Eli Manning poses different challenge


Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown a league-high four interceptions in this year's first two games, and his total QBR has been a middling 59.9, ranking 14th in the NFL.

The Texans, though, know that a veteran quarterback, especially one who's had the success Manning has in his career, can't be overlooked because of his early statistics.

"I’ve been watching him for a long time," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "I’ve got a great deal of respect for him. Accurate passer, very smart guy, knows his system; he’s been doing this for a long time. He’s a championship quarterback, obviously, which says a lot. Playing quarterback in this league at the end of the day is about winning, and he’s a winning quarterback. A very difficult guy to go against because he understands what he sees pre-snap and post-snap and he’s got a plan for it, so it’s a big challenge for our defense."

Houston faced a rookie with only one game of experience last week in Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The Texans talked a lot about showing him looks defensively that he hadn't seen before. Carr was particularly bad against extra pressure. His total QBR this season is a measly 4.2 against five or more rushers with a passer rating of 45.2.

Manning's passer rating against five or more rushers has been 104.2 and his total QBR has been 55.5. He's thrown three touchdowns and only one interceptions on such plays.

"He’s seen a lot more," Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing said. "You’re not going to fool him too many by showing him looks he hasn’t seen before. He’s played a lot of football and gotten a lot of different looks. Nothing that we’re going to do is really going to surprise him. At the end you just have to play hard and on top of it and just try to force him into some bad situations."