March 22, 2018

The POGs: Titans Edition

RELIANT STADIUM – The Texans continued their early 2012 success by toppling the Titans 38-14 at Reliant Stadium on sunday.  The Texans have proven they can throttle lesser opponents and have led by 20+ points going into the fourth quarter in every contest so far this year.  This is unchartered territory for the Texans’ organization and the fans.  Some fans are waiting for the wheels to come off, but the reality of being 4-0 at this point means that if the Texans go 6-6 throughout the remainder of the season, they finish 10-6 and most likely make the playoffs again.  Of course, that’s a worse case hypothetical scenario and meant to simply illustrate the significance of being 4-0.

After the game, the man who brought football back to Houston weighed in on his 4-0 feelings, “It’s great, but that’s one fourth of the season.  It’s really the right way to start it.  You couldn’t be any better.  We still have a long way to go, but the team’s playing great and I’m really proud of them,” said Bob McNair.

The reality is the Texans have not peaked – they haven’t put together the complete game yet, and that’s a good thing.


Offensive Player of the Game

In our Texans to Watch:  Tennessee Edition, we highlighted the tight ends as possible players to watch over the middle and down the seam because the Titans’ safeties play very deep.  The Titans did not disappoint and gave up big plays to Owen Daniels and James Casey.  Daniels led the team with 6 receptions, 72 yards and 1 touchdown, while James Casey wasn’t far behind with 5 receptions, 36 yards and 1 touchdown.  For taking advantage of the Titans’ defense, Owen Daniels is this week’s Offensive Player of the Game.

“When Owen (Daniels) starts playing well, they start giving him attention.  You can’t cover everybody,” said James Casey.

When asked about his touchdown reception, tight end Owen Daniels said, “I think everyone tried to tackle me twice.  I got through all of them.  Matt Schaub did a great job of obviously reading the defense and getting the ball to me.  I made the catch.  I was able to shed the defender and find my way in the end zone.  I was determined to get in there.”  And, give credit to Matt Schaub for dissecting the opponents.  He is making his reads look effortless and the game plans are working.  Each and every week presents new challenges and so far the Texans’ offense has answered.


Defensive Player of the Game

In our Texans to Watch:  Tennessee Edition, we highlighted the defensive backfield as players to watch.  We also referred to the Wade Phillips’ formula for success, which was to maximize pressure on the quarterback.  The Titans allowed a season high 4 sacks and multiple quarterback hurries, which resulted in two pick sixes – one by Daniel Manning and the other by Kareem Jackson.  Glover Quin also had success finishing with 6 tackles and one crucial sack that knocked starting quarterback Jake Locker out of the game.

The Texans’ safeties are arguably the best duo in the league.  After the game, All Pro cornerback Johnathan Joseph praised Manning and Quin’s play, “You feel comfortable because they have the range to get over top of you and help.  At the same time, they help stack the box against the run as well.”  Manning came into the league as a cornerback for the Chicago Bears and Glover Quin has been a cornerback as recent as 2010.

Although J.J. Watt dominated once again this week by finishing with 2 more sacks and 5 tackles, it was Daniel Manning’s interception return for a touchdown that makes him this week’s Offensive Player of the Game.  With the game tied 14-7 in the 3rd quarter, Manning returned a deflected ball 55 yards for a touchdown.  It was this play that opened the flood gates and propelled the Texans to a dominating victory.

Defensive end Antoine Smith, who had a sack which caused a fumble, described it best when asked about the play of the defense, “It was beautiful man.  We came out hot and excited.  Everybody was excited.  To have everybody on the highlight film, that is when you know you have a great defense.”


Special Teams Player of the Game

The Titans came into this game as one of the best punt (2nd) and kickoff return (4th) teams in the league.  The Texans’ return coverage team ended those rankings led by this week’s Special Teams Player of the Game, Bryan Braman.  He led the team with three special teams tackles, all inside the 20 yard line.

“That was the key to the game, in my opinion,” Kubiak said.  “They had 13 possessions, 8 of them started inside their 20.  I thought it was our best outing from a special teams standpoint with the whole group and how we played.”

Texans’ punter Donnie Jones gets honorable mention for averaging 43.2 yards per punt with a 41.7 net average.  Four of his six punts were downed inside the 20 yard line.

“We’ve got 12 more games to play.  I’m happy with the 4-0, but we’ve got a game in New York next (Monday Night Football).  We’ve got to be ready to go up there and play well.  Any one of these teams can beat us and we know that.  We just have to keep working hard,” said owner/CEO Bob McNair.


Next stop, a prime time matchup on a prime time stage versus the New York Jets – Texans’ fans have never wanted a Monday to come quicker.



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