reid and Tyrann Mathieu have been one of the league’s better safety tandems but they struggled in coverage against the Philadelphia Eagles; they need to play better against Luck and his weapons.

Jackson has the burden of covering Hilton for most of the game and the Texans need him to play well if they want to beat the Colts. If he is able to neutralize Luck’s top receiver, the Texans will be facing Tom Brady in Foxborough next week.

Is Jackson going to be the most crucial player on the field Saturday?  Feel free to comment below.

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

My name is Joseph Esquivel-Murphy and I graduated from Penn State in May 2018. My affinity for the Texans started when the franchise drafted Andre Johnson in 2003 and have continued to follow them. I have an aunt that lives in Houston and loved the city when I visited as a kid. Before joining the LockedOn team, I was a freelance writer for the Centre Daily Times.

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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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