From Josh Allen to Minshew Mania the Texans have their hands full
Texans in London with new set of challenges
The Friday Stoots Six-Pack is here for you to get ready for the Texans London debut. Chip chip cherrio.
This is the first trip for the Texans across the pond. It took a lot longer than I thought it would take considering the Jaguars are basically London's team. The Texans avoided a trip to Jacksonville this year which means only two true road division games this year. They still have a trip to Tennessee.
The advantage isn't going to end up being a huge deal for Jacksonville. Two of their most important players, Gardner Minshew and Josh Allen, are making their first trip. It is a double road game, with a tiny bit a familiarity for the Jaguars.
The early start time sucks, that's not fun. But, an early morning win sure would make all of Sunday feel nice for Texans fans.
Shorthanded in key spots
#Texans WR Will Fuller V (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson Sr. (back/wrist), CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. (concussion), C/G Greg Mancz (concussion) and CB Bradley Roby (hamstring) will not travel with the team to London for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) October 31, 2019
The Texans didn't even take these players to London. That's already five of the seven inactive players.
The Texans will be short a player or two as I am guessing they will have more than two players who can't play on Sunday in London. I would expect Lonnie Johnson, Bradley Roby, and Tashaun Gipson to all be back after the bye week. Their absence makes for another tough game in the secondary this week though.
Will Fuller's absence is noticeable in the ability to stretch the field for the offense. A healthy Kenny Stills would go a long way in bringing back some element of that for Deshaun Watson and the passing game.
Tunsil and Tytus
Laremy Tunsil should play this weekend. The Texans desperately need him. The right tackle spot with Howard potentially being down another week is weak. The Texans eventually solved an element of the issue at right tackle with how they ran the offense late in the game against the Raiders.
The Raiders are not the Jaguars. Jacksonville boasts a much more formidable pass rush. The Jaguars have 29 sacks on the season which is good enough for third. They're a nasty group coming at teams from all angles.
If Roderick Johnson is healthy he should be the right tackle. If he isn't Chris Clark and Dan Skipper are the options. I don't expect Tytus Howard to be ready just yet despite his return to practice. However, if he is ready, wow what a boost that would be.
Minshew's Magic Mania
Gardner Minshew is fun to watch. It isn't fun to be on the other end of Minshew making plays and kicking defenses ass.
He is a rhythm player. Most air raid guys are. Disrupting him almost always leads to the Jaguars struggling on offense. The problem is even when he is struggling he's dangerous and can push the Jaguars into a position to score.
The Texans have to push Minshew into a position where he can't rely on Leonard Fournette and the rushing attack. He's most dangerous in a close game where his mobility nearly sunk the Texans in week two. He can't win a shootout with Deshaun Watson and the Texans.
No longer the marquee matchup
Jalen Ramsey and Deandre Hopkins matchup is HEATING UP 🔥 pic.twitter.com/l3Ut8flWYi— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 15, 2019
The best 1-on-1 matchup in the NFL is no more. DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey was always a treat to watch. Since the two squared off, Ramsey has a new home in Los Angeles playing for the Rams.
I don't know how the Jaguars will defend Hopkins now. Former Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye is an option surely but I don't think he will follow Hopkins like Ramsey did. Maybe rolling coverage over to him and hoping he doesn't find the weak part of the defense.
Hopkins has been a terror on first downs. If the Jaguars can't slow him down the Texans should be able to stay on schedule and get hot on offense.
The new terror of the AFC South
Josh Allen might end up being the best pass rusher to call the AFC South home since J.J. Watt. He's a monster. He is a freak athlete. He's evolving too. He's hitting his stride.
He has at least a sack in his last four games and is coming off a two sack performance against the Jets.
Jacksonville moves him around a lot to take advantage of his athleticism and match him up with defenders who will struggle with him. It is annoying for the rest of the AFC South that he slipped to Jacksonville and even more annoying that he is starting to figure things out.
The whole Jaguars front-seven is scary, but Allen might end up being the scariest in years.