The Week Ahead
The Texans come off an emotionally charged home opener where they played in-state rivals The Dallas Cowboys. The Texans, unlike any expansion team ever seen, are laced with veterans who played physical defense and capitalized on the energy of the crowd. David Carr threw 2 touchdown passes and deserved another that was dropped by Jermaine Lewis who was wide open just before halftime. Aaron Glenn kept Quincy Carter from being effective almost single-handedly. The home opener was a success with a 19-10 win, and the first win in franchise history in their first game ever.
The Chargers faced off against a team very similar to their own in Cincinnati. Two teams with defenses that are among the best in the league. Two teams with linebacker crews among the elite. The Chargers played a smash-mouthed game by controlling both lines of scrimmage and running the ball behind a surprisingly good offensive line. Drew Brees played a controlled game choosing to work short and intermediate routes and having success built upon the strong running game. It was hard to find fault in any portion of their game winning 34-6.
Now these teams face off against each other as they try and temper their enthusiasm and focus on the task at hand. Each team has a chance to make a strong statement regarding the rest of the season. The Chargers, who own the toughest schedule in the league, are looking to build winning ways again and prove they will not go down easily. The Texans are attempting to prove that expansion team or not, this team is to be feared.
Keys to a Charger victory
1. Run, run, and run some more. Continue the trend they started in week 1 by controlling the line of scrimmage. Use play-action-pass once the run has been established to open up the passing game.
2. Pressure David Carr. Keep the blitzes coming and force Carr to make decisions he may not want to make.
3. Fear the Houston cornerbacks. Realize that Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman have played together before and keep it honest. Drew Brees cannot afford to try and do too much.
4. Special teams. Respect Jermaine Lewis who is a dangerous return man. Wade Richey must get some touchbacks on his kickoffs. Darren Bennet must use all of his Pro Bowl powers in the punting game.
5. No big plays. The cornerbacks must keep the play in front of them and not allow the speedy Houston receivers to get past them. Tackles must be made by the first guy to make contact.
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