After an interesting week leading up to the Wild Card round for the Houston Texans, the Texans were able to keep the Cincinnati Bengals from cutting their season short with a 19-13 victory. With the fans in an uproar after a December to forget, the Texans will be traveling to Foxborough and taking on the New England Patriots in a rematch from week 14′s embarrassment for the Texans.
Despite the negativity surrounding the team, the Texans have a chance to silence all their doubters with the Patriots’ rematch this coming Sunday. The odds are already stacked against the Texans and the national media is making this game all about the Patriots. The best thing for the Texans is the idea that no one is giving them a chance to even be in the same stadium with the home team.
With the upcoming game, there are a few underlying stories that should have the Texans’ attention moving forward.
- The hit that tight end Garret Graham took from Bengal’s linebacker Vontaze Burfict to ice the game may be a blow that could hamper the offense. On Saturday, the Texans used two or more tightends on 40% of their offensive sets. This is the set that gave the Texans the most success in the wild card round, which they did not have in week 14 versus the Patriots because Graham was out with a concussion. With Owen Daniels, James Casey, Andre Johnson and Graham as the receivers in this set, the Texans’ offense is the most potent. Their ability to run and pass the football out of this set gives teams issues and expands what the offense can do for the Texans.
Throw in the status of Graham, which remains unclear, the Texans could be missing a key piece of their offense on Sunday. This could be something to watch moving forward.
-Don’t look now but Brandon Brooks is taking over the right guard position from fellow rookie Ben Jones. Brooks took 40 snaps while Jones took 35, and it is slowly becoming evident how much better an interior player Brooks is. With Vince Wilfork patrolling the middle for the Patriots, expect Brooks to be the answer to his size and strength. Brooks, teamed with Derek Newton, looked the best they have in sometime on the right side of the offensive line and created some push against a stout Bengals front four. Both Brooks, Jones and Newton are going to need big days to keep the Texans hopes alive.
- DeVier Posey is growing with the offense and has taken over the duties as 3rd wide receiver for the Texans, and then some. Keyshawn Martin and Lestar Jean’s playing time has been cut to next to nothing because of the emergence of Posey. Posey was robbed from having a great catch on an offensive pass interference in the 4th quarter that would have been the clutch catch of the game. Posey took 20 snaps to the combined 2 of Martin and Jean. He will be a bigger part of the offense as time goes and his ability to stretch the field and be an explosive play maker is what this offense needs.
- Shiloh Keo has been getting the majority of the snaps at the dime safety but it comes down to nothing more than the erratic play of Quintin Demps. Demps started the season off well and played with confidence, but a few missed assignments that caused big plays that resulted in touchdowns put Demps in the doghouse. Like one source told us, he was “benched” for his performance and has nothing to do with an injury. If Keo is to get off the field, it is going to take a good week of practice from Demps to win back his spot.
With the passing attack of the Patriots and Tom Brady, the decision will have to be made to keep rolling with Keo or give Demps, who has been prone to giving up big plays, another shot. The choices are not good for the Texans, but it will be surprising if Demps is not back out there on Sunday. He provides the better speed and ability than Keo, but confidence is the only thing that is lacking.
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