Javian ‘The Train’ Hawkins Miniaturizes the Atlanta Falcons!
The Houston Texans hosted the Atlanta Falcons and were feeling confident after blowing out the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one. The Houston offense controlled majority of the game and former MVP Javian Hawkins had his way with the Atlanta defense. His longest run was for 66 yards and it came on a inside zone up the middle, but he carried the ball 20 times for 134 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. He registered 9 broken tackles and he was seen carrying defenders up and down the field. Drew Lock redeemed himself this game by protecting the ball better and he didn’t throw an interception. He completed 19 of his 26 attempts and threw for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 73% completion rate is one the highest ratings in his career, but as we’ve seen, he has the most weapons around him than he’s ever had in his career. The Houston Texans have been one of the highest scoring offenses through two weeks in PML and they remain patient on the field. Their play calling has been dictated by what the defense has allowed them to do and in both games this season, they have dominated the fourth quarter on the ground. Brandon Cooks continued his excellence from last season and led the Texans with 5 receptions for 154 yards and 1 touchdown. Rookie wide receiver Rakim Jarrett also added 1 catch for a touchdown. The Houston defense has played a lot better than in previous seasons, and the presence of strong safety Maurice Hampton has really amplified the personality of the entire defense.
Maurice Hampton led the team with 4 solo tackles and 1 interception. Hampton has taken majority of the snaps at strong safety in the Texan’s base 3-4 defense and at the slot position in their nickel and dime packages. Tyrann Mathieu has taken snaps at the second corner position because his abilities help him and the defense guard the flats easier. The Texans defeated the Falcons 35-21 and towards the end of the game were all seen fighting over a hailmary throw, but Tyrann Mathieu ultimately came down with the interception. Todd Gurley ran for 190 yards against the Dallas Cowboy’s defense in week 1 and the Texans were expecting a heavy dose of him at running back. They were able to hold Gurley to 14 carries for 61 yards with an average of 4.4 yards per carry. The Texans are 2-0 and head to Jacksonville to play against an 0-2 Jaguars team that is desperately in need of a win. The AFC South had a down year last season and most of the teams were in the playoff hunt in week 17, so every divisional game is important. The Texans will want to take control of the game on the ground and keep Trevor Lawrence off of the field, but the Jaguar’s offense will be without its best wide receiver due to an injury that happened when a blackout occurred in the facility in their game against the Colts this week. DJ Chark was limping around when the lights came back on and no one knows what knocked him to the ground. Regardless, that is a huge loss to the Jaguars and their young receivers will have to step up in week 3.
The Texans will have to really manage their cap wisely heading into next season. They have a lot of high profile players that will need to be resign for season 5. Will Fuller and Tyrann Mathieu are the first two players that they are negotiating with. It has been rumoured that Will Fuller has already turned down a deal that the Texans have offered him. He informed them that he wants a four year deal worth $84M. The Texans offered him the deal that he asked for, but he then told them that he wanted the bonus money to be higher. Tyrann Mathieu resigned with the Texans this past season on a remarkable home town deal worth $750K. Mathieu was betting on himself and is hoping to get a three year deal worth $38M. The Texans have asked Mathieu to step in and play multiple positions this season and they are rewarding him with a four year deal worth close to $50M. Mathieu will go from making just $750K this season to $11.7M next season.