Coming off yet another convincing win last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans the Houston Texans now have their sights set on the first prime time game they’ll have this season. A Monday night match up with the struggling New York Jets. The Texans as a franchise are 0-5 against the Jets and 0-3 against them on the road. They’ll be looking to try and make up ground in the all time series this week and take advantage of an ailing Jets team just hit hard with injury on both sides of the ball.
In most situations just about any team entering a hostile environment on the road would be looking to neutralize the crowd by running the ball and using up as much clock as possible while their offense is on the field. I see the Texans doing just that, with 2 very capable RB’s in Arian Foster and Ben Tate they should be able to get the run game going and keep it going by rotating the 2 in and out to keep them fresh. The Jets are allowing 172.8 yards per game on the ground, which ranks them 2nd to last in the league as of today. Now that’s not all the Texans will look to do to start the game, if they can get the run going and force the Jets to put 8 players on the line of scrimmage they will be looking to go down field quite often in the first half. With All Pro CB Darrelle Revis out I think the Texans try to run some double moves and long post routes over the top this week as they did in Denver to get out to an early lead. If the Jets do stop the run with just their front 7 I could see Kubiak calling play action after play action trying to get the LB’s to bite and opening up space for TE’s Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham. In no way would a big game from either surprise me. Daniels already is tied with WR Andre Johnson for the team lead in receptions. WR Andre Johnson also has a knack for playing big in big games. 8 prime time games, averaging 6.4 catches, 98.9 yards. In last 3, 7.6 catches for 131.6 yards. This could be a huge game for Johnson, as he chases 10,000 receiving yards for his career this week.
So far this season the Jets offensive line has only allowed QB Mark Sanchez to be sacked 6 times. This is something that Wade Phillips and his Bulls On Parade will be looking to add to during this game. Knowing the Jets really don’t run the ball well now will give Phillips a lot of options if his defense takes the field with a lead at all in this game. Last week I thought OLB Connor Barwin who led the Texans in sacks last season would have a great game against 2nd year QB Jake Locker. But after Glover Quinn sacked him on a safety blitz, Locker was out of the game and veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck came in for the remainder. Knowing defenses and there tendencies is something Hasselbeck does well so he wasn’t just sitting back waiting to be hit like Locker would’ve done. This week against the Jets I think you see some double and even triple teams against JJ Watt inside on passing situations and in running situations. Knowing where Watt is will be a priority to Sanchez and the Jets offense and this should open up plays for the OLB’s for the Texans.