Find out everything you need to know about the Jaguars Sunday opponent, the Houston Texans as Jags Insider publisher Charlie Bernstein did a Q & A with State of the Texans publisher Patrick Starr.
Charlie Bernstein: I know Bill O'Brien is tight-lipped on everything involving the organization, but do you get the feeling that the quarterback carousel is over and Brian Hoyer will be the guy for the foreseeable future?
Patrick Starr: The bad part of the quarterback carousel is knowing that O’Brien continues to be non-committal to any of the quarterbacks week-to-week. He yanked Brian Hoyer with a decent week one in favor of Ryan Mallett who struggled with accuracy the next four weeks. Now he is back to Hoyer who had an impressive two and a half quarters against the Indianapolis Colts. The flip flopping of quarterbacks have put the Texans in an early hole and the Texans searching for answers.
CB: What do you feel is the major reason or reasons the Texans have taken a step back so far this year?
PS: Two things come to mind. A defense that only had created two turnovers all season and lack of anything positive on offense. This defense was supposed to be one of the most talented in team history but they have been shredded week to week and it has happen on the ground and through the air. Little pass rush has been a culprit and that is even with J.J. Watt, who has had little impact this season.
As for the offense, sustaining drives and not playing from behind have been their issues. This offense is not built to play from behind and it has shown all season. Where the Texans go from here offensively is the biggest question, but one thing if for sure Brian Hoyer gives the offense a much better chance to succeed moving and scoring.
CB: Are teams game-planning a little better for J.J. Watt? Has Vince Wilfork not played up to expectations? It seems as if the team would have a more dominant defensive line than they currently do.
PS: No doubt teams are paying attention to J.J. Watt and where he is at. Watt has primarily been lining up over the right tackle and has not moved, so teams have been playing the quick passing game and he has not even been a factor. HE is still putting up numbers, but they are having little impact on the game.
Vince Wilfork has been a disappointment this season and a man of his size and experience should be taking up more than one offensive lineman each time. Wilfork is easily blocked one-on-one in the trenches offering little help. When teams try to play the power game, it works well because the can hold at the point and create piles for linebackers to play. If there is a zone run or pass play, he is pretty much naturalized because he just doesn’t have the speed or quickness from play to play to create issues in the backfield.
The defensive line has been a mess and it starts with some players trying to do too much and some not doing enough.
CB: How important is it to have Arian Foster back? How much better is everything with him in the backfield?
PS: Arian Foster is getting back into football shape and each game he has improved with his endurance and speed. He is the Texans best runner and pass catcher out of the backfield and he take so much pressure off of the quarterback to try and force the ball downfield. Foster last game was impressive with the short passing game turing simple three yard receptions into bigger yardage plays.
CB: How would you attack the Texans on both sides of the ball?
PS: It is pretty simple on how to attack the Texans. Offensively continue to run the ball to the edges and let Watt and Clowney play too aggressive to create seams for the running backs. Also continue with the quick passing game eating up yards outside the numbers.
For the defensive side of the ball, make the Texans run the ball against you and prove they can do it. If not the Texans will take to the air and try to nickel and dime you down the field. Their pass protection has been exceptional all year even with as many times as they have thrown the ball this season. Make Brian Hoyer beat you at all costs would be the key.