There is no way, absolutely no way, the Houston Texans can play football like they have the first three weeks of the season and expect to leave the game with a victory over the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday.
I’m not saying the Texans are an awful team, because they aren’t … far from it, but the Texans have yet to play up to their potential.
I’ll give the Texans the benefit of a doubt … it is just the fourth game of the season, and entering Sunday’s game, they are 2-1. Was there a bit of overreaction this week? Yes and no.
Do I think the Texans need to play with a little more urgency? Yes.
Do I believe the Texans need to make starting lineup changes after three games? No. Talk to me after the next couple games, and my thoughts could change on that topic.
I’m not a huge fan of the two-running back system, but that is the way of the NFL these days, but I would really like to see Arian Foster run the ball more than 12 times this week.
For Foster to do that, the Texans can give up points off turnovers and special teams. Things like that put everyone behind, especially the defense.
Either way, here are my five keys to a potential Texans victory this week against their toughest opponent yet, in the Seahawks.
1. SMT: Stop Making Turnovers
Matt Schaub has to be a better quarterback this week, plain and simple. Teams in the NFL can’t win games when their QB is making turnovers, and the Texans proved that last week.
Let me clarify … teams in the NFL can’t win games when making turnovers against good teams, for example like the Texans did last week against the Ravens. Especially turnovers that turn into touchdowns.
Best case scenario for the Texans … don’t make turnovers against the Seahawks.
2. Arian Foster needs 100 yards rushing in a game
Following three games this season, Foster’s best game rushing is 79 yards on 19 carries in week two. His other two games, he’s rushed for 54 yards and 57 yards on a combined 30 carries in weeks one and three.
So the math says Foster had 190 yards with 49 carries and one touchdown.
Right now, after the first three games, Foster is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, which is under his ypc from any season of his career, including last season at 4.1. Foster averaged 4.9 ypc in 2010.
Does Foster rushing for 100 yards or more in a game equal wins for the Texans? Foster has 23 games in the regular season where he’s rushed for 100 yards or more, and 17 of those times, the Texans have won.
I think it is safe to say if Foster rushes for 100 yards or more, the Texans have a much better chance to win the game.
3. The Texans’ defense needs to keep the team going
Did you realize the Seahawks and Texans are No. 1 and No. 2 in total defense in the NFL this season? The Texans have relied on the defense heavily this season as they’ve allowed just 249 yards of offense per game this season. The Seahawks are allowing just 241.7 ypg this season, the best in the NFL.
The Texans are also No. 2 in passing yards per game allowed at 157.7, and again, the Seahawks are No. 1 at 146.7.
So, it is safe to say the Texans will only go as far as their defense takes them, unless the offense implodes like they did last week.
4. Getting over injuries
The Texans need Andre Johnson to play a full game this week, something he hasn’t done since week one.
Johnson has left the game early the past two weeks with a concussion and shin bruise. The offense won’t function correctly if the No. 1 wide receiver isn’t on the field … bottom line.
5. The status of Duane Brown needs to be active
Offensive line, especially the left tackle spot, needs the actual starter, and the Texans need Duane Brown to play this week.
He’s a very important part of the team, and if he’s on the field, it can only improve the offensive yardage.
Just saying’, the offense played its worst game of the season when Brown wasn’t in the lineup, including Foster and Schaub having their worst games of the season (at least on the stat sheet).
The Texans are a better team with Brown on the field, and that is a fact.