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Houston Texans: The good, bad and ugly vs. the New England Patriots

Calvin Crawford

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Houston Texans fans, unfortunately the good guys came up short in Week 1 but y’all knew that already. Let’s take a quick look at what was good, bad and ugly in their 27-20 loss to the New England Patriots.

Here’s the good for the Houston Texans:

There was not a whole lot of good in this game but there had to be a couple of bright spots for the Houston Texans to put 20 on the board. The rushing attack of Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue was definitely the bright spot of the offense, going a combined 25 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown. Deshaun Watson got involved with eight rushes for 40 yards as well.

I thought linebackers Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole had a great game defensively (even with Cunningham being isolated on Gronk Island), and obviously Tyrann Mathieu had the interception and fumble recovery. Other than that, the rest was pretty much negative.  Unless you count kicking, it’s nice to have Fairbairn back instead of Nick Rose, ain’t it?  And since we’re on special teams: Tyler Ervin is a nice weapon to have in terms of returning balls for good field position.

The bad

It’s tough to separate bad and ugly, but I will give it a shot: Deshaun Watson was just bad (it would be ugly if we were further along than Week 1). He did not look comfortable at any point in the game and could not get into a rhythm. He was late on throws, forcing throws when he realized he was late, and had two ugly turnovers in the 1st half.

The 4th-and-5 play in the 3rd quarter was maddening: tight end Ryan Griffin had beat his man to the end zone and just needed a decent ball. The Texans would’ve been right back in the game had Watson executed the throw. The red zone offense as a whole was bad as well: you cannot get field goals instead of touchdowns in Foxboro and expect to win, especially when the home team was 3-for-3 in their opportunities in the 1st half.

And finally: this patchwork of an offensive line. We’ll see if that Pats D is for real or if Houston just made them look like world-beaters. Seantrel Henderson is lost for the season and Watson will be too as well if this group cannot step it up.

The ugly

I’ll try to keep it short and sweet with the ugly, but it’ll be tough: Kevin Johnson and Bill O’Brien. I know it’s adding insult to injury with Johnson suffering another concussion this game but evaluating his play before that as “atrocious” is pretty fair. Tyrann Mathieu was fuming at him on the sideline after the James White touchdown in the 2nd quarter, as there was a clear miscommunication in coverage.

And then Johnson was beat like a drum by Pats receiver Phillip Dorsett on back to back plays in the red zone in the 2nd quarter, leading to a touchdown. Dorsett then went for the trifecta in the 4th quarter as he made Johnson fall to the turf with an embarrassing juke on a simple wide receiver screen.

And for the conclusion: Head Coach O’Brien. Some questionable 4th down decisions (that muffed punt by New England was the break of all breaks) and that nonchalant, zero urgency sequence of plays late in the 4th quarter before the Ellington touchdown were only the runner-up to his actions (or lack thereof) following the Rob Gronkowski catch no catch right before halftime. We have all seen the play and know what happened, so there’s no need to discuss that part. But how on Earth in his post-game press conference can O’Brien say that it’s “not his job” to call a timeout so they can review the play under two minutes, when it is quite literally his job to do just that?

The deflection of blame on his part his astounding. He still had all three timeouts and is honestly going to say after the game that using one would not have been worth it? Actions like this just leave fans screaming at the TV and even broadcaster Jim Nantz was yelling from the booth for O’Brien to challenge the play. I guess he is just smarter than us mere fans, he is only 0-5 against Bill Belichick. There’s also a point to be made that had Watson and the 1st string offense played more in the preseason then maybe they would not have looked as rusty as they did against the AFC Champions in Week 1.

Houston travels to Tennessee this week to take on the Titans. Let’s hope they don’t forget to bring their game.

Follow me on Twitter @billybobcalvin

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

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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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