AFC South: Chrster Pitts


Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


The situation: The Texans trail just 3-0 and face and third-and-6 from their own 46-yard line with 13:34 on the clock in the second quarter.

Houston lines up three wide receivers, two to the right and Andre Davis, who started for the injured Kevin Walter, to the left. The Jets counter with five defensive backs.

Here’s what I saw unfold after the snap:
  • The cornerback on Davis’ side, Lito Sheppard, lines up nearly 10 yards off. He never really moves forward, only heading to his left as Davis gets open, approaching from well behind the first-down marker.
  • Safety Eric Smith blitzes from the right side, but left tackle Duane Brown gets his hands on linebacker Vernon Gholston and passes him off to left guard Chester Pitts, then Brown is able to turn his attention to Smith and get in the extra rusher’s way.
  • Tight end Owen Daniels is lined up next to Brown at the snap, but doesn’t concern himself with the rush and takes off upfield, heading five yards beyond Davis, turning left and taking safety Kerry Rhodes with him.
  • Schaub takes a three or four step drop, has sufficient room to work and lets go of the ball quickly.
  • Davis runs three hard steps, then turns inside, still angling deeper but facing Schaub at the Jets’ 46- or 47-yard line. He gets his hands up but clearly peeks at linebacker David Harris who is closing on him. The ball goes right through Davis hands and Harris puts his shoulder into Davis’ side, knocking him to the ground.
Result: Failed third down, punt to the Jets who go three-and-out.

Ultimate outcome: The Davis drop illustrates the physical style the Jets brought to Reliant Stadium and the way the Texans failed to match it in an uninspired 24-7 loss to a rookie quarterback (Mark Sanchez) and rookie coach (Rex Ryan).

SPONSORED HEADLINES