Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings: Houston, We Have A Problem!
The only real mystery is why it took the Titans a whole quarter to figure out that pressure is all it takes to overwhelm Osweiler and his line. The Kansas City and New England games made that obvious. Apparently the Titans didn’t watch the tapes. The Vikings have.
The real problem against the Vikings is that the Texans don’t control which team shows up, the first quarter Texans or the Texans that finished the game. That’s all up to the Vikings. Turn up the heat and shut down Houston. “Clean pocket” Osweiler is franchise material. Harassed Osweiler…not so much.
For poor and average teams to turn up the heat they have to blitz, committing five and six defenders or more to the pass rush. Their then undermanned second and third defensive levels defense can be exploited by franchise quarterbacks.
A Houston team with many explosive players should thrive against blitz generated pressure with what Bill O’Brien calls “chunk plays”.
Against average opponents these big plays can produce enough points for the Texans to ride their solid defense to victory. However, elite teams don’t go “all in” to create pressure.
Their players are skilled enough and their systems sound enough that chunk plays are hard to come by . Then the Texans defense, especially a defense without J. J. Watt, is insufficient to carry the day.
The Vikings present a special problem. They create as much pressure as Osweiler will see all year, but they do it by rushing only four. The Vikings don’t have to gamble to beat the Texans line and disrupt Osweiler. They just have to play their signature game. That spells trouble for the Texans.