Why I think the Houston Texans are in trouble

We all seem to believe the Jaguars have a tough schedule in 2010. We all look at the AFC South as a mountain maybe too high to climb. This is wrong thinking. The AFC South is ready to be taken by the Jaguars if they man up and play hard. The Colts are the champions, but vulnerable. We saw that in two close games last year. So let’s look at why Houston may not be very difficult to beat in the coming season.

The Houston Offense:  Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are both over the top good. Matt Schaub matured last year in my opinion into an elite quarterback. He could scramble better and find a deep receiver when you didn’t expect it. Andre Johnson scares every defensive coordinator. But then what?  Where is the running game? Who is the second receiver? Who is Matt Schaub’s backup? Hello? Anyone out there?

The Texans ranked almost last in rushing yards last year. Only the Colts and Chargers were worse. Maurice Jones Drew was equal to all Texan running backs. Duane Brown, the left tackle had a horrible season in 2009, just like Charlie Johnson of the Colts. Kasey Studdard, the left guard, may have had a worse season. I don’t know who is playing right guard. Chris White played some. Antoine Caldwell played some. Neither really did anything. When you look at the statistics, not only can’t Houston run the ball, but Matt Schuab was hit a lot in 2009. Houston, like the Colts, has big problems on the offensive line.

If Matt Schaub was hit a lot, who is backing him up? Dan Orlovsky. With all the respect of Dan Orlovsky; if Schaub is injured-The Texans are done!

Unlike the Colts, the Texans have no Dallas Clark to help Matt Schuab out. Owen Daniels was hurt last year. He suffered a season ending ACL tear. This was unfortunate. Other than Andre Johnson, there is no one Matt Schaub can bail out to. No running game, no tight end, no second receiver. Matt Schuab’s greatness is going unnoticed. He has very little help. (Keep reading afte the jump)

Houston Defense. When I think Houston defense, I think Mario Williams. This guy is very good. Would you take him over Julius Peppers? Maybe you would. Jeff Zgonina was their next best defensive lineman. Man in glass house should not throw stone says the fortune cookie, but Houston had a bit of trouble putting up a pass rush. Not as bad as we did, but not huge. Mario Williams was the guy.

When you think run defense, do you think of Houston? Chris Johnson got 350 yards in two games against them. Surprisingly, Houston is a good run defense team. In rushing yards per game, they are equal to Tennessee and better than the Colts and the Jaguars. This is the linebacker play mostly and the most improved part of Houston’s defense. This is why Brian Cushing was such a good addition.  If you get past the linebackers however….

Do you beat the Texans by air? Here again, the statistics are not that bad. Jacksonville and Tennessee both were worse in defending against the pass. Yards per game, the Texans allowed 218 in the air. Not bad, not really bad.

Total defense, as measured by yards per game, the Texans are the best in the AFC South. They gave up big plays, but played hard most of the time. They were also horrible in drawing penalties on defense at the worst time. They played undisciplined football on defense.

So why are the Houston Texans in trouble?  Here are the reasons:

  1. They have no running game
  2. They have an offensive line that allows Matt Schaub to be hit
  3. They have no backup for Matt Schaub
  4. They have one real offensive weapon
  5. They don’t have a winners discipline as a team

The same formula I gave for beating the Colts applies to the Texans. Attack the offensive line hard and take away Andre Johnson. Push them hard into stress situations and they come apart as a team. Jacksonville does this against them very very well.

Just like the Colts are the champs and hard to beat, Houston is an Indianapolis wannabee.  They can play football and our best effort is needed to beat them. But they are easier to beat than the Colts. The Colts don’t beat themselves, the Texans do.

- Terry O’Brien

Tags: Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars Mario Williams Matt Schuab

  • Ogden

    “Daniels was hurt last year, but put up mediocre numbers before going out.”

    Are you insane??? In 8 games Daniels put up 519 yards, 40 receptions, and 5 TDs. He was ranked 1st or 2nd in every TE category and was on his way at and easy 1,000 yard season and another Pro Bowl. Even missing 8.5 games last season he finished in the Top 20 TEs in composite stats.

  • Jon

    I would also have to add that Kevin Walter (I think thats his name) was pretty good against us last year as well.

  • christhetexan

    Owen Daniels was hurt last year, but put up mediocre numbers before going out *

    *The exact moment where your article loses all credibility. You are very, very misinformed.

    I love my team, but I am realistic, be realistic.

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    Let’s let Terry express his views about Daniels. I think most part of Terry’s article is worth to read the whole thing. Terry thinks the Texans has the best shot to WIN the AFC South this year.

    So calm down everyone! We respect the Texans in a big way!

  • aj

    Daniels was on pace for 80 catches, more than 1,000 yards and 10 TDs when he went down. Hardly mediocre. It’s fine to have an opinion but if you want to be taken seriously, having an informed opinion helps. There are other issues with this article but I’ll leave them alone.

    • Texan_Bill

      Exactly AJ…. I guess this passes for sports journalism nowadays!!

  • JT

    This article is junk, just like the Jagwads. Rex Grossman signed with the Redskins months ago.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Sorry; I corrected Terry’s mistake- he not making too much so it was a very rare thing. However with all the respect of Dan Orlovsky; if Schaub is injured-The Texans are done…..

  • Damien

    This is the worse article I’ve read all offseason!!

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      You are a lucky man; or you didn’t read many articles…

      You have no idea what kind of articles I read on a daily basis even from so called “experts”…

      Not to mention all the Jags bashing from poeple who have no idea what’s going on in North Florida right now…

  • HuttoKarl

    If Matt Schaub is injured it will hurt the Texans chances? NO SHEEEIT, SHERLOCK!

    If Manning is injured, the Colts hurt. If Brees is injured, the Saints are porked. If a team’s starting QB is injured, then that team will have problems…unless it’s the Jags because their starter is a backup anyway.

    Worst article ever.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Once again- worst article ever???? Do you read man just this site?

      Hey if you not like the article; and have an opinion feel free to do so. I understand you are upset. But as I linked a couple comments before this; tre writer of the article; Terry thinks the Texans HAS THE BEST SHOT to win the division this year.

      And by the way; there are teams who can make big runs with backups. David Garrard was a backup in 2005 and 2006-Did he performed badly when Leftwich was hurt? I think (except the meltdown against the Chiefs and Titans in 2006;) we can say no. Titans in 2008- Young was injured in Game 1- and they win the division with BACKUP QB: Remember? Soalthough you have some truth in what you say; I can throw to you at least 5 examples as well to destroy your point…

  • Texan_Bill

    I think the author should stick to World Cup soccer, or Cricket, or something other than football.

    In the words of Charles Barkley: “[this article] is just turrrrrble!”

    No wonder Jacksonville is on the verge of losing it’s football team. Does this kitty even pay attention?? What a joke of an article.

    Exactly, spot on HuttoKarl….

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Terry is a pretty good writer; with very good arguments most of the time. A classy guy. Someone you would love to argue in person!

      You don’t like what he written- it’s ok. Denegrate him over 1 article – Well it is not a very wise thing…

      And once again Terry thinks Houston will win the division this year. Oh yeah; such a bad man….

  • Matt Simon

    “Who is the second receiver? Who is Matt Schaub’s backup? Hello? Anyone out there?”

    Gauging a team’s outlook based on their backup quarterback isn’t exactly rational. As far as the receiving corps, Houston has one of the best in the league. Kevin Walter and Julius Jones are names to be aware of when game-planning for the Texans.

    “Duane Brown, the left tackle had a horrible season in 2009, just like Charlie Johnson of the Colts. Kasey Studdard, the left guard, may have had a worse season. I don’t know who is playing right guard. Chris White played some. Antoine Caldwell played some.”

    Duane Brown was fine and expect to see a lineup of Brown, Winston, Caldwell, Wade Smith (KC), and Myers improve next season. There is a new coordinator, but the tackles are stout. Guards/Center were the issue in 2009, not Duane Brown.

    “Unlike the Colts, the Texans have no Dallas Clark to help Matt Schuab out.”

    No, they have a tight end who is BETTER than Dallas Clark in every statistic. He is healthy now. Behind Owen Daniels are three serviceable guys. TE is not a position to attack on the Texans, nor is wide receiver.

    You found 4 things crucially wrong with the offense…but failed to fault the defense. You fail to realize where the real weaknesses are for the Texans. I will give you a hint for your next op-ed: Interior offensive line, running back (addressed by draft), free safety and cornerback.

    Some people here have your back, so you must be a pretty good read, but this was pretty shoddy work man. It promoted conversation, nonetheless.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Not that is a critism I like to see and read all the time. Thank you Sir! CLASSY! You showed what is your problem with the article; and then you made a real counter argument. That’s the way it is among smart people.

      I agree maybe your last part was Terry’s point this time- to create a discussion. I agree; the Texans defense (and to be specific – just like for the Jaguars- the secondary is their most ravaged area. If I would make a game plan against the Texans I started to target their defensive backs.

      • Matt Simon

        Thanks! I know diehard mentality. I am one!

        As for weakness…yup…I would target the secondary too. Bernard Pollard was great, but he is only SS…we have no FS, and our CB’s have a combined 3 years experience. The nickel is a 2nd year guy too!

        I love our chances, but you really can’t count out any of the 4 teams in the South.

        • zoltanfrombudapest

          I wrote an article in this site before free agency started how our GM was made a critical error signing Brian Russell instead of Pollard and let him to the Texans.
          He is a great player and shame that Gene not grab him when he could.
          And Brian Russell- well Texans fans saw him end of last season too why his nickname is among the NFL fans is “The walking joke” when Houston signed him after we cut the guy …

          By the way we (Terry and I) really not counting out anybody here. We know how dangerous both 3 teams (Titans; Colts and you guys). I know how tough the challenge is. Terry is optimistic and exited about the Jaguars chances; but he is the most critical with them; when they’re not performing well enough!

          • Matt Simon

            Great article. Bernard has proven himself worthy of leading our defense. Too bad for Jacksonville. :)

    • Wolf

      probably a typo, but for those that don’t follow the Texans.. It is Jacoby Jones(a Kr/WR) , (not julius Jones the RB that was with the Cowboys and Seahawks)

  • Matt Simon

    Whoops. You got me. Probably just a brain-fart, but Jacoby will do well. Julius…I think he is on the way out of football?