Houston Texans: Darren McFadden Enemy #1


Tomorrow at 12 the Houston Texans play the Oakland Raiders in Reliant Stadium. Defensive Coach Wade Phillips has one severe threat on the defensive side of the ball, RB Darren McFadden.  One way of beating him doesn’t even involve our defense…

D-Mac is averaging 117 rushing yards a game, 6.2 yards a carry, and has ran for 3 TD’s. That is pretty good if you ask me, and that is good enough to lead the NFL in rushing at 468 yards. To stop him we are going to need to do several things. 

1. Our Defensive Line Needs to Lock Down

In what I have seen a lot of defensive lines make the mistake of over pursing Darren McFadden. When DT’s get to far up field, that is when the Oakland running back is able to able to make his cuts and use his speed to go up field. DT J.J. Watt and DT Shaun Cody need to stay put and hold their ground in tomorrows game. If they are able to do this, that should allow ILB Demeco Ryans and ILB Brian Cushing to blitz and get McFadden before he gets past his offensive line. Don’t look for our defensive tackles to produce a lot of stats, but they will be an integral part to stopping enemy #1.

2. Protecting the Outside

McFadden is able to get a large majority of his yards on the outside perimeters of his tackles. This is exactly how he ran for a 70 yard touchdown 2 weeks ago against the Jets established defense. So what is the key to stopping this? It starts with our defensive ends and outside line backers. OLB Mario Williams, DE Antonio Smith, OLB Connor Barwin are the key to us winning this game. They need to be able to read whether plays are runs or passes. If they are able to make these reads quick enough, they will need to decide whether to stay home on the tackle, and open opportunities for our MLB’s and secondary, or go in for the sack on QB Jason Cambell.

3. Run the Ball

RB Arian Foster is another key to beating the other RB. It is quiet the simple formula.

Running the ball = less play clock = less time for Oakland to have the ball = less time for Darren McFadden to have the ball

I know, genius right? Surely the Texans know of this formula, if not I should be coaching. Luckily this formula should work. Foster is hungry after missing the first 3 games of the season, and WR Andre Johnson is down, so that means the Texans will surely run the ball without the best WR in the NFL. The more we run, the more likely we win.