The win over the Colts was dramatic to say the least. Here are the takeaways from the game:
1. Brock Osweiler can turn it on when necessary
That fourth quarter–what happened? It was like watching Tim Tebow or something, nothing for three quarters and then BOOM out of nowhere when you’re down and need a comeback it comes. Basically half of his passing yards came on the final two drives of regulation, which resulted in touchdowns.
Was that a product of the Texans offense or did a depleted Colts defense just crack under pressure? I think it was a bit of both. Still, Osweiler needs to be better than the erratic guy he has been so far. They had the same thing with Brian Hoyer despite Hoyer having overall decent looking numbers. Hopefully this will be the performance that gets the Texans in rhythm and is the catalyst for the rest of the year.
2. The secondary depth is fantastic
The Texans might have the best secondary in the league overall. Far from the most notorious (Legion of Boom in Seattle among others) but they have so much depth at corner that even without Kareem Jackson and Quintin Demps and a hobbled Johnathan Joseph they held Andrew Luck to just one touchdown pass, and did so with minimal pass rush. Overall the Texans rank second in yards against, fifth in completion percentage against, seventh in opponents passer rating against and 11th in YPA against.
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They need to blitz more. With good enough cover men on the back end and linebackers that can get to the quarterback (Benardrick McKinney made a great play on an inside blitz for one) they can afford to send more guys in order to generate more pressure on the quarterback.
3. They need to use Lamar Miller in a balanced fashion
For the first few weeks Miller was getting a ton of touches and not doing very much with them. After Bill O’Brien took back the play calling he wasn’t getting enough for the first couple of games. Then, against a pitiful run defense they give him the rock consistently midway through the third quarter and guess what–good things happen!
This week establishing the run will be much more challenging against a much better Broncos defense on the road. But there is hope–the Broncos are just 16th in yards per carry against at four yards even, and 22nd against the run overall. I would expect the Broncos to play closer to the line of scrimmage and make Osweiler beat them, going against the top secondary in the league. But after all the offseason drama, would you want anything different?