The Houston Texans are feeling pressure for the first time this season. With a loss to the New England Patriots last week, the Texans are now losing wiggle room to clinch the AFC South as well as a first round bye. In order for them to bounce for last Sunday’s debacle, Quarterback Matt Schaub will have to utilize all of his weapons. That means looking for receivers not named Andre Johnson.
The Colts pass defense started off the season as a dominant force. However, over the course of a season featuring a Head Coach fighting cancer, injuries stacking, and lack of execution from time to time, their ranking has slipped to 20th in the league. While the Texans are going to focus on Johnson on the outside, the Colts have been one of the better teams containing the tight end position. This can be contributed to switching to a 3-4 defense which allows for more athletic players over the middle. However, tight ends have also become more athletic.
The tight end role has evolved from its traditional role of run blocking and passes over the middle, to a more physical athlete that can make plays all over the field. The Texans have one such player in Owen Daniels. Daniels is a player who is placed all over the field in the Texans offense, which has led him to be one of the better receivers on the team, with 52 receptions on 85 targets this season. The Colts currently rank 5th against the tight end position, which will make Sunday more difficult, but not impossible. Daniels has been seen all over the field in the past few seasons, so creating mismatches are key as Schaub has lacked talent from the wide of position for some time. If the Texans hope to be successful this Sunday, they need Daniels and his doppelganger Garrett Graham to gash the Colts defense.
– Antonio Furgiuele