Good morning once again Texans fans. Once again we get your day started out the right way here with the ‘Morning Huddle.’ Today’s stories include a look at how to fix the issues the defense is facing as well as seeing what the popular video game Madden says will happen when the Houston Texans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday.
Texans’ J.J. Watt dresses up like Batman to surprise kids in hospital – by Tania Ganguli, ESPN
"For an upcoming segment on NBC’s “Weekend TODAY,” a rather famous Houston Texans defensive end got all dressed up.As Batman.Yes, J.J. Watt — who was turned into a comic book character, Megawatt, by one of his sponsors — recently donned a Batman costume to surprise kids at Texas Children’s Hospital this past Tuesday afternoon. Visits to hospitals are standard for Watt on off days, and he usually makes them discreetly.This Tuesday, Watt stopped by Texas Children’s Hospital’s for a Halloween party. He spoke in a husky Batman voice as he shook hands with several adults. He posed with his batwings outstretched. He signed autographs. He participated in party activities: foosball, decorating pumpkins, etc."
Madden Matchup: Texans at Jaguars – by Eric SanInocencio, HoustonTexans.com
"The ‘new’ Madden Curse continues.For the third straight time, Madden 16 predicted a game one way, and in real life it happened the exact opposite. Considering how this week’s simulation went, that’s not a good thing. But, curses are meant to be broken (ask Red Sox fans) and I feel really good that this new ‘curse’ will end on Sunday.Ok, I am biased, but so are you probably. That said, let’s talk virtual football.On the game, the Texans are listed as the better squad. Madden 16 has Houston at a 79 overall, with the Jaguars at a 73.That advantage extends to the actual players on the roster as well. The Texans have the top four rated players appearing in Sunday’s game, and six of the top eight. The Jaguars have only one player rated in the 90s, punter Bryan Anger (90). The Texans top five players are listed below.1. J.J. Watt (99)2. DeAndre Hopkins (93)3. Duane Brown (91)4. Vince Wilfork (91)5. Arian Foster (90)Having Foster back on the actual field is a big boost for Texans, and on Madden that’s apparent too. Foster is the sixth best running back, behind only Marshawn Lynch, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray. The drop off from Foster to backup Alfred Blue is significant, with Blue checking in at a 76 overall. However, Blue’s ranking would be tied for the highest in Jacksonville, as that 76 is equal to rookie T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon, a second-round pick in this year’s draft, is questionable as of right now for Sunday’s game.The Jaguars have an advantage at the quarterback position, with second-year man Blake Bortles topping all signal callers in Sunday’s game with a 79 mark. Madden 16 considers Bortles quite agile, giving him a 79 in that category. Brian Hoyer, who will start for the Texans, has a 74 rating.Madden Matchup: Texans 41, Jaguars 9"
After Further Review: Why Texans’ defense is struggling and how to fix it – by Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
"How can a defense with the best defensive player in the league look so bad?That’s a question many are asking this week about the Houston Texans. Even with J.J. Watt, the game’s best defensive player, plus six other first-round picks on the unit, the Texans are struggling.This was a team that many predicted could be downright dominant on defense in 2015, yet they enter Week Six ranked 24th in scoring defense and 28th in sacks per pass play.When the Texans signed veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork this spring, adding him to a front with Watt and pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who was coming off a major knee injury, the thinking was the Texans would be scary good up front.They have six sacks as a team. Six. They’ve had little or no pass rush, even with Watt getting four sacks. Teams are doubling and tripling Watt, and others aren’t winning. But even he’s been handled when single-blocked at times.A lack of pass rush has made a takeaway-happy team from 2014 into one that can’t take the ball away. The Texans had 34 takeaways in 2014, best in the league. In 2015, they have two, the worst in the league.There are other issues. Among them:They are giving up the big play. The Texans have given up 16 pass plays of 20 yards or more — tied for 11th in the league — and four of 40 yards or more, which is tied for ninth in the league. I will show some of the reasons why here later in this breakdown. The coverage has had issues at times, in part because the pass rush isn’t there.The run defense has been just OK. They are 22nd in the league in total rush defense, but 11th in yards per rush. One of the big problems — and he is indeed big — has been Wilfork. He just hasn’t been that good. Centers are turning him at the point, which is never a good thing. I will show some of those plays here as well. Linebacker Brian Cushing has been just OK as well. And his calling card is his run defense.The sacks just aren’t coming and the pressure isn’t great. The Texans had 38 sacks last season. They have the six this season. With Watt getting so much attention, that’s a major problem for this defense. Clowney doesn’t have a sack yet, but he’s getting close. His rush is coming as his play is improving on a weekly basis. You can see his confidence in his surgically repaired knee growing each week. He’s really played well against the run, one of the few on the defense, besides Watt, who has.Let’s start with a look at the lack of sack production as the first of the Texans issues. After all, it’s a passing league and if you can’t influence the quarterback consistently, you can’t win. They are getting the quarterback down an average 1.2 times per game. That’s problematic.From studying the tapes, teams are getting the ball out quickly against them and Watt is getting a lot of extra attention, sometimes even more so than usual. That should create one-on-one situations elsewhere, but when that happens guys aren’t winning. Watt has also been blocked some in those one-on-one battles.Here’s a look an incomplete pass by the Colts, but I wanted to show just what Watt is dealing with and why it’s strange that the Texans are using so many three-man rushers like on this play.On the play, Watt was lined up on the left side, but you can see that the Colts weren’t going to let him win. They chipped him with tight end Dwayne Allen, who actually knocked him down. Watt got up and had guard Hugh Thornton and tackle Joe Reitz both waiting there for him. Jared Crick was being doubled inside of him and Whitney Mercilus was getting handled pretty much by Anthony Castonzo."
The DeepSlant Week In Review – by Deepi Sidhu, HoustonTexans.com
"It’s been a long eight days since the last time the Texans played. Ten LONG days until they hit the field again after a loss. But we aren’t going to dwell on that. It’s all about cheering everyone up for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.You know what makes people happy?Superheroes.J.J. Watt surprised a group of kids this week at Texas Children’s Hospital. The whole thing airs on Sunday’s Today show on NBCPuppies.This week on Texans Late Night, we played “Pup Quiz” which may or may not have been borrowed from a more big-budget late night show on network television.Even big, tough left tackle Duane Brown was reduced to mush holding these adorable pups (available for adoption through the Houston SPCA).We also have babies.Kareem Jackson became a dad this week. His baby girl, Kaylen Daisy, has already gotten her first pair of fancy shoes before he came home. Remember “Hard Knocks?” and the shopping scene with Johnathan Joseph?"