JAKE ASMAN

Tony Dungy: I like where the Texans are right now

Tony Dungy likes the Texans. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After an 0-3 start, the Houston Texans have won six games in a row, joining the 1970 New York Giants as the only teams to win six consecutive games after starting 0-3 in NFL history.

Super Bowl winning Head Coach and current NBC Sports Analyst Tony Dungy has been impressed with the Texans resolve after the terrible start to their season. Appearing on The Jake Asman Show on SB Nation Radio, Dungy talked about how he believed in Houston from the start of this season.

“I picked the Texans to win that division this year,” Dungy said. “I thought that if Deshaun Watson was healthy and if there defensive players were healthy, Whitney Mercilus and JJ Watt and (Jadeveon) Clowney, I thought they would have enough to do it.

After beating the Denver Broncos 19-17 last Sunday, Dungy, said he believes those are the type of games the Texans are going to have to play in order to win meaningful games the rest of the season.

“These are the types of games I think they are going to play,” said Dungy. “Where the defense hangs in there, gets some turnovers. Deshaun (Watson) makes just enough plays and they win and it’s going to be a tight fought game. I like their competitiveness and their belief in each other and I think those defenders are just going to get better and better... I like where the Texans are right now.”

Leading the Texans during their current winning streak has been the strong play of second year QB Watson. In Watson’s last six games, he’s thrown for 1,518 yards, 12 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions including a 68% completion rate. Watson has also not turned the ball over during the last three games. When asked what has stood out about Watson’s recent performance, Dungy said Watson’s playmaking ability has caught his eye.

“To me it’s his ability to make that big play and create that big play… When the design of the play breaks down, the defense does a good job, most of the time the QB says ‘OK, that’s it, I’ll live to play another day, I’ll throw the ball away, I’ll take a sack, and we'll get ‘em the next play’”, Dungy said. “Deshaun Watson has the ability that when the defense does everything properly and there is no where to go, he can still create things. To me that is a great quality to have and that is what separates Deshaun. He doesn’t have it all down yet and he’s going to get better and better but that ability to make something out of nothing in a crucial situation, that’s what he brings to the table.”

You can listen to the entire interview with Tony Dungy here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7076725-tony-dungy-interview

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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