Texans vs. Broncos – Monday Night Football – Prime Time.
Are the Broncos worrying about which Texans team they face Monday night? Did the Texans turn the corner in their comeback against the Colts or are they the same flawed team that played the first 5 games plus 3 1/2 quarters? Unfortunately, there is only one Texans team and it is not ready for prime time.
The team the Broncos face Monday is the team whose offensive line is not good enough to compete with elite front sevens. Even though the fulltime return of Duane Brown helped, the Colts defense helped more. That defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL in sacks, quarterback pressures, yards per rush and many other defensive categories. Bad as it is it throttled the Texans for most of the game.
For 3 1/2 quarters the Texans’ line allowed the weak Colts’ defense to apply enough pressure to keep the pocket cluttered. They allowed Robert Mathis to get his first sack of the season, a strip sack. Consequently, Brock Osweiler played to form. He was completely ineffective as he has been all year when he is under pressure, even modest pressure.
Whether the Colts defense wore down, their strategy changed or the Texans line rose to the occasion is an open question. Regardless of how it happened, midway in the fourth quarter Osweiler finally had a clean pocket from which to operate. Again he played to form. He is a very good quarterback when he is not harassed. Consequently, an impossible run after a short reception, a bullet here and a dime there and all was well with the world.