Let’s just say that Texans fans can expect to see a heavy dose of whizzing balls tossed in his general direction, all over the field and with total disregard to anyone who is attempting to cover him.
Jones leads the NFL in most major receiving categories with 34 receptions for 440 yards and 4 touchdowns through only 3 games in the 2015 season. If the Texan defense wants to have any hope in stopping him, he will be covered by two men all day long.
I would think the strategy in combating his explosiveness would be to put Kareem Jackson up close, with Kevin Johnson trailing behind in double coverage on every snap. This would leave Johnathan Joseph to cover Roddy White, and then Darryl Morris and A.J. Bouye in nickel and dime coverage packages.
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The run defense is not a major concern, even if Dallas was exposed last week. The Texans have been consistently good, and if they can hold Jamaal Charles to a career low yard per carry average, I believe they’ll be just fine against Atlanta’s 2nd year running back Devonta Freeman.
The Falcons may be 3-0, but I believe they are somewhat overrated, as the general media consensus sees Atlanta strolling to an easy victory. This should be a dog fight. Atlanta has faced three NFC East opponents: The Eagles, Giants and Cowboys. The Eagles have looked lost in almost every facet of the game thus far in 2015, the Giants imploded in weeks 1 and 2 making bone-headed mistakes and giving games away (They led Atlanta by 10 points heading into the 4th quarter), and the Cowboys are an injury-ravaged shell of the team they were supposed to be. Fact remains: Atlanta had to come from behind in each of these contests and eventually overcame some weak defensive play by these teams. Don’t expect that status quo to remain in their contest with the Texans on Sunday.
I believe this game will be much closer than people expect, and the Texans may just pull out a statement win. This all rides on who is announced on the injury report prior to the contest. Arian Foster is “day-to-day” according to head coach Bill O’Brien, and will be a game time decision as close as 90 minutes before the action starts.
Ryan Mallett has yet to have the luxury of playing with Arian Foster at his disposal, and I believe this team can do some fantastic things upon his return. Most notably, they will finally be able to run consistently and in turn have success in play action and deeper throws. If this is the case, I fully expect the Texans to pull off a major “upset” and steal a game in Atlanta 27-20.
Even without Foster, Mallett has managed to go 2-2 as the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans. One of those losses was in 2014 and he played with a torn pectoral muscle, so realistically he has had 3 starts at full health and has only lost one to a very solid Carolina team.
Don’t slap the panic button just yet folks, the Texans currently sit atop the AFC South at 1-2 along with every other team in the division. It’s a brand new season, and the team is coming together as a unit not only in health, but with chemistry, at the perfect time.
There is most definitely reason for hope down in Houston for 2015.