March 19, 2018

Woodshed Edition: Texans vs. Vikings

It is hard to even put a description on what happened at Reliant on Sunday, but the Houston Texans were beat by the Minnesota Vikings 23-6. This loss prevented the Texans from having home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first round bye at this moment. To make matters worse, the offense looked the worst it has all season.  It was the first time they did not score an offensive touchdown since 2006.

There are some growing issues for the Texans and for being 12-3 it feels like the sky is falling in Houston. The Texans have one game to right the ship and get home field advantage for the entire playoffs, and despite a bad taste being left in the mouths of Texans fans everywhere, it can still happen with a win versus the Indianapolis Colts.



The Rundown


On the Bright Side

  1. J.J. Watt showed some life despite being held in check the majority of the first half. He notched a sack of Christian Ponder to give him 20.5 on the season and move closer to Michael Strahan’s single season sack record. He forced a fumble that looked like it could turn the momentum to the Texans’ side, but it was all for not.
  2. Brooks Reed made a world of difference on the defense for the Texans in the first half but was out the entire second half with his groin issue. He was all over the field and set the edge plus showed a little pass rush when needed. The Texans need to concentrate on getting Reed healthy for the playoffs because he is a bigger piece of the defense than most realize.
  3. Glover Quin also came to play and was a tackling machine and had seven tackles in the first half. Quin is making a case for the Texans to try and offer him a good deal to stay in Houston with his upcoming free agent summer coming. Quin has been pulling double duty playing big inside the box despite being one of the smaller safeties in the game.
  4. The Texans held Adrian Peterson to only 86 yards rushing and gang tackled him the entire day, which was a big deal coming into the game, the rush defense. This shows the run defense can get serious when they want and should be considered a big plus with their ability to control the best runningback in the league.
  5. Andre Johnson seems like the only form of offense for the Texans the past few weeks and he had 7 catches for 97 yards. He has been the Texans best offensive threat this season and seems to finally be where the Texans want him, the go to guy.


On the Darkside

  1. The offensive line has become a huge issue moving forward and there is not one of the lineman that anyone can say is playing well. Duane Brown, the leader of the offensive line, had his first holding call in four years and even had some issues with a false start and mental mistakes. Wade Smith and Chris Myers struggled at the point of attack on the run and were pushed into the backfield with ease. Throw in an inconsistent Ben Jones and a coin flip at right tackle with Derek Newton and Ryan Harris, the offensive line is making life tough for the offense…
  2. Throw in a tunneled vision Matt Schaub, he looked as bad as we can remember against the Vikings. With little confidence and tunnel vision in the passing game locked on to Andre Johnson, Schaub’s play was hard to watch. He was throwing into double and triple coverage on multiple occasions, and was hanging receivers out to dry with inconsistent passes.
  3. I know it is a “minor” issue according to the Texans, but Arian Foster’s irregular heartbeat is nothing to mess with. He was pulled going into the second half, which should have been the decision. Can’t put players’ well being in jeopardy for a game.
  4. There has been a reoccurring theme of the Texans being outplayed and outcoached this past month, and today was a bad sign. The Texans came out flat with no emotion and there was nothing the coaches could do to save the sinking ship. Call it what you want, but this is a group and organizational issue. Everyone is responsible, but the Texans are close to missing out on a golden opportunity that teams would want. Home field advantage does not come often for NFL teams, and it is still there for the taking. Let’s hope Gary Kubiak can push the right buttons moving forward and make this season, which has been the best in franchise history, even better.



You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


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