There are always things to learn from each NFL game. Here are the lessons from the week four victory over the Titans:
1. The run defense is an issue…but not as much as we may have thought
Previously it was all doom and gloom about the Texans run defense. But Brian Cushing returned to the field and it helped the run defense drastically. The Titans power run game was limited to just 3.9 yards per carry. While DeMarco Murray found the end zone twice and ran for 95 yards, it took him 25 carries to do so.
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However, if the health of Cushing is the central facet in maintaining a functioning run defense, that does not bode well. Cushing has a long injury history, and without Watt out that will only add insult to injury (no pun intended).
2. Brock Osweiler is going to be a roller coaster…
…but with higher highs and higher lows than what happened with Brian Hoyer. In the first quarter Osweiler was on point, throwing for two touchdowns. Later in the game he ended up throwing two interceptions (one of which was not his fault).
So far Osweiler has played alright at home, but in his lone road game he did not look good at all against the Patriots. Things will not get any easier as they head to Minnesota in week five.
3. DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t need to dominate to win
Last year Hopkins was the entirety of the Texans offense. This year, Will Fuller has taken much of the burden away from Hopkins and is putting up bigger numbers. On Sunday, Hopkins didn’t get a catch until the fourth quarter. His lone catch was good for four yards.
Now if there can continue to be production from the tight ends, then it will give opposing defenses more to worry about which should succeed in taking coverage away from Hopkins and allow him to have more opportunities. But they don’t have to force the ball into Hopkins like they did last season.