The Texans beat down the Titans from the first series of the game, never giving up their lead and winning 38-14. Obviously after a win its easy to find positives but its also nice when you can have a lot of negative things to say after a 24-point victory.
We’ll start with the positive, which on the defensive side of the ball was very apparent.
Front Seven (The Unstoppable J.J. Watt)
J.J. Watt is unstoppable. After today’s game he is the NFL’s sack leader with 7.5. To put that in perspective, Mario Williams only had 5 sacks through four games in his best season, 2010. If he continues on this pace he will destroy the sack record and set the new record at 30. Oh, and he’s doing all this as a 3-4 defensive end. This is unheard of and a true gift to watch as a football fan.
Moving past that moment of love for J.J. the rest of the seven was underwhelming. Antonio Smith had another sack which was impressive, but they allowed a running back who hadn’t rushed for more than 24 yards in a game this season, rush for 141 yards today. That was with the Titans trailing throughout the entire game.
It looked like the Titans line was opening holes that you could drive a truck through and Chris Johnson is significantly smaller than a truck. There were several situations in which the camera man had a wide angle shot and still couldn’t find a Texan in frame. The Titans are a significantly scarier team with Chris Johnson playing well. We may have just poked a sleeping monster.
The Secondary certainly picked up the slack today. You never root for your opponent to get injured but when Glover Quin laid the wood on Jake Locker in the first quarter knocking him out for the rest of the game, I’m not ashamed to admit I was excited. Not that Locker was injured but that Phillips was bringing exotic blitz packages and that they were working.
Locker’s day ended and Matt Hasselbeck probably wishes that his never started. He threw two picks that were returned for a touchdown, one by Danieal Manning and the other by Kareem Jackson, both of which were there first career pick-sixes.
Even if you don’t look at the touchdown that Jackson had he continues to improve every week. He showed that he can be trusted one on one in deep pass situations as he was tested and got his head turned around and deflected it at the last second.
Between Quin getting the sack, Jackson and Manning’s pick-sixes, and the fact that Johnathan Joseph held Nate Washington to three catches for 43 yards, the secondary was the biggest bright spot for the team today.
I was wrong. Trindon Holliday didn’t end his scoreless streak this week but he continued to show patience which is a reassuring thing to see. Normally when someone has experienced such success in the past they try too hard to mimic that success when it’s not there, and end up making mistakes.
Holliday, on the other hand, spends the first second or so of every return standing still and looking ahead to try to find his lane. He then turns on the burners and tries to plow through but he just hasn’t had the same success in the regular season for whatever reason.
Shayne Graham continued his resurgence this year as he was 1/1 on field goals and 5/5 on extra points. While many were excited to see Randy Bullock when the Texans drafted him, every fan would prefer to see a kicker that can make kicks consistently to someone that has upside. We continue to wish Randy Bullock a speedy recovery, but are content with our current kicking situation.