Three keys for Texans success against the Eagles.
Oct 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) looks on during a stoppage in play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
“Our fans are unbelievable” – J.J. Watt That they are, and they are ready to cheer on the Texans come Sunday as they face off against quite a number of former Texans who now call Philly their home. The Texans are preparing for a fast paced, high scoring offense that isn’t going to give them a chance to catch their breath. After this the Texans roll into a much needed bye week to rest up for the back end of the season. With the fans in a hopeful mood after the Texans win over Tennessee it’s going to be up to Watt and the rest of the defense to keep the Eagles from running away the game. Here are the three keys to beating the Eagles.
It’s going to be crazy loud in NRG Stadium, the Eagles are going to be playing football at a speed few teams in the NFL ever dare try. Being on the same page is going to be very important. Watt moves around a lot, so the rest of the linemen will have to move fast to stay in position. The Eagles will test the Texans ability to focus under their relentless attack and trying to confuse the defense into making mistakes that Foles can exploit.
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2. The Offense must stay on the field.
The defense is going to need to pull on every reserve they have to finish strong. Long, sustained drives will both keep the score low and the defense off the field. Wednesday saw a number of key Texans on defense resting. Cushing, Clowney, Tarpinian and Reed. All recovering from various injuries and soreness the defense is a bit banged up. Keeping them off the field is a priority. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had this to say when asked about the Eagles defense: “They fly around. There is a lot of balls on the ground. They’re definitely a defense where ball security has to be stressed for us this week.” Three losses in the last four games were lost when the Texans lost the ball. The Eagles will make the Texans pay dearly if they lose focus.
3. Taking advantage of turnovers.
Kareem Jackson was asked why the Texans have been so good at producing turnovers this season. “Just going out and practicing it. Everybody going to the ball. When one guys has him wrapped up, just tugging at the ball trying to get it out.” This practice has paid off on the field to the tune of 12 forced fumbles through 8 games. In 2013 the Texans managed that over the course of the entire season. This is one area that the Texans have been good at, however taking advantage of those turn overs has been paltry at best. Each turn over against the Eagles has to be capped with points scored and lots of time off the clock.
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*Quotes provided courtesy of the Houston Texans PR Department.