Texans vs Giants: Observations
Both teams came in at 0-2 and in desperate need of a win to salvage early season hope. The Giants looked desperate as the Texans looked inept in their 27-22 home opening loss. Here’s what I observed:
-JJ Watt is rounding into form. He made several JJ-type plays. One was an inside rush knifing through the line and stopping Saquon Barkley in the backfield. Another was an outside rush, then stripping Eli Manning of the ball forcing the Giants to kick a field goal. Oh, and he threw in three sacks as well.
-Part of the reason Watt looked so good was the play of the others in the front seven, particularly Jadeveon Clowney. While the box score only shows three tackles and one for a loss, Clowney was often opposite of Watt and took up attention to allow Watt to such a good game.
- Will Fuller showed off his added bulk a few times this game. He routinely caught passes and bounced off would be tacklers for yards after catch/contact. Holding onto passes, especially after contact, has been a struggle for him. If he’s put it behind him, this’ll be a welcomed sight.
-Julien Davenport had five penalties called against him. Sure he’s in his second season and played college ball at Bucknell (an FCS school), but five penalties?!? One early in the fourth quarter took a touchdown off the board. It’s like a parent constantly giving their kids excuses using the “he’s/she’s only __ years old.” Accountability has to start sometime.
-Deshaun Watson made the cardinal sin of throwing a red zone interception. Down 20-9, Martinas Rankin allowed a sack, and then pressure as Watson had to roll out. He then threw the ball up to Lamar Miller, but Alec Ogletree picked it off as he was in better position.
-Watson also took some unnecessary hits. He scrambled a couple times and got out of bounds. However, there were a few times in which he didn’t slide and seemed to get banged up. He got up fine each time, but there are only so many hits you have in your career. Don’t waste them.
-Giants scored on all four of their drives in the first half to build a 20-3 lead. Texans defense has to help the offense when they can’t get going. Allowing that many scoring drives puts undo pressure on the offense whether they’re scoring or not.
-Speaking of the offense, the run game looked nothing like the one that came into this game leading the league. They managed only 59 yards on 19 carries, with 36 of those yards coming via Watson’s scrambling.
-Watson went 24 of 40 for 385 yards. But those 16 incompletions were bad. Several hopped in front of receivers and some sailed over their heads. He’s looking more comfortable, but his inaccuracy at times is scary, the bad kind.
The Texans fall to 0-3 on the season. Prospects for having a successful season are going down the drain faster than a new toilet on its first flush. Bill O’Brien isn’t going anywhere. Deshaun Watson is what he is. This defense isn’t going to magically fix itself. Maybe it’s time for Texans’ fans to face reality. Where have I heard that before? It’s not quite time to start looking at draft prospects, but if this keeps up, they could be on Ed Oliver watch.