March 24, 2018

Monday Round Up: Texans vs. Falcons


The Houston Texans pulled out a team victory on Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons and put themselves one game closer to their playoff dreams. This game was the epitome of a slugfest where both teams refused to give the other team the upper hand. It was so evenly matched both teams had exactly 337 yards of total offense, but the Texans edged the Falcons by the score of 17-10.


There was many questions marks on what direction the Texans would be heading into on Sunday, but the team answered critics with their most impressive victory of the 2011 season. Hats must go off to the complete roster of the Houston Texans and this could possibly be one of the top wins in franchise history. With their 9th win of the season the Texans have tied the franchise high and look to add to the win column in the coming weeks.


Here are some thoughts on the game.


1. Andre Johnson looked good to start the game, but had two big drops that T.J. Yates put in his hands. Johnson finished the game with 4 catches for 97 yards, but ended up hurting his left hamstring that put 72,000 plus fans in a dead silence. Early words are that it is not as bad as his right hamstring that he injured early in the season, but concern for his health is there. He is scheduled for an MRI early Monday morning and Texans fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that the news is good. One positive is that the Texans have proved they can win without Johnson and it looks like they might be faced with that task again.


To make matters worse it looks like the Texans will have to be on the market for a punter, with rookie punter Brett Hartmann suffering what seems to be a season ending knee injury late in the 4th quarter. Initial thoughts were that he got hit but it seems like in was a non-contact injury. Expect a veteran punter to come take his place and with ex-Houston Texans punter Matt Turk on the market, it might not be far-fetched if he shows back up in town.


2. The Atlanta Falcons brought into Reliant the number 2 rush defense in the NFL. The end result was the Texans offense rushing for 162 yards and those were not easy yards either. Arian Foster and Ben Tate worked hard for their yards and the long rush for the Texans was 18 yards, but their ability to grind out yards on the ground opened the pass game for rookie T.J. Yates. The drive to seal the game was a 19 play drive that covered 82 yards and Foster one yard touchdown run. Gary Kubiak’s decision to go for it on 4 and 1 from the 9 yard line might have been the biggest play of the game for the Texans.


3. The Texans secondary played solid against one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the NFL in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. Yes there were some drops by the Falcons which proved costly, the three of them accounted for 12 catches 162 yards and a touchdown. The biggest key was the Texans secondary to cut out the big play potential the Falcons pose. Throw in interceptions by Kareem Jackson and Jason Allen, the secondary gets a tip of the cap.


4. The Texans front seven harassed the Falcons running game all day and held the dangerous Michael Turner to 44 yards rushing on the ground and he averaged 3.1 yards a rush. The Texans swarming defense made life tough for the running attack.


Even though Matt Ryan was not sacked all day, the Texans front seven was all over Ryan and had him on the run. The pass rush was moving Ryan off his spot all day and caused happy feet for him in the pocket. Even without a sack the Texans put some good licks on Ryan and made him uncomfortable most of the game.


5. Speaking of scared but the Texans collective hearts were in their throats when Brian Cushing went down with a knee injury in the second quarter. Cushing’s knee buckled trying to tackle Tony Gonzales and had trouble getting up. His knee was tested and he went to the locker room for X-rays, Cushing himself said he was scared of what the results might be. Luckily for the defense and the team Cushing came back out the second half and finished the game with 7 tackles. After the game Cushing seemed in good spirits and his knee didn’t seem an issue.


6. Can’t say enough about T.J. Yates and what he did for this team on Sunday. Yates has a strong-arm and showed he has some mobility in and out of the pocket. He played smart but aggressive and made some big throws when needed. Yates finished the day going 12/25 for 188 yards and a touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen that got the fans believing in what Yates can do in this offense. It was a great way to start his NFL career, but let some more games play out before we anoint him the “chosen one”. Yates managed the game, but he did show flashes of taking the game on his shoulders, and most importantly got the win in his first career start.


7. The time of possession battle was won by the Texans 35:04 to the Falcons 24:56. This caused the Falcons to get out of their comfort zone and take to the air and all but abandon their running game. This has been the formula for success for the Texans all season long and even with all the adversity the team is still able to make their game plan work week to week.


8. One big topic after the game was the playing condition of the field, and it seems to raise the question is it contributing to the injuries happening at Relaint. Players were complaining about slipping and Joel Dreessen even said after the game that the field was in terrible shape after the second half. We have no clue about the conditions of the field, but if players are starting to raise questions about the playing surface it may be time to look into it.


9. Enough can’t be said about the Houston Texans coaching staff, so much that Gary Kubiak gave two game balls after the game to coaches not players. Rick Dennison (offensive coordinator) and Greg Knapp (quarterback coach) were given the game balls for Sunday’s win. Kubiak said he didn’t think those two slept all week and it showed against the Falcons. This is easily the best coaching staff the Texans have assembled, and let’s hope they can stay intact for years to come.


10. The fans at Reliant were a big part of the outcome of the game don’t believe it, just listen to the players.


DuaneBrown76Duane Brown

And Shoutout to the fans! Reliant was the loudest I’ve EVER heard it. H-Town we appreciate the support!
JJWatt JJ Watt

1-0. Shout-out to all of the fans, Reliant was unbelievably loud today. We appreciate you! #BullsOnParade
TJ_YatesT.J. Yates

Great team win today, Reliant was rockin! Thank you to all the fans for all the support!!
DRyans59 DeMeco Ryans
S/O to our great fans!! Reliant has never rocked like that before! Keep it up. #HomefieldAdvantage
Smitty74alldayWade Smith

Today was the LOUDEST I’ve ever heard a stadium be in my 9 years in the NFL: Major props 2 the #TexansFans today that had #Reliant ROCKING!!
Brooksreed42Brooks Reed

@ChuckyT12: @Brooksreed42”  you all really helped the #Texans today! The loudest I’ve ever heard!
briancushing56Brian Cushing

Couldn’t be more proud to be a Texan. Reliant was insane today!! 6 wins in a row and were still under dogs? Haha we’ll take it
3 Responses to “Monday Round Up: Texans vs. Falcons”
  1. Wow giving Kubs credit, has it come to that?

  2. Just kidding, I think having him give his endorsement of TJ on Saturday night was as much mental coaching of the team as it was a statement of how he feels about Yates’ ablity

  3. PDS says:

    Yates is hand picked by Gary. Not bad for being only 2 offensive rookies taken in the 2011 draft.

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