It was a fun day in Houston as the Texans battled the winless Cleveland Browns in week six of the 2017 season. How did the depleted Houston defense play? Was it another big day for Deshaun Watson? How did the front five handle a freaky athletic rookie defensive end? What’s to come after this Cleveland matchup? Find out with these week six Houston Texans takeaways.
Week Six Houston Texans Takeaways
New Faces on Defense
It wasn’t a dominating performance by any means but the tough, young unit got the job done. One of the biggest contributors, however, was the oldest of the bunch. Veteran Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph came up huge today with two interceptions taking one back for six. Free-agent pick up Lamarr Houston came in on some third down situations and picked up a sack late in the game. Rookie inside linebacker Dylan Cole was electric today. Sideline to sideline, end zone to end zone. When number 51 was in the game, you could count on seeing him close to or at the ball on every play. His last play of the day came in the second quarter when he intercepted a pass from Kevin Hogan intended for Duke Johnson Jr. He suffered a hamstring injury during the interception return.
33 points might make you think the offense was nearly perfect today. Far from it. About half of the Texans drives looked clunky, uncoordinated, and out-of-sync. The rest looked rhythmic and had an upbeat tempo. Despite the on and off success of the offense, both Lamar Miller and rookie D’Onta Foreman ran with energy and attitude today. Second year wide receiver Will Fuller V caught a touchdown in his third straight game while also contributing on special teams with a few nice punt returns. The offensive line has continued to improve every week. The line is led by second year center Nick Martin who is, in my opinion, the best the Texans have and he is a huge reason why we can usually get the ground game going early and often.
Keep in Mind the Opponent
I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s victory parade but I have to, HAVE TO, point out that the opposing team was Cleveland. You might be wondering why I would put so much emphasis on pointing this out. Here’s why. Many of Hogan’s incomplete passes were not forced because of an amazing Houston pass-rush or outstanding coverage by our defensive backs, they were just awful throws. Another skewed statistic from this game was the pressure that Watson was REALLY under. The box score says Watson was only brought down once but if you saw the whole game you know he took many more hits and was under much more pressure than this portrays.
The Texans head into a much-needed bye-week at .500 (3-3). Coming out of the break the team will travel to Seattle and play against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Russell Wilson. The biggest challenge in this upcoming game will be keeping Watson protected against a nasty Seattle Seahawks front four.