JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS
The good, bad and ugly from the Texans win over the Browns
The Texans bullied the Browns en route to their ninth consecutive win. Here’s how I saw the 29-13 win:
-Deshaun Watson made some really nice touch passes. One to tight end Jordan Thomas for a touchdown particularly stood out. The pass had to get over the underneath coverage, but deep enough for Thomas to make the catch without the safety drifting over to help. Did I mention it was on a play action rollout?
-Zach Cunningham made a couple unbelievable plays in pass coverage. He played the pass lane in zone and broke up one pass on a third down, and then he intercepted a pass by playing the pass lane and returned it for a touchdown. Plays like these, and his sideline to sideline speed
-Justin Reid is the real deal. He had a forced fumble to take away a for sure touchdown. A lot is said of his playmaking ability, but he can hit as well. In the fourth quarter with the game decided, the Texans were in cover two to keep everything underneath. Reid nearly decapitated Jarvis Landry when he ran from the hash mark to the sideline to make the play.
-Kareem Jackson got called for a 47-yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball that may not have been catchable. He tackled Antonio Callaway and the ball fell about four to five yards in front of them. That could have led to points had Jonathan Joseph not picked off Baker Mayfield two plays later.
-Jabrill Peppers shot through the B gap (between the offensive tackle and guard) on a blitz and Lamar Miller whiffed on the block. That could’ve gotten Watson hit cleanly had he not side-stepped Peppers and ran for a first down. As good as Miller has run the ball, his pass protection lacked severely on this play.
-In the first half, the defense picked off Baker Mayfield three times and held the Browns to 46 yards passing. They gave up 351 in the second half and didn’t record a sack.
-Browns defensive end Myles Garrett sacked Watson on their opening drive and pulled him down via a horse collar tackle. The penalty wasn’t called because Watson was in the pocket. This is a very rare instance in which the quarterback isn’t protected. It looked worse than what it was and could have been scary given Watson’s history with knee injuries.
-Watson continues to unnecessarily extend plays and get himself hit. This will come back to haunt him one day if he continues to do so. It’s one thing to extend plays by moving around, but doing so by risking your health is dumb. Don’t be dumb.
-Offensive line depth is a problem. Only dressing seven guys and having two of them get hurt in multiple games this year isn’t good. That is not how you want to go into the playoff run. This is the second time in three games it has happened. While it’s too late to make a trade or getting a 300 pounder of his couch, maybe practice squad garage sale shopping can be an option.
-Andre Hal made a great play to intercept a pass in the first half. His Tony Toe Tap pick took points off the board as he picked off the pass in the end zone. To come back from cancer to play at a high level in the same year is unbelievable.
Great all-around game by the Texans. There’s still work to do. Offensive line depth, Watson screwing around extending plays, and defensive brain farts are all issues. The run game is going strong. Despite some bumps along the road, 9-3 with a three game division lead is pretty sweet.