Monday, November 25, 2013
Upon Further Review: Texans Week 12
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- Analyzing four hot issues from the Houston Texans' 13-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars:
Revisiting the defense: In my rapid reaction last night, I talked about the defense having issues as well as the offense. Truthfully, holding the Jaguars to 13 points should have been enough for a win. The Texans allowed only one touchdown and held firm in the red zone once. J.J. Watt had another good game with one sack and one blocked field goal. But the Jaguars did significantly outperform their season average for yards, gaining 333 on Sunday, and were right about at their season average for points per game (12.9). The real story, though, was about the Texans' offensive ineptitude.
Tate ineffective: The Houston Chronicle dug up the statistic that Ben Tate became the first running back in the league this year to have only 1 yard rushing on seven or more carries. "We had planned on playing [running back Dennis Johnson] some, but when he went in he just looked so good running the ball so we played him a little bit more," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. Johnson finished the game with 74 of the Texans' 77 rushing yards. It was a good day for Johnson, but against a team that allows an average of 133.5 rushing yards per game, the third most in the NFL, that doesn't say much.
Not much blitzing: We've talked a lot about quarterback Case Keenum's inability to understand blitzes, but the Jaguars didn't do much blitzing at all. They sent five or more rushers on only eight dropbacks. Keenum completed 4 of 7 passes and was sacked once. They sent four or fewer rushers on 28 dropbacks. Keenum completed 14-of-26 on those with one interception and one sack. I'll write a little more about this later after reviewing each of Keenum's sacks this season. There are times when Keenum needs to be more aware of the right thing to do, and there are other times when the scheme could be more helpful.
Hopkins regression: Rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins was targeted five times and caught one pass for 8 yards. From afar it seems hard to blame the receivers for a lot of what was wrong with the offense because a lot of Keenum's throws were off target. (The interception, though, wasn't Keenum's fault, as it bounced off Keshawn Martin before it was intercepted.) Kubiak referred to a fourth-quarter pass to Hopkins as one of the plays the Texans "have to" make. Keenum went deep to Hopkins. "It was a pretty tough ball," Hopkins said. "I tried to keep my feet in bounds and it glazed my fingertips. I don’t know. Maybe if I was 6-4, I would have caught it."