March 18, 2018

Texans to Watch: 49ers Edition

The Houston Texans are heading to San Francisco to face the 49ers in a Sunday night showdown and this will mark the end to the toughest stretch in their 2013 schedule.  The Texans are coming off two tough losses and there are questions surrounding the team, and it is for the right reasons.

Which Texans team shows up will be the question and with the up and down performances they have put together the last four weeks, that is the real question for the game.



Texans To Watch



Duane Brown

He is set to make his return on Sunday after missing two games with a turf toe. Brown could come at the right time with as much heat Matt Schaub has been taking inside the pocket. There is no secret why Brown is one of the best left tackles in the game, and getting him back could be another boost to an inconsistent offensive line. If Brown can come back and play, there could be a good chance that Ryan Harris could possibly help fill in for Derek Newton. This offense needs all of their main pieces back and hopefully Brown is healthy enough to not be slowed by his toe.


Matt Schaub

It is no secret, he will be the focal point of the Texans team Sunday night. Schaub has been in the midst of scrutiny for his recent play, mainly on his interceptions at inopportune times. His decision making MUST get better and his confidence better return in a hurry with the stout defense of the 49ers. The offense has shown what they can do when Schaub is dialed in and that was evident in the first half against the Seahawks. Leaving Schaub in the pocket is the key for the offense and creating throws in the middle of the field is where he is good. The offensive staff needs to work to his strengths and after what he did to the #1 defense last week, not all hope is lost.


Texans Front Seven

The 49ers want to run the football and with their physcial offensive line and Frank Gore, it could be a serious match up to watch. Brian Cushing, Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton will be ones to watch because they will have to control the run game in between the tackles. Earl Mitchell, J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith will have a tough task keeping offensive linemen off of the linebackers and holding at the point of attack. The Texans defensive line will have to play sound technique to force the 49ers to take to the air. The 49ers offensive line is as good as it gets in the NFL and their physical style will test the defense. The battle in the trenches could be a deciding factor for the game.


Outside Linebackers

If there is one group that needs to help contain Colin Kaepernick on Sunday, it will fall to Brooks Reed and Whitney Mecilus. Reed and Mercilus had their most productive game together all season and it was the most production for the position group in over a season. Their ability to move the quarterback out of the pocket is key, but they will have to be extra careful not to give Kaepernick too much running room to work. They will have to rush the passer but not be out of control creating creases for Kaepernick to roam and break down the defense.


Gary Kubiak 

How this team performs moving forward depends on how Kubiak gets them ready. Kubiak needs to find that last button to push and that is the one that finishes games. His play calling has become a slight issue and this comes with the bootleg series they want to run with Schaub. Despite it’s success in recent seasons, it has not been as effective in 2012 and 2013. Schaub scares no one with his feet and it is turning into an issue when Schaub gets outside the pocket and can out run no one. Kubiak knows what this team is good at and now it is up to him to find those things and put them to good use. With the talent on the field for the offense, there is little reason not to be able to score for a half and all of overtime. The seat is not hot for Kubiak but the expectations for a big 2013 season tick away with every game and loss. It is time to put his team into position to win and win now.



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

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  1. […] took  a look at our Texans to watch and looked closer at the 49ers in our Know Your opponent segment earlier this […]

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