The Texans delivered a monumental wake up call to the Indianapolis Colts beating them 62-20 but in their victory, the Texans lost a crucial piece to their defense. Defensive end J.J Watt will be on the shelf for the next four games due to injury. Watt was injured early on in the first half on a play where he was nowhere near the ball carrier. Watt’s injury dampens the in your face defensive front that coach Bull was building in Houston, but rookie defensive tackle Tyler Davis will have to step up in Watts’ absence. Tyler Davis was drafted in the first round and was rotating in and out of the starting lineup at defensive tackle aside Watt in four linemen packages. Tyler Davis will now be the primary defensive tackle for Houston and defensive end Charles Omenihu will see more snaps as the backup defensive tackle and primary left end in base packages. Coach Bull believes that his defensive front can still be a force this season but it will be a lot tougher without J.J Watt.
The Texan’s defense rallied around J.J Watt after his injury. Bradley Chubb, Keion Crossen, and Tyler Davis were all spotted helping Watt walk off the field. Tyler Davis recorded his first sack as a pro when he stopped Jameis Winston in his tracks and forced him to drop the ball. The Texan’s defense sacked Winston four times and forced him to fumble twice. The Texan’s defense scored three touchdowns and really opened up the game when Damarious Randall intercepted Jameis Winston with zero seconds on the clock before halftime and ran it back for a touchdown. The Texan’s defense will have to remain just as vigilant in week 3 when they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Texan’s offense ranks amongst one of the top offenses in the league in scoring and total yards. Deshaun Watson has thrown 10 touchdown passes in two games and zero interceptions. I know that it has only been two weeks and there is a lot of football to be played. but if Deshaun Watson is able to think decisively and protect the ball the way he has, he will be up for the MVP discussion later this season. Watson is completing 83% of his passes, but Watson’s longest completed catch has only been for 43 yards. Watson has improved on his deep ball accuracy, but he hasn’t needed to test out the limits yet this season. Watson is spreading the ball around evenly with seven receivers recording at least one catch. Wide receivers Brandon Cooks and Joseph Ngata have been Watson’s early favourite targets. Will Fuller is expected to be a prominent piece to the Texan’s offense, but most teams are expecting that and Watson is taking advantage of all of the weapons around him. The Texans have weapons on offense and defense, they are one of the most well balanced rosters in the league, but keeping this team together for seasons to come will prove to be very difficult.
Contract Corner –
The season is still very early but the general manager of the Texans has a lot on his plate in terms of negotiating new deals with pending free agents. The Texans were able to create enough cap space this season to field a team of 51 players. The Texans have 20 players on their roster that are scheduled to become free agents and half of those guys are crucial starters on both sides of the ball.
Week 3 Negotiations –
J.J Watt – $42.8M total over two years*
Bradley Chubb – $127M total over seven years*
The Texans have to prioritize resigning Bradley Chubb over J.J Watt. Bradley Chubb is 26 years old and just peaking into his prime whereas J.J Watt is 33 years old and despite having his best season in the PML last season is on the decline. He regressed just slightly this off-season and you have to wonder if his injury has to do with his age. The Texans could look to trade Watt just before the deadline to a team looking to make a deep run in the playoffs. We will provide updates each week with how the negotiations are going for each pending free agent.