The Houston Texans have a notable task in attempting to beat the Tennessee Titans this Sunday. What’s the best strategy for this team? Take a look at this foolproof method to ensure that they get the job done.
Following the Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, the Texans continue their road trip to Tennessee to face off against their divisional rival, the Tennessee Titans. I expect to see some fine-tuning from coach Bill O’Brien on both sides of the ball. New England is a well-oiled machine that will wear a team down all game long and more often then not, will win the turnover battle. Tennessee is a different story. I have mapped out the things that Houston needs to focus on in order to win this game to avoid falling to 0-2 on the season:
1.) The Texans need to get Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue going early. They both showed the ability to move the chains and make plays when necessary. Miami was able to move the ball effectively on the ground in their Week 1 matchup against the Titans and I am more than confident that the Texans have the ability to do much of the same.
2.) The offensive line needs to give Deshaun Watson time in the pocket. Watson seemed a bit flustered at times against New England as he was faced with constant pressure and was not able to scan the field when he dropped back to pass. Deshaun is a smart quarterback with a talented arm but he needs time to make plays.
3.) Watson must take what the defense gives him through the air. Tennessee has extremely athletic and aggressive defensive backs in players like Malcolm Butler, Adoree’ Jackson and Kevin Byard who all have the ability to make plays on bad reads by the quarterback. That aggressiveness can also be advantageous to the receivers, allowing them to create separation from the aforementioned defensive backs with crisp route running. Watson must avoid forcing any throws into coverage.
4.) Watson should get involved with the run game. If the defense has all receivers locked up, he should not be afraid to take matters into his own hands and pick up yardage with his feet. This will keep Tennessee’s defense guessing and will force linebackers to stay home.
5.) The offense must convert in the red zone. In the first half of last week’s game the offense struggled a bit to find the end zone when inside the 20 yard line. It is important that when in this area of the field, that the offense avoids penalties and Watson needs to avoid taking sacks. Tennessee’s offense is not very consistent so Houston needs to finish drives to separate themselves on the scoreboard.
1.)The pass rush needs to be effective in this game. If the pass rush gets to Marcus Mariota, he is susceptible to turning the ball over. He can be dangerous with his legs as well so it is very important to get to him in the backfield to avoid allowing him to break loose in the open field.
2.) The front seven needs to match Derrick Henry‘s physicality. Henry is a big, physical running back who will break the spirit of an opposing defense once he gets going. He is not quick or athletic and mainly gets the ball in between the tackles so the defense needs to limit his production in short-yardage situations.
3.) J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney need to hold the edge. Tennessee plays a lot of tight sets out of shot gun which allows them to call quick sweep plays to outside for players like Dion Lewis and Corey Davis. They have some quick weapons that can do damage if their offensive line can seal off the edge.
4.) The linebackers and defensive backs for Houston need to be able to tackle in the open field. Dion Lewis is their shifty running back who can make people miss but also does not go down easy with weak open-field tackling. He broke multiple tackles against Miami and racked up a lot of yards after contact and was a big factor for the Titans’ offense against the Dolphins.
5.) The secondary must take advantage of Mariota’s inaccuracy. Mariota is not a very consistent quarterback, throwing lots of wild passes. The secondary needs to play heads-up-football in order to turn those throws into turnovers.
One thing that Houston can not neglect is the athleticism of Adoree’ Jackson. He is Tennessee’s main punt returner and if Trevor Daniel out-kicks his coverage, Jackson has the ability to turn that into a big play.
Do you have any other suggestions to my method? 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]
Houston Texans: Rob and Brian’s final sign-off from Locked on Texans
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.
Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season
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.
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]
Houston Texans: Identifying the team’s most glaring weaknesses
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!
Houston Texans: Le’Veon Bell and plethora of free agent running backs
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!