Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm.


–WR Keke Coutee remains limited and a game-time decision while he continues to rehab his injured hamstring. Rumors have been building that the Texans are trying to get him ready for the playoffs with this extended rest.

–NT Brandon Dunn was limited with an ankle injury he suffered against the New York Jets. Dunn did not return to the game after he injured his ankle.

–WR DeAndre Hopkins will take it easy this week after injuring his ankle late in the fourth quarter on a catch-and-run play. Hopkins tweaked his left ankle but he finished the game making the most important play of the game.

–G Senio Kelemete is battling through elbow and rib issues and that is not including an ankle injury that can flare up at any time. Kelemete is expected to start this coming Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

–RB Lamar Miller injured his left ankle after being tackled by two defenders by pinning his leg under him. Miller’s status is one to watch especially with little depth on the current roster.

–S Mike Tyson suffered a concussion and is currently in the concussion protocol. Tyson has been playing solid football on special teams and is the primary backup for the safety group.

–G Zach Fulton continues to bounce back from a hand injury. Fulton had a left ring finger injury that caused issues with him using his hands when pass setting.

GAME PLAN: The Houston Texans have to find their way running the football again. The past two games the Texans have averaged 68 rushing yards a game while producing a season low 47 yards against the New York Jets. The Texans trust Deshaun Watson but they want to keep defenses honest with the running game and getting it going is priority No. 1. Watson has to continue to play mistake-free football and continue protecting the ball like he has done majority of the season.

Defensively, the Texans have to shore up their secondary coverage especially in zone. The Texans coverage at times looks disorganized and this last game saw a defense struggling to get lined up in time giving up easy passes. The Eagles are going to push the ball downfield and the Texans secondary has to bounce back after a three-game stretch giving up 349.7 yards a game through the air.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: S Tyrann Mathieu. With both TEs Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert being issues for defenses, Mathieu is going to have to help in coverage against the duo mainly with Ertz. The Texans have been up and down in coverage the past three weeks and taking away Ertz will fall to Mathieu at times. His big-play ability gives the Texans defense confidence and the biggest game of the year calls for him to be the play-maker he can be.

–Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney vs. Eagles T Jason Peters. The Texans have to get to QB Nick Foles and it starts with edge pressure, namely with Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is usually matched up against left tackles in pass rushing situations and this week it is Peters. Peters is one of the best in the game and it will be a good test for one of the top play-makers on the Texans defense in Clowney.

–Texans G Senio Kelemete vs. Eagles DT Fletcher Cox. Kelemete is slowly getting banged up as the season progresses and currently he is dealing with an elbow and rib issue that showed against the New York Jets. Cox is one of the top interior lineman in the NFL and when he gets going he is tough to slow down in both the run game and his pass rush. The Texans need to control the line of scrimmage and it starts with Kelemete holding his own against Cox.