Found November 06, 2012 on
State of the Texans:
This is the second part of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the defensive line in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.
The Defensive Line Grades
Shaun Cody: We have been big fans of Cody since his position change in 2011 when he became the starting nose tackle for the defense. Cody has proved to be stout in run defense and not much more than that. The biggest concern in our mind is how much his snap count has gone down since 2011, where now it is a true rotation at nose tackle. Dealing with a back issue during camp slowed him and now he still looks like he might be dealing with some ill effects of the injury. He still serves as an important purpose this season but it might be coming to the end of the road of Cody being a full time starter for the Texans.
Earl Mitchell: Mitchell is one of the most improved players for the Texans this season as he has been a new player in 2012. The weight he added for this season has proved to be good for him as a nose tackle, and he has provided versatility on the defensive line also. Mitchell has played nose tackle, defensive end (5 technique) and been in on passing downs when the Texans go to their dime package. His technique has been his biggest improvement as well as his ability to use his hands to control opposing centers. Mitchell is playing himself into a long career for the Texans if he can keep this up.
J.J. Watt: Really there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he has been the best player for the Texans in 2012 to this point. He is the only player to grade out at A+ and he deserves it. He does it all - sacks, tackles for loss, knocking down passes, but most importantly giving the Texans a go to player when they need a game changing play. His evolution as a player started towards the end of the 2011 season and only in his second year he is pushing some rare air when it comes to a defensive football player. Watt has the chance to set some records and “maybe” become the favorite to come home with the NFL’s defensive player of the year award. Nobody saw this type of player in Watt when he was drafted 11th overall in the 2011 NFL draft. If they told you they did, they are not telling the truth. Watt is a special player and expect him to be the next face of the franchise.
Antonio Smith: We want to be positive about what Antonio Smith has meant to the defensive line and the defense, but he has been a slight disappointment for us. Despite having 4 sacks on the season, Smith has been a target of opposing offenses’ running game. More times than not, good runs occur when they run at Smith and make him play run defense. He plays high and has been letting offensive lineman push him around, and that is not the Smith we saw in 2011. He was such a force in the pass rush game and while he is doing a good job of getting other players free runs to the quarterback, the reason for his low grade is his performance in the run game. With such little depth at defensive end, Smith is going to have to play better to prevent a real drop off.
Jared Crick: Health was his biggest knock after being drafted out of Nebraska this past off-season and during training camp he had a concussion issue. Used sparingly, his opportunity came on the heels of when top reserve Tim Jamison went down with an achilles injury. In a small sample size, Crick has been pretty good and had his best game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens. He shows he can play both run and pass when needed, which makes him a viable option to depend on as the season moves on. He gets an incomplete for just a small amount of snaps, but he has been a nice plug and play player for the defense.
Tim Jamison: The achilles injury opened the door for Crick to step up but Jamison’s loss was not good for the rotation. His relentless pass rush ability is a nice change up for the defense. The good thing is the Texans have extended him to be in Houston for the upcoming seasons so we will see Jamison again and hopefully he is healthy for the 2013 season.
Be on the lookout for the other report cards coming out later this week.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Houston Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, reports Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.
Coach Gary Kubiak said Cody is day-to-day in his Monday news conference.
“Shaun has always been able to work through things,” Kubiak said Wednesday in his daily news conference. “We’re 100 percent committed...
Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody briefly left Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills due to "rib issues," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said the next day. However, the Houston Chronicle reported that Cody's condition was more serious. According to the newspaper, Cody sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung. "Shaun has always been able to work through things...
This is the section of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the quarterbacks and running backs in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.
The Quarterbacks and Running backs
Matt Schaub: Talk about a new player and new leader, Schaub has been better than ever for the Texans. His pocket awareness an...
The Houston Texans are still perfect against the AFC. They get another chance this weekend to prove they can beat one of the best teams in the NFC, too.
Houston (7-1) remained unbeaten against conference opponents with a 21-9 victory over Buffalo and now moves on to face Chicago (7-1) at Soldier Field on Sunday night. In their only game against an NFC team this season, the Texans...
This is the third part of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the wide receivers and tight ends in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.
The Pass Catchers Grades
Andre Johnson: Just having Johnson on the field has made the Texans so much more of a complete team, and throw in...
This is another installment of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the linebackers in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.
The Linebacker Grades
Brian Cushing: His season was cut way too short for our liking, but his speed in the middle of the field is unmatched. Throw in his leadership...
Today the Houston Texans announced that the team named three new captains to the team. J.J. Watt, Chris Myers and Shiloh Keo were all named as new captains for the Texans at the halfway point of the season.
J.J. Watt has been a terror to opposing offenses and has been a superstar in the making, and now Watt has been rewarded by his teammates for what he has brought to the field for...
The No. 1 spot in our Power Rankings is yet again Houston's to lose. Will a trip to Soldier Field in Week 10 finally knock them from their perch?
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans are still looking for a challenger in the AFC after improving to 7-0 in their conference with a 21-9 win over Buffalo. Houston's only defeat so far came against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a humiliating nationally televised game.
The Texans (7-1) get another chance this weekend to show a prime-time audience how they stack up...
This is the start of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the offensive line in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.
The Offensive Line Grades
Duane Brown: He gave up his first sack of the season against the Buffalo Bills but he has been as good you can ask an NFL left tackle...
Houston remains atop the AFC standings with a franchise-best 7-1 start after picking up another win by beating the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Just don't expect the Texans to celebrate the 21-9 win in which Arian Foster ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and Andre Johnson added 118 yards receiving to lead a balanced attack.
''I think we can be a lot better,'' Johnson...
The Houston Texans hosted Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills at Reliant Stadium in what was called “Judgment Day” by Williams himself. Williams’ game was nothing to ride home about. He lit up the stat sheet with five tackles, two assists, and one sack. He had his best game of the season for his new team against the Texans. Williams wasn’t impactful and Houston moved the...
The Texans came out a little slow after their bye week but they were able to step their game up enough to beat the Buffalo Bills 21-9. This moves the Texans to 7-1 and allows them to maintain their lead in the AFC and AFC South standings.
The number of touchdowns the Texans allowed on Sunday. The Bills got into the red zone three times but only got three field goals...
Chicago's soft schedule ends this weekend when the Houston Texans come into town, the first of many quality opponents the Bears will face in the second half of the 2012 season.
HOUSTON (21) d BUFFALO (9)
The Headline: Texans corral the Bills for an easy home win
Much had been made about Mario Williams’ return to Houston where he spent the first six years of his career. The split between Williams and the front office was far from amicable by the sounds of it, as they reportedly made no effort to even retain Williams, something which did not...