The bye week is here and the Houston Texans will get back to the drawing board, looking to improve on their 5-3 record. That record is the best win-loss record in the Bill O’Brien era heading into the bye week.
The Texans will go into self-scout mode and try to figure out how to correct their issues moving forward. Taking a look at the team, we give some thoughts, fixes, and points that should be looked at in each position group.
Keep the Rotation
The Texans need to keep taking some of the workload off of Lamar Miller, who is already treading on high usage compared to what he is used to. His injured shoulder might be reason enough to be careful with him moving forward for the final stretch of the season. Adding both Alfred Blue (short to medium situations) and Jonathan Grimes (long situations) in spurts could be exactly the formula for the remainder of the season.
Help DeAndre Hopkins
As an offense, George Godsey is tasked to help out DeAndre Hopkins increase his production. Hopkins is having struggles against press coverage but is working much more effectively when he is put in motion or hidden with other receivers in formation so defensive backs cannot get their hands on him. For the Texans to increase production offensively, they have to do everything they can to get Hopkins open. Another element would be adding in more production from Braxton Miller in the middle of the field, but regardless of the combinations, the offense has to figure out how to use its personnel to free up Hopkins.
Three Headed Inside Linebackers
The slow decline of Brian Cushing remains evident as the defense has to continue to pick their spots with him. Benardrick McKinney y is now the lead defender in the middle for the Texans and is putting up numbers that rank him among the tops for his position.
The Texans need to continue to work in Max Bullough to cut down certain situations for Cushing. The team showed against the Detroit Lions that they could make the defense work rotating between Cushing and Bullough. They need to continue that trend.
Shuffle the Look to Last Year
The Texans have to keep Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson and A.J. Bouye in one piece for the remainder of the season. The defense uses three cornerbacks in their nickel and dime sets which, when Kevin Johnson was healthy, provided strong play by the four players. Now down to three, they have to make sure they keep the trio together for pass defense situations.
With that said, Eddie Pleasant becomes important and he will have to take back his spot in dime, manning the middle of the field covering tight ends and running backs. The Texans are going back to a defensive look they used the majority of last season and when Quintin Demps returns from his calf injury, this will be a secondary unit which will resemble what they rolled out last season.
Viewing just snapshots of Brock Osweiler’s play has been the common theme among most when evaluating his play. One thing is for sure: Osweiler is not the same quarterback who took his first snaps in week one against the Chicago Bears when compared to the quarterback who walked off the field against the Detroit Lions last week.
Every week, Brock Osweiler has continued to work on something in his game and his continued work has helped him put together his best game of the year against Detroit in week eight.
Patience remains the key and no matter how rough it was in the first half of the season, Osweiler will need a full season-and-a-half for the Texans to figure out what they have in their quarterback.
It is getting better week-to-week and, although the progression is steady, it just is not fast enough for most.
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