The Texans Get Blindsided by the Broncos

Deshaun Watson was very animated after the Texans suffered a brutal 37-26 beatdown at the hands of the Denver Broncos. The Texans have lost two games in a row against two well built rosters but both games had the Texans favored to win. Deshaun Watson took the brunt of the blame and after throwing for ten touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first two games this season, he has thrown seven interceptions in the last two games. Desean Watson has looked very uneasy in the pocket. He has forced his throws into coverage and when his receivers have been open, he has thrown the ball out of reach and at times into the arms of a waiting defender. The Texans are at a crossroad. They are sitting at 2-2 and their schedule doesn’t get any easier. The offensive game plan did take a turn for the worst in the first quarter when Javian Hawkins dislocated his shoulder on his very first carry of the game. 

Coach Bull wanted to take advantage of a statistically weak front that the Broncos were showing, but backup running back Kenneth Gainwell was unable to take advantage. Kenneth Gainwell carried the ball ten times for forty-two yards. The Texans asked Desean Watson to throw the ball 35 times and that ratio is going to favor the defense almost every time. Coach Bull has to design a better game plan that takes advantage of all of the weapons that he has on offense. If he is able to implement a change of pace offense that keeps their opponents guessing on what is coming next, then this Texans team will find their way back into the winning column. 

The Texan’s defense has done a better job at pressuring the quarterback this season but their run defense has been absolutely atrocious. The awful pursuit angles and lack of block shed is enabling opposing runners to run right by them. The Broncos below average speed halfbacks ran for over 200 yards and half of that was given up on a single run. Devin Singletary ran a stretch to the sideline and freely raced by outstretched Texan defenders that placed themselves in difficult angles to even attempt to make a tackle. Coach Bull has to implement a base defense that covers all of the bases in the running game and passing game. The coach has been designing plays to send extra pressure to help with his pass defense, but the lack of block shed has hurt the Texans immensely. J.J Watts’ absence on the defensive line has invited teams to run more than they usually would. The Texans were hoping the combined efforts of Watt, Chubb, Davis, and Jacob Martin would make their defensive line a formidable one. J.J Watt is due to return in three more weeks and Coach Bull desperately needs his services in order to right the ship. 

Rookie Watch –

The Texans draft class addressed a lot of needs that gave them depth at most positions. The Texans weren’t expecting to receive a lot of production from their rookies on offense and were hoping for more impact from their first round pick. 

DT Tyler Davis – 5 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 touchdown.
Tyler Davis has yet to really take over a game for the Texans but he has contributed in ways that have impacted particular quarters in each game. Davis hasn’t had the consistent motor that the Texans were hoping for when they drafted him, but the hope is that once J.J Watt is back in the lineup, then Davis will be able to defeat his 1-1 matchups and hit the ball carrier in the backfield. 

WR Joseph Ngata – 9 catches, 111 yards, and 6 touchdowns. 
Joseph Ngata has been able to eat in the red zone this season. Six of his nine catches have gone for touchdowns. Ngata has been able to camouflage himself in the endzone and defenders aren’t respecting him enough to cover him. Ngata probably will not be in the running for rookie of the year this season, but it is a pleasant surprise to see their fourth round draft pick and fifth best wide receiver producing as much as he is this season. 

Week 5 Negotiations –

DE J.J Watt – $42.8M total over two years*
CB Keion Crossen – $32.9M total over three years*
CB Gareon Conley – $32.9M total over three years*

The Texans have put off negotiations with J.J Watt until he is able to prove himself on the field. Watt is playing on the franchise tag this season and despite his presence being missed, the Texans don’t seem thrilled to pay him over $20M for the next two years. They want to know that they can rely on their best pass rusher to be on the field and despite this being Watt’s only injury of the cycle, he has had a scare of injuries in the past. The Texans will have to pay their best corners this upcoming season. Gareon Conley and Keion Crossen both want to be paid roughly $10M a season and the Texans will need to accommodate that or risk losing two of their best defensive backs in an already scarce position in the league.