Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 13, 2018 at 12:54 am.


–WR/KR DeAndre Carter is currently in protocol after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s game. Carter was lost for the remainder of the game and now it becomes a race to see if he can get out of the protocol by Saturday’s kickoff.

–WR Keke Coutee remains on track to get on the field on Saturday after missing three games with his hamstring injury. Coutee has dealt with the hamstring injury all season including training camp. Getting him healthy into the playoffs is key for the Texans training staff.

–G Zach Fulton returned to practice after missing all of last week’s practice and Sunday’s game with an injury to his left ring finger. G Greg Mancz started in his place but expectations are for Fulton to return this week and back to his starting spot at right guard.

–WR DeAndre Hopkins continues to deal with a foot issue but it is not considered serious. Hopkins has been on an injury report majority of the season but he remains on track to play as usual.

–OL Kyle Fuller was poached off the Texans practice squad by the Washington Redskins for their 53-man roster. Fuller was a seventh-round draft selection out of Baylor in 2017.

–T Roderick Johnson was signed off the practice squad prior to the game on Sunday to give the team depth.

–OLB Daeshon Hall was signed off the Texans practice squad by the Philadelphia Eagles. Hall has already arrived with the Eagles and was on the practice field on Wednesday preparing for their matchup this coming weekend.

–ILB Keenan Gilchrist was signed to the Texans practice squad. Gilchrist spent time with the Texans during training camp and on the practice squad before being released early in the season.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: QB Deshaun Watson. The Texans have struggled some on offense the past two weeks and it starts with Watson not recognizing pressure coming from defensive backs. Watson’s stats look great but he has missed some big opportunities especially against the Indianapolis Colts that would have either netted the Texans a chance to get to overtime or even a win. Still a young quarterback, Watson has to clean up his game as a quarterback for the Texans to take that next step. It is a big week for Watson to bounce back and get the team to the 10-win mark for the first time since the 2012 season.

GAME PLAN: The Texans need to establish the run better than they did last week in their loss against the Indianapolis Colts. The offense struggles to get the running game going especially Lamar Miller who has been a big part of the offense during the win streak. The offensive line is expected to be back to full strength with the return of Zach Fulton at right guard, who has been one of their top offensive players this season. Deshaun Watson will be tested this week on handling the blitz, which he has not done well the past two games, and if he can do that the offense should have little issues moving the football.

The defense needs a bounce-back game and it starts with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus heating up Jets quarterback Sam Darnold in the pocket. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel does a good job of making life tough on rookie quarterbacks and with that expectations should be high for the defense. The main priority for the Texans is to stop the vertical threat of Robby Anderson who can stretch the field and the secondary struggles with controlling offensive threats with that type of speed. Making Darnold’s life tough and taking away the big-play potential of Anderson remains key, especially with the Texans defense giving up six pass plays of 25 or more yards last Sunday.

As for the special teams, trying to get DeAndre Carter healthy for the game is important especially with his return ability. Coverage has been solid on both punt and kickoff units and that has to continue. Carter has shown he can make some impressive returns but he has to get out of the concussion protocol before Saturday’s game. Carter has improved the field position battle for the Texans and having him ready to go could prove big for the Texans.

–Texans CB Johnathan Joseph vs Jets WR Robby Anderson. The Texans’ cornerback group, especially Johnathan Joseph, struggles with top-end playmakers especially ones that can take the top off the defense with speed. That is what Robby Anderson brings to the Jets offense and keeping him corralled is a priority for the Texans defense. Not letting him get free releases is key and Joseph and others on the Texans defense are going to have to get him off his route with physical play to throw off timing with Sam Darnold.

–Texans TE Jordan Thomas vs Jets S Jamal Adams. Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been working to find ways to get his tight-end group involved in the passing game and Thomas has been a threat in the passing game over recent weeks. Thomas will draw the attention of Adams and Thomas will have a good test to see where he is as a player locking up with one of the best defenders in the NFL.