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Houston Texans: Week 6: A sound game plan to beat the Buffalo Bills

Brandon Gimpel

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The Houston Texans are on the verge of climbing back into the race in the AFC South. What’s the best recipe for this team to beat the Buffalo Bills? Take a look at this ultimate game plan for this Sunday. Do you agree?

The Houston Texans have fought back from an 0-3 start to the season to find themselves with a 2-3 record through five weeks of football. The last two games have been closely contested and both have ended in overtime victories for the Texans.  But there is definitely some things the team needs to improve on.

The Texans have a great opportunity to be at .500 after their game against the Buffalo Bills this weekend which would set them up to be back in contention for the AFC South title which is still very much within reach. To ensure the Texans continue this win streak, I have mapped out a game plan for their Week 6 game against the Bills that would help them add another game to their win column.

Offense

1.) The offense needs to convert in the red zone. The offense had plenty of opportunities last week to put the game out of reach last week against the Cowboys but were unable to get the ball in the end zone, even though they were constantly knocking on the goal line. Bill O’Brien needs to put Deshaun Watson under center in those situations instead of lining him up in a shotgun set when they are inside the five-yard line. He needs to trust his running backs and pound the ball up the middle to give them chance to put points on the board.

2.) Watson needs to avoid getting hit. Watson took a beating against the Cowboys last week and was visibly affected by these hits. He cannot try to be a hero every time he keeps the ball just for an extra yard or two. If this team is going to claw their way back into a position to win the AFC South, he needs to stay healthy and that starts with him protecting his body.

3.) Deshaun needs to attack Buffalo’s secondary. Buffalo does not have a great pass rush which will give Watson a chance to read the defense and fire the ball down field. DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee should be more than capable of getting open and doing damage to the defensive backs.  Coutee is becoming an important weapon for the offense —  he tends to usually be open when Watson is running out of time to throw the ball. Look for him to be extremely involved in the passing game this week.

4.) O’Brien needs to be more unpredictable with his play calling. Whenever the Texans’ offense got into scoring position, it was highly-transparent as to what the play call would be with each down that passed. He needs to switch things up to keep the defense guessing — gettting the running backs involved in the passing game, run play-action and give receivers double-move route concepts.

5.) The offense cannot get conservative if they get a lead in the game. The Bills’ offense is far from deadly but if the Texans’ offense takes their foot off the gas, their opponent will have chances to get back in the game.

Defense

1.) The defense needs to contain LeSean McCoy. McCoy is one the shiftiest players in the league and always has a chance of breaking a run for a big gain. The defense needs to focus on open-field tackling to make sure he doesn’t get loose. He usually lines up in the backfield for first down and second-and-long but does not get many carries in between the tackles. The Bills like to get him in space where he is most dangerous and can make people miss.

2.) The linebackers and secondary need to watch for short passes to the flats. Charles Clay had a few catches last week against the Titans where he was wide open to the flats, which picked up six to eight yards per catch because there was nobody within five yards of him when he would make the catch. Zay Jones also was effective in this game on quick-out routes. Josh Allen is not accurate down field so the Bill’s offense will focus on these short routes to move the ball.

3.) Josh Allen is capable of picking up yards with his legs so the defense should be cautious of him to take off and run if he doesn’t see anything down field. He does not take off that often but he is faster and a lot more mobile than what people think he is. He is not afraid to leave the pocket to extend the play but does not keep his eyes down field well and just tries to avoid getting hit.

The Texans should definitely win this game. This Bills are not a lethal team on either side of the ball and they are undisciplined. They will draw a lot of penalties and will kill their own drives on offense. If Watson and the rest of the offense can avoid silly turnovers and can convert in the red zone, they should be able to beat Buffalo convincingly. The Titans and Jaguars currently lead the AFC South with 3-2 record and both teams have big games coming up. The Titans are hosting the Baltimore Ravens who have one of the best defenses in the league and the Jaguars are headed to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in “Jerry World” without Leonard Fournette as he has been ruled out for this week. The Texans season is far from over and the AFC South is up for grabs.

Let me know how you feel about Week 6’s game plan 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]

 

My name is Brandon Gimpel I’m a student at Florida State University. After I graduate from school, I plan on pursuing a career in sports journalism. When I'm not in Tallahassee for school, I live in south Florida where I grew up. I've played football for 12 years and have coached for 3 years and with my experience around the game, I have some perspective that may differ from other writers. I’m an avid follower of the NFL but I'm also a fan of college football and the NBA. Outside sports I enjoy fishing, going to the gym, and golfing. Follow me on Twitter @BrandonGimpel

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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.

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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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