Offenses steering left with runs vs. Texans

October, 1, 2009
10/01/09
1:37
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


Everyone connected to the Houston defense needs to raise his hand when it comes to assessing blame for the team’s miserable run defense so far.

Back in Week 2 after a huge tackle of Chris Johnson by Mario Williams, I thought perhaps things had begun to turn. Nope.

My new best friend, Marty Callinan of ESPN Stats and Information, gave me this breakdown or where teams are attacking, and not attacking, the Texans on the ground.

Mario Williams is moved around and plays on both sides, but he starts out on the right and it seems they try to keep him on the weakside. I just re-watched the Jaguars’ first series against the Texans and of his seven snaps I saw him on the right for six. The general rule is he is on the right in the base on run downs, then flips left to rush the passer.

Amobi Okoye lines up at tackle on the right, next to Williams on a lot of run downs.

And it seems to be where offenses feel like they can control people and find run yards.

Opponents have done much more damage against the Texans running anywhere from the left sideline to the right guard, while doing much less from the right tackle to the right sideline.
Texans rush defense by direction, 2009
RG -- left sideline RT -- right sideline
Att-yds73-52320-93
Avg.7.24.7
Long91 39
Rush TD61

Take note in the Oakland game Sunday: are the Raiders sending Darren McFadden and Michael Bush more to the left and a lot less to the outside on the right? Do the Texans look to do anything to bandage what’s become the weaker side of their run defense?

And what does this tell us about the run play of left end Antonio Smith?

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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