Even in bad losses, there are always certain things to take away from an NFL game. Here is what we learned about the Texans on Monday Night:
1. AJ Bouye stood up when tested
In the first four minutes he was thrown at four times on two drives—he allowed just one catch for seven yards. The first long catch that Denver completed to DeMaryius Thomas had Johnathan Joseph in coverage. However, it was called back by a penalty. It was a real bummer when he was taken into the locker room later in the game, because he was playing so well.
Meanwhile, Charles James continues to get beat on almost a weekly basis. Kareem Jackson also gave up some completions inside to Sanders and Thomas, but overall he wasn’t bad. I anticipated he would need to shake off some rust in this game–and against that receiving duo it’s not the ideal situation for that.
2. Against a struggling offensive line, the Texans could still not generate any pass rush
In their week six game at San Diego, four of five offensive line starters were called for holding, and eight penalties overall. They still committed holding penalties but the Texans were unable to pressure Siemian, getting no sacks. Whitney Mercilus beat Russell Okung multiple times, generating multiple holding penalties but could not bring Siemian down.
Now for the observations of the offense
3. Overall, the offensive line played fairly well
I figured Derek Newton would see a lot of Von Miller and Duane Brown would see a lot of Shane Ray. That’s what happened. But they did really well in keeping those two edge rushers out of the backfield, as Denver got only one sack. Unfortunately, Newton has been lost for the season with two torn patella tendons.
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In the first quarter on a second down Hopkins ran a post route and Osweiler threw a fade. That is a site that has happened all too frequently this year.
Ironically, Hopkins led the Texans in receiving yards. But with just 36 on five catches, that’s nothing to write home about. They don’t seem to be on the same page on option routes, and until the two of them get in sync this offense will continue to struggle.
5. Blitz Osweiler and all his accuracy goes out the window
Whenever the Broncos would blitz he over threw his target by about five yards each time. He has seemed skittish in the pocket most of the season. Teams know that Osweiler will panic and most likely throw a bad pass if pressured.
When throwing at Hopkins there have been more interceptions than when targeting any other receiver in the NFL. It’s as if he’s just hoping Hopkins can bail him out, regardless of the coverage around him.