With a loss to the Minnesota Vikings the San Francisco 49ers are sure to fall from the top spot in the power rankings and the Houston Texans proved today that they should be the team that takes it.
J.J. Watt continued to be better than anyone could possibly expect him to be as he racked up 2.5 sacks this week. Watt is now definitely in the conversation as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, and could be creeping into unbelievably early Defensive Player of the Year conversations.
While it is unlikely that he continues this success throughout the entire season, by double teaming Watt it just leaves one-on-one’s for the likes of Antonio Smith, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed and Brian Cushing. The Texans need to win this season because the skill they have is inevitably going to be broken up because it is economically impossible to keep that much skill intact on a single team in a salary cap sport.
If teams don’t begin to key on Watt he will continue to give offensive lineman, quarterbacks and coordinators nightmares.
The Secondary looked good. Not great, but good. They gave up a bunch of yards to Peyton Manning, however a majority of that was due to a poor pass rush and Manning having way too long to find his receivers.
Johnathan Joseph was called on an extremely questionable pass interference call on a third down, and Kareem Jackson had a blatantly wrong pass interference called on him in the fourth quarter to keep a touchdown drive alive on 3rd down in the endzone.
The defense had at least three interceptions in their hands only to drop them at the last second and the only turnover they forced was on the final play of regulation.
Trindon Holliday was unimpressive this week after a good bounce back last week. I blame a majority of his lack of success on unrealistic goals set by the media for the season based on statistics put forth in the preseason against backup players on special teams.
In order for the Texans to win tight games Trindon Holliday doesn’t need to score on returns, he simply needs to not create turnovers. Today there was a brief scare when a Broncos player hit Holliday before he had the chance to return or make a fair catch and the ball was taken to the house by Denver. The play resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the Denver player and as it turned out the ball never ended up touching Holliday even if the hit had been legal so it didn’t matter much but it was still a sight no fan wants to see based on previous bad experiences.
The coverage team was great this week and have done their best to show that the punt return for touchdown that they allowed against Miami was a flash in the plan.
If the Texans continue to play good defense, refrain from making mistakes on special teams and can run the ball successfully while minimizing turnovers there isn’t a team in the NFL that can stand with the Texans.