Aug 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) warms up before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
When the Houston Texans host the Washington Redskins Sunday to kick off the 2014 season, fans are going to be watching to see if the Texans $100 million dollar man in action. With a new look defense, a new focus on the linemen eating up blockers to free the linebackers, will J.J. Watt be leashed or is Crennel smart enough to make use of Watt’s incredible talents. Since we saw very little of either Watt or new linebacker Jadeveon Clowney fans are eager. The Redskins less so I’d imagine. In 2012 Watt really upped the ante on what a defense lineman could do. In 2013 teams figured out that putting all focus on Watt was enough to contain the mayhem he wrought while the rest of the team was incapable of taking advantage of the situation. While Wade Phillips and Romeo Crennel differ in how they approach the game defensively, Crennel has the advantage in that he knows what he is getting with Watt.
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With the return of Brian Cushing, the addition of Clowney the Texans have three threats to make teams worry. New nose tackle, beefy Jerrell Powe, will help the Redskins from piling on Watt. If Crennel can get the defense to work to take advantage of Watt is doing instead of just watching him go and hoping someone gets lucky, the Texans defense front will be one of the best units in the NFL. The big thing to watch for, is not when Clowney and Watt line up on the same side though that should bring a lot of fun to the game. Rather watch how the Redskins handle Watt to the left, Clowney to the right. No one’s faced the new Texans defense with all the pieces in place in a game, and if the Redskins can keep RGIII safe, watch for other teams to try and mimic any success they have.
The questions the Redskins have to ask themselves is “Where is the weak spot”. The obvious answer would be to run towards Jared Crick and Brooks Reed. However Romeo Crennel has made it clear he’s going to shift the Watt, and thus the line wherever the advantageous match up presents itself. I expect to see more Clowney and Crick, Watt and Reed line ups then Reed and Crick. RGIII is going to get sacked, there is too much talent on the Texans side for that not to happen. The real show is how do you hold up the Texans front long enough to get the receivers open. Can the Redskins contain J. J. Watt? Can they contain the rest of the team while doing so?
Texans over the Redskins 24-17
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