Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (6) under center Ben Jones (60) during game against the New York Jets at NRG Stadium. Houston won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Yates Must Be an Expert Clock Manager
One of the most important pieces to field-position battles like this will probably be is clock management. That means controlling the time-of-possession, as well as knowing how to manage time as the clock winds down at the end of the half and game.
Often a game with two struggling offenses means each offense is simply trying not to lose the game in the first 55 minutes, only to take the risks necessary to win in the final 5. That means Yates must hold on to the ball and control the clock for the entire game, and then know how to manage a late-game drive to win it.
This could be tough for a quarterback with limited experience in T.J. Yates, but I have to expect this is one of the things the coaching staff will be harping on this week in practice. We all know what amazing talents Houston has on the defensive side of the ball, and if Yates can give them rest by not turning the ball over and controlling the clock, then those defenders may get a chance to make some big plays.
At the end of the day, I expect this game not to be decided by which team makes the most spectacular plays, but by which team makes the fewest mistakes. Yates doesn’t have to do anything amazing to come out with a victory, he just needs to keep from beating himself.