By: Ian Logue
With Monday’s game creeping closer, here’s a quick look at the Houston Texans’ offense, including a couple of plays from their win over the Tennessee Titans:
AT A GLANCE:
NFL Offensive Rank: #4
Yards Per Game: 389.6
Yards Per Play: 5.5 (tied 13th)
3rd down efficiency: 39.5 (13th)
Points Per Game: 29.3 (2nd)
Average Time of Possession: 34:07 (1st)
TEXANS OFFENSIVE LEADERS:
Matt Schaub: 286-of-413 for 3,062 (64.4%) 21 TD’s
Arian Foster: 283 carries, 1102 yards, 13 TD’s
Top 3 Receiving Leaders:
WR Andre Johnson: 74 receptions, 1114 yards, 3 TD’s
TE Owen Daniels: 50 receptions, 598 yards, 6 TD’s
Ken Walter: 35 receptions, 444 yards, 2 TD’s
The Texans are a dangerous football team and Monday night’s showdown in Foxboro should definitely be quite the litmus test to see how the Patriots deal with one of the better teams in the NFL.
Looking at the game film from Sunday’s win over Tennessee, one thing that stands out is the fact that clearly one of the reasons why Houston is 11-1 this season is they’re an incredibly dynamic team who make things tough for opposing defenses.
Quarterback Matt Schaub looks to be as confident as ever, and isn’t afraid to put the ball into some tight spots even in tight coverage. More importantly he’s also a pretty accurate passer, which is going to be a challenge because it’s going to be up to the guys in New England’s secondary to step up in what will likely be their biggest battle so far this season.
You saw it against the Titans and it happened on their opening drive. Schaub found receiver Lester Jean for a 54-yard touchdown that he caught from 15-yards out, but the ball was placed so well that Jean was able to turn up field and pick up 39-yards after the catch.
Here’s a look at the game film:
On the play you can see Jean is working against Tennessee’s Alterraun Verner, who turns him over to safety Tracy Wilson. Wilson takes a bit of a bad angle:
This allows Jean to get around him and turn up field, and there’s no catching him as he heads off to the races for the touchdown.
Another thing that stood out from watching the game is that the Texans like to roll Schaub out in the opposite direction of the play on play-action, which happened a few times in this game but you can see an example in the shot below on this 5-yard touchdown pass to fullback James Casey:
On the play you can see the entire Texans offensive line block to the left, with even receiver Kevin Walter (#83) running an inside route. Running back Arian Foster also runs left, and Schaub is going to fake the handoff to him and you can see the Titans are completely fooled:
By the time they realize what’s going on, the only person able to get over to even have a chance to get Casey is Verner, but by then it’s too late.
After going over all their plays from last week, here are some additional numbers coming out of that game:
Matt Schaub Passing Numbers:
Overall: 21-of-35 (60%) for 207 yards, 2 TD’s
First Down: 6-of-10 (60%) for 43 yards, 1 TD
Second Down:6-of-10 (60%) for 61 yards
Third Down: 9-of-15 (60%) for 103 yards, 1 TD
Red Zone Passing: 2-of-3 (67%) for 11-yrds, 1TD
Here’s a passing chart from that game for Schaub:
Looking at some additional offensive stats, it’s worth noting that Tennesee (who has the 27th ranked pass defense in the NFL) did a decent job of keeping them from making big plays, and it was simply a case of turnovers and miscues that cost the Titans the game. They fumbled the ball away 3 times and Locker was picked off 3 times, so it’s tough to win any game with six turnovers.
A couple of final notes that are worth mentioning. The Texans finished Sunday’s match-up with just 2 plays of over 20 yards, although one went for over 50 – which was the touchdown to Jean. Running the ball the Texans had 18 plays of 5 yards or less, 7 carries of 6-10 yards, and 3 rushes for over 10 but less than 20 yards.
We’ll take a closer look at the Texans defense in another edition tomorrow.