Yesterday, we learned about the Texans’ offense, which has been productive in fits and starts despite an uninspiring overall record. What about the defense? Is it still a strength?
To find out, we resume our conversation with Jeremy Brener of SB Nation’s Battle Red Blog.
Acme Packing Company: Defense has been Romeo Crennel’s calling card in his NFL coaching career, but Houston’s wasn’t as dynamic as it was earlier in his tenure even before he took over as head coach for Bill O’Brien. What do you think of the unit as a whole?
Jeremy Brener: The secondary is easily its strength, but that’s because the front seven has not been very good. Justin Reid, Eric Murray and Bradley Roby have played nearly every snap and have gone against some strong offenses this season. They’ve had to play Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Tennessee — arguably the four best teams in the AFC. Against those four teams, only one player had 100 yards receiving.
However, the defense has allowed a 100-yard rusher in every game so far, including a 200-yard rusher last week in Derrick Henry. It costs them games, including last week’s.
APC: Who’s a defensive player we may not know about that could make a difference on Sunday?
JB: Linebacker Tyrell Adams has seen a spike in playing time this season with five-year starter Benardrick McKinney injured early this season. Adams has been a pleasant surprise and could be the future at the position for the Texans. He led the team in tackles last week so don’t be surprised to hear his name again this week.
APC: If you were going to attack the Houston defense, what would you do?
JB: Run the football down their throats. If I’m Matt LaFleur, I am letting Aaron Jones carry the ball 50 times on Sunday. I’m not joking. Giving the ball to Jones and killing the clock also prevents Watson from getting the ball, who is 3rd in passing yards this season despite the Texans placing 32nd in time of possession.
APC: What’s your prediction for Sunday?
JB: The Packers should win by at least 10 points. They are clearly the better team and they need a bounce-back game after failing to show up last week in Tampa Bay. I also think J.J. Watt gets his 100th sack (he’s at 99 for his career). How incredible of a story would that be for him to achieve that against the Packers?