Week 3 is here and we are all ready to watch the Houston Texans battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Texans are still looking for their first win, and Tampa could provide them the opportunity to do just that as they bring in a talented, but young roster.
Below are some of our morning links to get us ready for game day, including a look at what the opponent may be thinking as they prepare to take the field in Houston.
Game against Texans is personal for Bucs safety D.J. Swearinger – by Andrew Astleford, ESPN
"D.J. Swearinger is eager for his chance at redemption against the Houston Texans.“You think about it every day,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety said Wednesday. “You think about the team giving up on you. Whatever the case came down to being, the team still gave up on you after you’ve been there for a couple years.”Swearinger placed a big, bold circle around the date for Sunday’s game in Houston, which will serve as a reunion and an opportunity to show his former team what he can do.“Yeah, I circled it right away,” he said. “As soon as I saw Game 3, people asked me, ‘What game [do] you want?’ All of them really, but especially Game 3. It’s going to be a big game for me. Hopefully, we can get the win.”The Texans drafted Swearinger in the second round, 57th overall, in 2013. Tampa Bay claimed him off waivers on May 12, after Houston waived him a day earlier. He started 22 of 32 games in his time with the Texans, totaling 140 tackles, 10 passes defensed and three interceptions.His time in Houston wasn’t always smooth. He reportedly bristled at the prospect of playing special teams, and he announced his departure from the franchise in an Instagram post before the Texans were ready to make the move official.Looking back, Swearinger said the Texans’ transition from former coaches Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips to Bill O’Brien before the 2014 season contributed to his departure.“Different coaches have their own opinion about players, and he had his own opinion about me,” Swearinger said, referring to O’Brien. “So hopefully, I can just go and help my team get a win.”Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans game preview – Fox SportsJameis Winston showed marked improvement from his NFL debut to Week 2, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in a hostile environment.The challenge appears even greater for Winston on Sunday in Houston against a Texans team motivated to earn its first win and committed to cleaning up the mistakes of a J.J. Watt-led defense.Winston’s first career start could not have gone much worse as he completed 48.5 percent of his passes, threw two interceptions and was sacked four times in producing a 64.0 passer rating in a 42-14 loss to Tennessee. He didn’t let that performance linger, however, completing 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards with a touchdown to help the Buccaneers stun New Orleans 26-19 last Sunday.He also ran for a score and didn’t throw an interception to record a 114.6 rating.“I will never lose confidence. Confidence is who I am,” Winston said. “I’m just pleased with how we played, but my confidence will always remain the same and even get higher if we hopefully get on a streak.”Winston still has plenty to fix – he was sacked three more times, fumbled once and missed some throws – and now he’ll be tested by one of the league’s more intimidating – and determined – defenses.Despite having Watt, a healthy Jadeveon Clowney, five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork and Brian Cushing, the Texans have been vulnerable defensively. They’ve forced just one turnover and have been burned for 32 plays of more than 10 yards – tied for third most in the league.“I think we’re close, but I think it’s easier said than done,” cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. “I think for whatever reason, we have a couple lapses here and there. If you want to be a great and dominant defense, you can’t have those lapses anytime throughout a game.”"
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Houston Texans: What’s the Game Plan for Tampa Bay? – by Luke Easterling, Bleacher Report
"Through two weeks of regular-season play, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more Jekyll-and-Hyde team than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.After an insanely deflating blowout at home to the Tennessee Titans to start the season, the Bucs bounced back with an impressive outing on the road against the New Orleans Saints last week, besting their division rivals 26-19 to move to 1-1 on the year.This week, they head back out on the road to face the 0-2 Houston Texans, a team struggling with injuries and consistency on offense that J.J. Watt and company haven’t been able to overcome.What does Tampa Bay need to do on both sides of the ball to take their 2015 record over .500 this week? Let’s take a look.Offensive Game PlanConsidering the playmakers Houston has in its front seven, one might expect the Bucs to have a tougher time running the ball than attacking through the air, but that may not be the case.Through two games, the Texans rank 26th in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up an average of 134 yards per game on the ground. Against the pass, however, Houston ranks 11th in the league, allowing just over 205 yards per game.Still, despite the low yardage total, Houston’s pass defense hasn’t been terribly opportunistic, managing just one interception while allowing five touchdown passes so far this season.Tampa Bay’s offense was done in by costly turnovers in its Week 1 loss to the Titans, but Jameis Winston and his crew recovered with a fairly mistake-free outing against the Saints last week. They’ll need a similar performance this week against the Texans, where they can eat up small chunks of yardage, eat up the clock by moving the chains methodically and get at least within field-goal range as often as possible.Touchdowns are obviously preferable, but kicker Kyle Brindza’s performance last week was the difference on the scoreboard for the Bucs, as the newcomer nailed four of his five field-goal attempts. Brindza proved his range with a 55-yarder, so as long as the Bucs can get near that range, he should be able to put points on the board."
DeAndre Hopkins continuing with concussion protocol – by Drew Dougherty, HoustonTexans.com
"DeAndre Hopkins practiced on Friday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, but his availability for Sunday is still unknown.The third-year wide receiver was going through the concussion protocol. On Monday, Hopkins had the symptoms of a concussion. He practiced on Wednesday and Thursday but was limited.“He’s got to pass the test before he’s allowed to play,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “He practiced today. He looked alright.”O’Brien acknowledged that Hopkins still had more steps on the concussion protocol before he could cleared for game action."