PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS AND THE TEXANS

Texans defense boasts some of NFL's Best

Kareem Jackson is having a monster year. Houston Texans/Facebook

Pro Football Focus grades each individual player's performance and assigns them a grade. All 32 teams use Pro Football Focus. 

Usually each week we will take a look at some of the good and bad from the Texans and a look at the upcoming opponent as well. With the bye week here will we look at Texans players to this point in the season. They also do great fantasy analysis and draft coverage as well. Stats are for the previous game unless otherwise noted. You can join Pro Football Focus here

Kareem Jackson - 90.1 defensive grade

Kareem Jackson is the third best defensive back by grading when accounting for playing for 50 percent of the team's snaps. He's the eighth best defender in all of football when including all players who have played 50 percent of their team's snaps. That's incredible when you think about the conversations about moving on from him this offseason. He has taken to his new role at safety well and he has had to fill in at cornerback a ton but played well. His run defense is astonishing and he's handled coverage well this year. 

J.J. Watt - 90.1 defensive grade

He's back. He's tied with teammate Kareem Jackson as the eighth best defender in football. Watt is tearing through defenses and has an average of a sack per game which is insane when you think how far removed he is from his healthy former self that was Defensive Player of the Year. He's a monster. His run defense is among some of the best numbers in his career and 

Justin Reid - 74.8 defensive grade

Justin Reid is the seventh rated rookie overall for defenders who have played 50 percent or more of their snaps. Let that sink in. Reid has six players playing regularly better than him on defense from this rookie class. That's it. None of them were drafted behind him they were all picks in the first or second round. That's an eye-popping number. He's gotten better and better too playing more snaps and posting three of his four best grades the past three weeks. Reid has been a true steal for the Texans and it's scary to think he may be getting better. Oh, and Reid has the best tackling grade in all of football.

Deshaun Watson - 79.8 passing grade

The Texans quarterback checks in at 15th in the NFL. It makes sense considering all he has dealt with so far this season. His offensive line struggled mightily and then he was injured. He's gotten going lately though. Two of his top three grades in overall offense and passing have come in the past two weeks and with the bye coming and a new wideout to get used to Watson should be back to his improving ways against Washington. He's on his way to being a dynamic force again. 

DeAndre Hopkins - 90.9 receiving grade

The second best grade in football for players that actually play most of the snaps for their team. He's only behind Michael Thomas of the Saints but Hopkins has no drops to Thomas' three drops so let's call Hopkins the best in football. He's playing like it. No one has slowed him and even with the shaky offensive line to start the season he's shown an ability to really blow up. He is tied for second in touchdowns and third in yards and he's just spectacular and getting better. The Texans have a bonafide superstar in Hopkins and he plays like it every week. 

As always, you can join Pro Football Focus here

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Texans QB Kyle Allen was back on the field. Photo via: Cody Stoots.

The Houston Texans had a lighter workout just a few days after their preseason win. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. Despite using the word “scrimmage” to describe the workout earlier in the week, Lovie Smith’s team took it easy on Tuesday. There were some fun one-on-one drills and a few team sessions, but it was one of the lighter workouts.

2. Davis Mills was tossing some deep passes in one-on-one work today. He completed a few strikes downfield, including one to Phillip Dorsett and one on the sidelines to Nico Collins. It will be interesting to see when the deeper passing shows up in a game. The Texans took a few workouts when training camp started to showcase that, this may be a similar situation for game reps.

3. Chris Moore had a nice catch in the above-mentioned drill. He beat Jonathan Owens soundly. Moore is a factor in the wideout room, but his eventual role is hard to tell right now.

4. Preseason star Dameon Pierce had a nice run in a team session. He darted through a big hole on the right side of the line. Credit to A.J. Cann for opening it up, it looked like the veteran did some work to spring the rookie.

5. Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead should not be forgotten. The veterans are still a factor in the rushing attack, especially with Pierce never having had huge workloads in his college career. Mack and Burkhead each had a nice run Tuesday.

6. Max Scharping bullied Ross Blacklock on a rep in one-on-one work. It will be interesting to see between Scharping and Justin McCray who ends up playing more left guard in the second preseason game.

7. Kenyon Green was at practice but didn’t practice again. He is dealing with a knee injury.

8. Justin Britt and Roy Lopez were a fun watch. The veteran center bested Lopez in an encounter but then moments later Lopez won himself a round. The defensive line and offensive line worked to about a stalemate in the one-on-one session I watched. Rookie Kurt Hinish had a nice win over Scott Quessenberry.

9. Tavierre Thomas had a nice interception. He stepped in front of a pass and would have taken it to the house for a score. Thomas has had a quiet camp in my opinion, but the flashes of one of the better slot corners have been there.

10. Kyle Allen was back at work after Covid forced him to miss a little time and the preseason game. Allen connected with rookie Teagan Quitoriano for a nice chunk play. The rookie tight end has started to show a little more as he has been practicing.

11. Just one more workout before the next preseason game against the Rams. Lovie Smith explained there would be a reveal on playing time expectations, so perhaps there will be some more clarity on how much the team will showcase Davis Mills and if Derek Stingley plays in the preseason.

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