No Tony Romo For The Houston Texans

No Romo, Texans Offseason Thus Far

The Tony Romo saga this offseason obviously resulted in huge disappointment. My initial reaction to Romo’s decision to walk away from the game is to bash him. For a second I thought about the fact that perhaps he is retiring because he 37 years old and wants to protect himself from possible further serious injury. But in reality if Dak Prescott hadn’t taken his spot, Romo would be preparing to be the starting quarterback for the Cowboys this year.

I find it weak that Romo doesn’t want to prove that he can lead another team to the playoffs, he has never lead a deep playoff run. The Texans are a great fit all things considered, the main issue is the huge question mark at quarterback.

The Texans play inside a closed stadium, and play in a manageable division. The Texans have a some weapons on offense, and a legitimate defense. The Texans defense punched the eventually Super Champions in the mouth only a couple months ago.

Tony Romo was so disheartened by how he lost the Cowboys that he is not even going give another situation a shot. I’m a little dumbfounded by it, but Tony Romo is ready to move on from football.

Tom Savage now looks to be the starter this season, assuming he beats out whoever the Texans draft, that no veteran quarterback in signed.

I think it was a mistake not finding a way to re-sign A.J. Bouye, and it could come back to bite the Texans in a big way. Bouye had some length to him and a solid frame. His ability to cover various types of receivers is going to be missed. It’s a major hit to the cornerback depth on the team who will have to rely heavily on a 33 year old Jonathan Joseph, Kevin Johnson who is returning from injury, and Kareem Jackson who had a decent year.

Robert Nelson showed potential and can provide some depth but needs to prove he can be reliable in his assignments.  He made some big plays but also game some big plays up. Presumably the Texans will draft a cornerback this month, and take a look at the undrafted players.

Kevin Johnson has been the most talented cornerback on the roster since he was drafted, but he has had foot fractures in consecutive seasons. Jonathan Joseph is still a good player and brings it every game, but he is seemingly getting dinged up every game and being forced out for a few plays before eventually returning to the game.

The Texans are confident in their scouting of defensive backs, and their short history of having unproven players be serviceable. A.J. Bouye’s length and ability is going to be missed, hopefully the decision to let him walk it doesn’t come back to haunt the Texans.

With J.J. Watt returning in 2017 the Texans are banking on having a scary pass rush. Assuming Clowney can remain healthy it should be spectacular to witness, not to mention Whitney Mercilus coming off the edge.

Assuming health, the Texans front seven should be something special. I’m very excited to see the progression of the defensive lineman Reader, Covington, Heath, and Kamalu because there were making some big plays this past season. These guys are not being talked about much because all the other stuff going on but this entire line, and pass rush have the potential to do some historic type things this year.

I’m okay with Texans losing outside linebacker John Simon to the Indianapolis Colts because though he was a good player, his role can be more easily replaced. The Texans may already have his replacement in Brennan Scarlett who was an undrafted rookie last year out of Stanford and showed promise in spot duty. I’m also looking forward to seeing Scarlett’s progress this season.

Quentin Demps signed a multi-year deal with the Bears which I was also fine with, Demps doesn’t move the needle for me. I don’t think he is all that much better than the average safety in the NFL. Sure his had some bright moments, made some plays but overall I want a little more out of the safety position.

Demps had six interceptions this past season and to his credit he got himself in the right spot to make the plays, however a lot of his interceptions were the result of tipped passes, or factors not really attributed to him. He wasn’t a ball hawk or a real playmaker, he is a replaceable player.

The Texans re-signed tight end Ryan Griffin to a 3-year deal, he caught 50 passes for 442 yards and 2 TDs last season. I’ve been on Ryan Griffin’s bandwagon since the Texans drafted him in 2013, but I thought he would have elevated his game a few more notches higher than where he is at but bringing him back was the right move to make. We’ll see if he can build on his 2016 career highs in yards and receptions.

The Texans also re-signed Shane Lechler and Nick Novak which was expected but the Texans should definitely be scouting to find somebody younger and with a bigger leg.

It was rough year for some kickers last year, moving the extra point back has definitely added more pressure to the job. Novak was good percentage wise, overall he was 40/46 on FGs and 26/29 on PATs. However, his longest field goal was 53 yards and only had three field goals over 50. It is definitely more important to have somebody reliable, but it has been a long time since the Texans have had a reliable kicker who also has a big leg.

Rockets Victory Over Cavaliers

A few weeks ago the Rockets welcomed in the Cavaliers, and evened the 2017 season series 1-1.

The Rockets just flat out played harder and wanted this game more that the Cavaliers. Both teams entered the game being in a rough 6 game stretch, the Rockets were 3-3 and the Cavaliers were 2-4. They were also trying to maintain their playoff seeding, and not to mention it was an ESPN national TV game. All the motivation to win was there in this late season contest.

The Rockets won the offensive rebounding battle 20 to 4, and the turnover battle 15 to 6. This is ultimately what allowed the Rockets to close out the victory. The Cavs were missing a key piece to puzzle without Kevin Love, however you would still expect a little more from the reigning champs.

The Cavs didn’t have a sense of urgency in getting inside and boxing out, the Rockets consistently had guys close to the basket in position to rebound.

James Harden for most part was driving to the rim and finishing with relative ease. Defensively the center spot is a weak point for the Cavs because Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye are power forwards playing out of position. Thompson was often being forced to switch on to guarding Harden and was getting the step on him routinely.

I expected for Lebron to at some point in the last minutes of the game to attempt to take the game over but it didn’t happen.He seemed to be content with only taking his shots from the outside instead of being aggressive and challenge inside near the rim. Nene entered the game with 4:41 seconds left in the 4th quarter and was at center for the rest of the way. He played well, and the Rockets telecast justifiably so named the “Sleeper of the game” is the postgame.

The pivotal sequence late in the 4th quarter was when Beverly was matched on Lebron James and Nene came over to help just as Lebron was passing, steals the pass and on the other end Anderson finds Beverly for the 3-pointer.

James Harden had a signature game with another triple-double against fellow MVP candidate Lebron James. The next leading scorer was Ryan Anderson with 16 points, Beverly/Gordon each with 13 points, and Nene/Ariza with 12 each. There were six Rockets players with at least 6 rebounds. Really everybody from the regular rotation had solid contributions to the victory other than Sam Dekker who only played 5 minutes.

This win was even more impressive because the Rockets early in the 3rd quarter were down 14 points which was the largest deficit in the game. They finished the 3rd quarter scoring 21 points to the Cavaliers 5 points.

A blemish from the game was the missed free throws in crunch time, luckily it didn’t come back to bite them in this contest.

For the Rockets this was a huge win after having been a few games removed from losing back to back games to the Spurs and Jazz.  James Harden gave his MVP case a major boost with this win over a top team.

This was a big win indeed, but the Rockets need to keep in mind that this was without Kevin Love. Lebron and Kyrie almost did enough on their own with little help from their role players to get the win. Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Deron Williams combined to shoot 5-21 from the field.  If the Rockets are to face the Cavs in the future they can’t bank on a repeat of this type of performance. The Cavs were also careless/lazy passing the ball and it resulted in some easily avoidable turnovers. The Rockets need to channel this victory in the most productive way possible.

Texans Playoff Victory Of Raiders Recap

The Texans went out and did what they were supposed to do against a team playing with its third string rookie quarterback.  They played well on both sides of the ball, built a good lead and put the game away by taking advantage of turnover opportunities presented by the inexperienced Connor Cook.

To borrow a term from Bill Simmons, the Raiders actually had the potential to be very “frisky” in that game which I didn’t think would be the case.

The stats in the box score are going to indicate that Connor Cook played poorly, and for the most part he did indeed have a rough game. However, I think that there are only a small handful of quarterbacks in the NFL that would have been able to have some success against the high level defense the Texans displayed on Saturday.

The official NFL box score shows the Texans deflecting a total of 10 passes thrown by Connor Cook, which is outstanding and testament to how good the Texans corners are. Cook was obviously off accuracy wise on a few throws but the majority of the pass break-ups were a result of good individual coverage and good coaching. Also on at least three occasions Cook’s receivers dropped passes that should have been caught.

Cook didn’t looked intimidated considering he was making his first NFL start in a playoff game on the road. He played with confidence and made some gutsy throws. If it weren’t for Clowney and Mercilus wreaking havoc, the Raiders could have made the game close.

The first touchdown that the Texans gave up towards the end of the first quarter came after a 37 yard punt return. Latavius Murray ran for 31 of his total 39 yards on this drive, including an 18 yard run. Their touchdown in the 4th quarter seemed a little cheap because with a 27-7 lead the Texans were playing off coverage and the Raiders took advantage and scored their second touchdown. Aside from these two possessions the Texans dominated.

Tyler Ervin muffing two punts is worrisome, Texans were fortunate to recover both especially the one that bounced straight to Eddie Pleasant. A big reason for the lopsided loss against the Patriots was turning the ball over twice on kick off returns. The Texans also can’t afford self-inflicted mistakes like fumbling on the Center-Quarterback exchange.

Going into the game I said that the factor that was going to determine how close the contest would be was Brock Osweiler’s performance. It was assumed that the defense would limit the Raiders offense, but Osweiler struggling to put up points was in play.

I felt that when Osweiler was inserted into the Titans game he was an improved player, in the recap of that game I mentioned the things that he did better. He carried some of those over against the Raiders and had a decent overall game. Osweiler completed 56% of his passes going 14/25  on his attempts but he was very accurate on the ones that did connect.

He was very impressive on the drive at the end of the second quarter were he hit Fuller and Hopkins with money passes. Fuller had a step on Amerson, and Osweiler placed the ball in a perfect spot ahead of him and out of the reach of Riley Jr’s out stretched arm. The following play Osweiler threw a 38 yard beauty to Hopkins along the sidelines. It’s a thrown Osweiler has routinely failed to complete this year. Two plays later an easy money quick inside slant touchdown pass to Hopkins with Shaun Smith covering.

I liked the play action call on the goal line in the 4th quarter when Oweiler ran it in for the touchdown. The play had Griffin running into the corner of the endzone with Khalil Mack trailing but Osweiler took it in himself. Osweiler is very comfortable with play action and has some decent speed once he is 3 strides in.

Osweiler didn’t throw for 250 and 3 TD but he moved the ball well and managed the offense. Osweiler 168 total passing yards can be attributed to O’Brien taking the foot off the gas of the offense in the second half. In the 3rd quarter with a 20-7 lead O’Brien slowed the offense down and tried to establish the run game to milk the rest of the game.

I’m continue to be disappointed that the Texans aren’t able create opportunities for Fuller and Hopkins to get the ball in spots where they can run after the catch. Fuller especially can do a lot with just a little bit of because of his breakaway speed. Ryan Griffin had 3 receptions in the first quarter but then remained without a reception after that.

In the second half Osweiler had 9 pass attempts, only two were completed for 22 yards (both to Fuller). Another 2 attempts were wiped away because of a defensive holding and interference penalty on the Raiders.  The conservative play calling is the reason Osweiler didn’t finish the game with more offensive output.

The Patriots have a much better defense than the Raiders, hopefully Osweiler can take these positives into this next week.

The offensive line did a great job containing Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin coming off the edge on pass plays. In the previous 2 weeks the Texans right side and interior line struggled to keep pressure off of the quarterbacks. Against Raiders they kept Osweiler clean.

Run blocking was a different story, they couldn’t seem to open up alleys for the running backs to run through. In the second half Lamar Miller ran the ball 16 times for 31 yards. Miller and the line have to do better than that.

Johnathan Grimes seems to make things happen more times than not in his limited opportunities. On his 3 carries in the second half he had 12, 6, and a 10 yard runs. The 12 and 10 yard runs came on Shotgun formation draw plays. Grimes’ 10 yard run with 4 minutes left in the game was a clutch 3rd down conversion that allowed the Texans to continue drive and force Raiders to use up timeouts.

Enough can’t be said about the Texans defensive backs, again had an exceptional showing. At least four different players broke up a pass, and they limited the Raiders’ talented wide receivers. Ironically ever since the Raiders game week 11 Clowney has been a monster, up until that point Clowney was starting to show flashes of what he could prove to be. After coming back from missing the Packers game Clowney has been a disruptive force every week.

Whitney Mericlus came up big as well, his most impressive play was when he shot though the Raiders line from the middle linebacker position and tackled Richard from behind. Mercilus and Clowney have so much speed, and they will need to come through more than ever if they are to challenge the Patriots.

Possible Rift Between O’Brien And Texans

Jay Glazer Hints At A Strained Relationship Between O’Brien And Texans

At first glance I didn’t think too much of Jay Glazer’s tweet saying that O’Brien and the Texans could agree to go separate way if the team exits the playoffs early. The tweet came a half hour before the Titans game.

Sure the offense has been dreadful this season but Bob McNair has shown to be a patient with his coaches, and O’Brien has coached three consecutive 9-win seasons resulting in 2 playoff berths. The defense has remained is one of the best in the league despite key losses in J.J. Watt and Kevin Johnson early in the year.

The question is how serious is Jay Glazer’s tweet and what kind of information gave reason for it. I listened back to a Bill Simmons podcast from this past Spring where he had Jay Glazer on for almost an hour and a half.

In the podcast Glazer talked about how he’s gotten to where he is at because he’s always tried to outwork everybody else. His sources of information have come through constantly making phone calls and building relationships with people. He said doesn’t sleep Saturdays because he’s calling teams, GM’s, players, and coaches.

In 2014 during the first week of October, Glazer said that there was no way that Jim Harbaugh was going to return as head coach even if the team won the Super Bowl. The year prior in 2013, 49ers lost 23-17 to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.

It didn’t make sense that the 49ers would let Harbaugh walk after almost getting to the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons. But Just like Glazer had reported, Harbaugh didn’t return the 49ers after the 2014 season concluded. He was weeks ahead of anybody else on this 49ers story.

Jay Glazer comes off as a genuine person and insider who isn’t going to be putting stuff out there irresponsibly. He showed a disdain for those who don’t care if their information is right.

This quote from Glazer on the podcast is why his tweet shouldn’t be ignored, “I care that my stuff is right, that is it. I’d rather have zero scoops and make sure that everything I say is right than have a million scoops and have a 90% accuracy rate.”

For him to tweet what he did regarding O’Brien and the Texans has to mean that there is some real tension at NRG. It probably has turned into a blame game over the Brock Osweiler situation between O’Brien and Rick Smith. Is Brock simply a bad quarterback and a bust signing? Or Brock’s struggles attributed to the scheme and play calling?

If Glazer says he could see Obrien/Team “parting ways” with a loss presumably against the Raiders, at the very least seeds are being planted for it happening in the near future unless winning softens the friction.

It would be nice to know who for certain was the main advocate in signing Brock Osweiler but we’ll probably never know. It could have been a Bill O’Brien decision, or maybe he was pressured into accepting it.

Three years ago, a soon to be 35 year old Ed Reed, who didn’t fit the defensive scheme in place was forced upon defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. When the signing was announced the Texans had a press conference press conference, and McNair was right there next to Ed Reed addressing the media and taking pictures, along with Rick Smith. Smith was fortunate to have kept his job after the debacle 2013 season, and probably was supporting anything McNair was suggesting.

I bring this up because if the signing of Brock Osweiler was a decision influenced by McNair, or McNair/Smith it wouldn’t be the first time something similar to this has happened.

It would also explain Jay Glazer’s tweet which was sent out 35 minutes before the Texans-Titans game which had Tom Savage as the starter, not Brock Osweiler. If Osweiler is McNair/Smith’s guy they want to see him out there. In their minds Tom Savage might not shown them in the Bengals game for them to accept that Osweiler should sit considering the fact that the Texans were lucky to come away with the victory on a missed field goal.

Jay Glazer’s report might have been a way for the Texans to either further pressure O’Brien, or let the public know that if O’Brien sticks with Savage and fails that changes are imminent.

The funny thing about this whole O’Brien/Team story brought to light by Glazer is that if Brock Osweiler is in fact at the root of the issue, he’s going to start against the Raiders anyway due to Savage being stuck in the concussion protocol.

If Osweiler plays well against the Raiders this Saturday there is no way O’Brien is going to sit him in favor Savage for the next round of the playoffs. It would take another mediocre offensive performance where the team squeaks out 10-6 victory, or something to that nature.

Maybe Osweiler figured things out after having his two weeks off from being starter. Maybe he has some success in these playoffs and all the smoke clears, cooling the tensions brewing within the organization.

I can see how it may seem a little farfetched that there is turmoil at NRG right now caused by O’Brien’s benching of Osweiler against the Jaguars. It should be 100% clear to everybody following the Texans that if Osweiler wasn’t benched in that game they were going to lose the game and their playoff hopes.

However, there were actually people out there that felt Brock Osweiler should have remained the starter. Osweiler had been one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks and somehow still had apologists, Texans owner Bob McNair possibly being the biggest one.

Bob McNair has made some very questionable comments in defense of Brock Osweiler’s play this season.  After the victory over the Lions in week 8, among the words of encouragement for Osweiler’s play was McNair saying, “He’s still basically a rookie”. After the tough loss to the Packers a month ago McNair pleaded to the fans saying, “Don’t be critical of him. He played well”. McNair called the decision to bench Osweiler a “gutsy call”.

There is nothing wrong with McNair wanting to defend his player, especially the player that is supposed to be the “franchise quarterback”. But at certain point it becomes too much in terms of excuse making and babying.

It is easier to look past Bob McNair’s plea to the fans not to be critical of Osweiler after the Packers game because it was played on the road in a blizzard. But to say Osweiler, who is in his 5th year in the league and had 15 starts to his name, is basically a rookie was ridiculous.

Describing the benching of Osweiler as a gutsy call after throwing his second interception on consecutive possessions within a quarter is ridiculous. It was the obvious call to make because if not, you were on your way to losing and seeing playoff aspirations fade.

It would make sense that McNair had a big impact in bringing Osweiler here based off the way in which he has defended him.

Ideally I think the best time to have made the change to Tom Savage would have been after the Lions game heading into bye week. Realistically that was never going to happen, especially when the team the being 5-3 at that point.

It would have been “gutsy” to insert Tom Savage at halftime of the Chargers game, or to start him on the road against the Packers the following game.

In Bill O’Brien’s first season with the Texans in 2014, he passed over three notable quarterbacks. Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garapolo were all up for grabs, but O’Brien waited until the 4th round to take Tom Savage. There was history between the two dating back to college with O’Brien was trying to recruit Savage.

When Savage was forced into action late in the 2014 he was not ready, he literally had issues handing the ball off to his running back. Savage redeemed himself in 2015 looking like a much improved quarterback in the preseason, but ended up on IR after hurting his shoulder in one of the games.

With the strides Savage made as a quarterback, my thought was that O’Brien would go into 2016 with him and a new quarterback drafted within the top 2 rounds.

When the Texans shocking stole Brock Osweiler away from the Broncos I was initially upset with the move. It became easier to stomach after a couple days went by because just like with any move that is made you begin to think about the positive aspects of it. Brock Osweiler made some sense because the Texans probably felt that this team, with this defense and J.J. Watt in his prime is ready to win now.

Brock Osweiler might not have been O’Brien’s first choice but went along with it because the situation could have been seen as a low risk, high reward. Osweiler showed some promise and ability on a championship team, but was unfairly replaced at first opportunity when an NFL legend in his last leg was ready to play again.

It was also probably hard for O’Brien to make a strong case against the signing of Brock with the quarterback situation still in limbo two years in.

You couldn’t have predicted that Brock Osweiler was going to turn out to be as bad and inconsistent as he has been this season.  The simple explanation is that Gary Kubiak’s run first, play-action system was a perfect fit for Brock Osweiler. Chris Anderson was playing well, and he two pros at wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.

Unlike most people right now, I’m actually intrigued to see how Brock Osweiler will do against the Raiders this Saturday because I do think he corrected some of his issues and looked slightly improved in the Titans game.

I should know better by this point than to be tricked into believing that Osweiler being benched may have bettered him and suddenly he is going to play like a respectable quarterback. Brock has looked okay at times this season but then routinely followed it up with bad play.

It is no secret that Rick Smith is in tight with Bob McNair, in July Rick Smith’s contract was extended four years. The team made an investment with Brock Osweiler and they would love nothing more than for him to redeem himself and prove that he can be the franchise quarterback.

Glazer’s tweet could have been suggesting that McNair/Smith wanted to see Osweiler through even if it meant cutting ties with O’Brien. For the time being that is not an issue, it looks like O’Brien will have to stick it out with Osweiler in the playoffs anyway because of Tom Savage’s inability to stay on the field. In 2014 Savage had a leg injury, last year it was his shoulder, and last week it was a concussion.

Brock has the opportunity to change everybody’s opinion of him, or can confirm what we already know.

 

 

 

Texans, Titans recap

Obviously the big story coming out of the Titans game is whether Tom Savage is going to be cleared in time to play against the Raiders this Saturday. In the press conference after the loss to Tennessee O’Brien was asked whether Savage would start the playoff game if cleared but he didn’t commit to it by saying that it is going to be up for evaluation.

It was surprising that Tom Savage was allowed to go back in before the half because the hit he took on the QB sneak shook him up good. First he was laid out face down on the pile for a few seconds, then when he got up he tried to clear his head with a quick jog. He probably displayed every sign of a concussion short of stumbling back down to the ground.

CBS showed Savage on the sidelines frustrated that he couldn’t go back into the game.

In Osweiler’s second stint as the quarterback he made some good throws but again the offense didn’t look totally like a well-run machine particularly in the red zone. One would assumed that Tom Savage would indeed be the starter once cleared from his concussion. It wouldn’t hurt to make the Raiders work extra this week preparing for Osweiler and Savage to start.

Tom Savage suffering a concussion and being forced out of the Titans game is yet another stroke of bad luck for the city of Houston and the Texans. Some are going to torch and question the decision of having Savage out there in a game in which the result had no significance.

But the fact of the matter is that Tom Savage needed to get those game repetitions in so that he could better prepare himself for the playoff run. Savage was only in his second start and is still in the process of learning defensive schemes in live game action as an NFL quarterback.

There is hope with Savage because he is still an unknown, we don’t know what his full capabilities as quarterback are yet. He has a good arm and has showed flashes of being a quarterback that you can win with. The concussion he suffered disallowed us from seeing if he was going to be able to rebound from a tough performance against the Bengals.

Savage missed out on the opportunity to get those much needed game reps, now he is in danger of missing the practice preparations leading for this weeks playoff matchup.

I can see the Texans coaching staff being paranoid about losing and in turn Brock Osweiler instead sending out a relatively inexperienced, not fully prepared Tom Savage. If Savage were to be cleared to play Friday and named started that will say a lot about how O’Brien’s confidence in him. It will also say that O’Brien is ready to turn the page with the Osweiler experiment.

The Raiders took a big hit when they lost Derek Carr for the season, it was even more evident in their 24-6 loss to the Broncos. The Texans defense should be able to limit the Raiders offense whether Matt McGloin or Connor Cook is their starter. How the Texans offense performs is likely going to determine how close the contest ends up being like it has most of this regular season.

There is no doubt that the Texans would have liked to get the win against the Titans but the main objective was to make it out healthy for playoff game that is in 6 days. The Titans were motivated to finish the season 9-7 and take that momentum into the offseason.

First off, Tom Savage’s play against the Titans looked very similar to how the first half against the Bengals went. On the third play of the Texans first drive result in a fumble that the Titans recovered in the endzone, followed by two consecutive 3 and out punts.

It wasn’t until the fourth possession where Savage connected with Hopkins for 8 yards on the first 1st down of the day.

On Tom Savage’s sack fumble it was a failed recognition of the outside linebacker that was lined up in front of DeAndre Hopkins. He went untouched and hit Savage within 2 seconds of the snap.

On the Texans second possession Savage threw a 3rd down 4 yd pass to Fuller, Hopkins on the play was running an out route towards the sidelines. Savage was looking that way and probably throws to him if Hopkins wasn’t being held by the Titans defender.

The offensive line continues to be an issue and its affecting the run/pass attack. Lamar Miller’s return this week should help in masking some of the struggles run blocking.

Brock Osweiler came in for Tom Savage early in the second quarter and the drive ended in a turnover on downs capped off with a 6 yd sack. The Texans went on to have six more possessions. There were two drives that ended in touchdowns, a punt, one miss and a made field goal. The final drive of the game was with 53 seconds left in the game and no timeouts.

I’m not going to say these 2 weeks off from starting did Osweiler a world of good and he is all of a sudden primed to lead the Texans on a deep playoff run. But I do feel that he reflected on his play, maybe saw some things that Savage did on the field and made a few small changes in his game.

Osweiler was connecting with Hopkins throughout the game which has been a struggle this season. In the 3rd quarter Hopkins ran a quick inside slant and took the pass that Osweiler threw perfectly in stride for 27 yds. Many of the passes Osweiler threw were quicker, and because of that the receivers were able to makes some plays with the ball.

Osweiler was checking the ball to his running back when he felt there was nothing open. Osweiler also let the ball fly a few times. Hopkins caught one of them over Brice McCain but he had one foot out of bounds because Osweilers pass was too close to the sideline. The second deep a ball was a good attempt and could have been a huge 40 yd play but the ball landed a yard ahead of Fuller.

The one play that did connect was the 26 yd pass along the sideline to Wendall Williams. This play happened in the middle of the 4th quarter, the same drive where Osweiler scrambled for the touchdown on 4th goal. Other than the play to Wendall Williams I felt that the drive was cheap because up until that play the offense was being moved on short passes with the Titans playing off coverage.

All in all, Brock Osweiler played much better than the last game he was in against the Jaguars. That’s not something to be overly thrilled about but you rather have that over Osweiler playing as horribly as he did in the Jags game. We will see how the quarterback situation ends up playing out for this Saturday.

It was encouraging how well the Texans defense did against one of the best rushing attacks in the league. On 11 carries Demarco Murray was held to 1.9 yards per rush, Derrick Henry had a better day running for 65 yards on 15 carries. D.Henry had two separate 14 yd runs, one in the 3rd  quarter and the other in the 4th, both of which get stopped for no game if the Texans had their starters in.

Clowney, John Simon, and Cushing were inactive for the game. Mercilus and Mckinney only played in the first half

For the second week in a row Max Bullough’s lack of speed was exposed . D. Henry took the hand off from shotgun formation to the outside were Bullough could have meet him two yards behind the line of scrimmage but instead Henry’s ran by him to the outside and left Bullough grabbing at air. Last week against the Bengals he had a chance to take down Brandon LaFell before he took a five yard catch on a slant 86 yds for a touchdown.

Christian Covington who finished the day with 4 tackles and 1 sack, stood out in the run and was applying some pressure on Cassel. What I like a lot about Covington is that he is always hustling to the ball with urgency. It was also good to see all three of the rookie lineman Joel Heath, D.J. Reader, and Ufomba Kamalu making some things happen on defense. If they can keep this going it’s going to be a huge boost for this defense heading into the playoffs.