Red Zone Woes
“When we looked at our offensive self-scout, one of the things that we need to improve upon is like, in the red area. We were tied for first in the league (before the bye week) with 18 field goals. That’s a good stat for Nick (Novak), but that’s not a great stat for your offense.” - Bill O’Brien
Bill O’Brien and his staff make it a habit of self-scouting, reviewing what they have done as a team prior to the bye week, using that information to improve things for the second half of the season. The Texans are currently last in the AFC in scoring at 17.1 points a game and 30th in the NFL. The team's red zone percentage is 32nd in the NFL at 38.1%.
O’Brien is convinced that the woes come from third and long situations in the red zone.
“You got to score touchdowns down there and what’s happened to us, we’ve been in too many third-and-longs,” explained O’Brien. ”We’ve had tackles for loss, sacks, penalties. We’ve been in these 3rd-and-12 from the 12, 3rd-and-10 from the 10 and that’s not where you want to be in this league.”
Run Game Remains Key
The Houston Texans have been struggling to slow opposing team’s rushing games in 2016 and currently rank 28th in the NFL in against the run (125.8 yards per game) and 24th in opponents’ yards per rush (4.41 yards). The Jacksonville Jaguars entered Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing but turned the tables with their run game. They put together their best rushing day of the season with 205 yards on 32 carries in their 19-14 loss against the Chiefs.
“There is a lot that is out there, a lot more opportunities,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said.“No matter even if we got behind some, we weren’t going to leave it,” Bradley said. “I give credit to Nathaniel and the offensive staff for putting together a plan. I thought they had some runs that they felt like would be good. I think there were some new runs or style of runs, maybe not the blocking, but the deception in the backfield.”
“I think there was a strong conviction up front. The offensive line did a good job.”
“We can take this from where we’re at and build on it,” Bradley said. “I think they’re going to watch the tape and feel like there’s more out there for us.”
Bill O’Brien realizes how important stopping the run is this week against the Jaguars.
“Defensively, we have to stop the run the way we did against Detroit. We have to just be more consistent in stopping the run…” explained O’Brien.
Injuries To Watch
“No question that they’re day-to-day,” said O’Brien of Fuller and Wilfork. “I’m not sure that they would be available for Jacksonville. It looks like they might. I wouldn’t know that until the end of the week.”
The issue now rests in difficult roster situations concerning Fuller and Wilfork. Without either player, the Texans will be light in each position and, with Jaelen Strong set to miss an extended amount of time due to an ankle injury, wide receiver and defensive line become pressure points when it comes to roster spots. The Texans opened up one spot due to waiving Jeff Adams and it appears one of those two positions could be addressed.