Texans 2020 offense

What are the Texans' plans for the offense after all these moves?

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

We've had the discussions about DeAndre Hopkins departure. We've talked about Brandin Cooks and the trades that have gone down. The concerns of injuries to this roster have been delved into. The moves have been made and now it's time to look at what the Houston Texans could be planning with their 2020 offensive attack.

Over the last week, I've done some research and read some tea leaves. By no means do I know exactly what the Texans plan and this article isn't coming from a place of inside sourcing. Here's what I believe Houston will attempt to do with Tim Kelly and Bill O'Brien.

The NFL is a copycat league, always has been. From the West Coast offense to the run and shoot to the craze over the pistol formation, NFL offenses are always looking to adapt to the most cutting edge attack. Joe Brady has been a fast riser in the football ranks. At every stop he looks to add new wrinkles to his offensive attack. Last year, he laid the foundation of an offense that took Joe Burrow to national champ and Heisman winner. Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions.

Brady has since left Baton Rouge for Charlotte, North Carolina, where he'll run the Panthers' offense for new head coach, Matt Rhule. Rhule and the Panthers have brought in Teddy Bridgewater and PJ Walker to execute the offense. They've since traded Kyle Allen and parted ways with Cam Newton.

Bridgewater, like Burrow doesn't have the biggest arm, but he's accurate. He's a perfect fit for the Brady offense coming to Carolina. The Panthers have supplied Bridgewater and Brady with the exact weapons he needs for the execution of his offense. They have one of the top receiving backs in the NFL that is deadly as a rusher. They have speedsters all over the offense that can take short passes and maximize gains with efficiency.

Why am I discussing Joe Brady and the Panthers so much in an article about what the Texans' offense will look like in 2020? The reason is that I believe Tim Kelly will be tasked with building a similar attack. While David Johnson isn't in Christian McCaffrey's league anymore, there was a time, where his skill set was similar. The receivers that both team's employee aren't the biggest or best, but the respected groups would probably come in first and second if the NFL had a relay race among all 32 teams in which each roster had to use their four fastest receivers.

Here's how the receivers matchup:


DJ Moore6'0 - 4.42------6'0 - 4.38Kenny Stills
Curtis Samuel5'11 - 4.31------5'10 - 4.33Brandin Cooks
Robby Anderson6'3 - 4.34------6'0 - 4.32Will Fuller
Seth Roberts6'2 - 4.44------5'10 - 4.46Randall Cobb

Brady's offense mixes the West Coast offense with RPOs (run / pass option). The WCO will attack short to intermediate with the speedsters uncovering quickly and using their speed to maximize the gain of every high percentage throw. Both teams also employee great deep threats. The blend of this will force defenses to cover from goal line to goal line while also stretching from sideline to sideline. That alone makes it difficult for a defense to defend. What could make it more unstoppable? A dual-threat quarterback that can take off at any moment, combined with the ability to throw accurately on the run. The fear of Deshaun Watson running an RPO is deadly. Linebackers and safeties will have to honor the handoff to David or Duke Johnson. The hesitation, if even for a split second, forces the defense to pause. The brief pause gives Watson the chance to give to the back, keep it and run himself, fire off a pass to a quick developing route or move the point from the pocket and beat the defense with a pass from outside the pocket.

The offense forces the defense to defend every blade of grass on the football field. It's a 180 from the Gary Kubiak days. Kubiak would run to set up the pass. This offense allows you to pass to set up the run. The fear of passing on every down, in any situation will open up running lanes. When you have backs like McCaffrey and Johnson (when healthy) it adds an extra wrinkle. Both guys aren't typical running backs. They can motion or line up out wide and run routes like a receiver. At 6'1 - 224 pounds, David Johnson is the biggest receiver among Houston's top four pass catchers.

I can't tell you that Will Fuller, Brandin Cooks and David Johnson will all stay healthy, but I can tell you that if they are healthy, this is a potent attack. They have speedsters and this offense is based on getting your speedsters in space and letting them create. A healthy blend of formations, varying personnel groupings and tempo will give headaches to opposing defenses as the premise of the offense is for the offense to create the mismatches and move players around to exploit them.

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Houston has lost seven of eight

Mariners ride big fifth inning to series win over Astros

Jake Odorizzi earned his second loss as an Astro Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With the losing streak behind them by taking the middle game on Saturday night, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Sunday afternoon to try and make it back-to-back victories to take the series. Instead, they'd suffer their seventh loss in the last eight games.

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 7-8, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ljay Newsome (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-2)

Odorizzi locks in through four while Houston grabs a lead

Jake Odorizzi did not start his afternoon the way he needed to in order to have a good rebound outing compared to his first start. In the 37-pitch first inning, he issued two walks and an RBI-single, putting the Mariners at a significant advantage early. Odorizzi flipped the switch, though, finding a rhythm to retire the next ten batters after that RBI-single to get through four innings with just one run allowed.

Offensively for Houston, they quickly responded to Seattle's run in the first with one of their own in the top of the second, capitalizing on some shoddy defense by Seattle to get Carlos Correa to second to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Aledmys Diaz, tying things up 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk by Chas McCormick would turn into a run after a stolen base and two sacrifice flys to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

Mariners explode for four in the fifth

The lead was short-lived, as Seattle would explode in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single and one-out walk to set up a two-RBI triple by Mitch Haniger to go ahead 3-2. That would prompt Dusty Baker out of the dugout to end Odorizzi's day and move on to Brooks Raley. Raley would not fare any better, giving up a two-run homer to Ty France to extend Seattle's new lead to 5-2. He would finish the inning, putting Odorizzi's line final: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Seattle takes the series

Seattle would strike again in the bottom of the seventh against Joe Smith. After a leadoff walk, the Mariners would get back-to-back one-out RBI-doubles to extend their lead to 7-2. After Smith in the seventh, Peter Solomon would make his major-league debut in the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Houston would then come up empty in the top of the ninth, dropping the finale and the series to Seattle.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Denver tonight and get an off day tomorrow. Tuesday night, they'll start a quick two-game set with the Rockies at 7:40 PM Central. Houston currently has Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA) penciled in as their starter, but with ongoing illness, he has not yet been fully confirmed. For the Rockies, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.87 ERA) is expected to start.

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