In week 15 of the 2017 NFL season the 4-9 Houston Texans made their way to Florida to face the 9-4 Jacksonville Jaguars. With the onslaught of injuries the Texans have suffered this year, not many fans should’ve expected a serious or competitive game this week. Below average quarterback play from T.J. Yates, porous play from the offensive line, and a defense with no passion highlighted the game. From the first snap to the last whistle it just seemed as if the Texans had no interest whatsoever in playing a football game Sunday. With the final score being 45-7 the Texans move to 4-10 and the Jags move to 10-4, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.
Week 15 Houston Texans Takeaways
Why Rick? Why?
This Houston Texans offensive line is the prime example of a general manager completely ignoring the necessity that is quality players at the position. The starting left tackle today was Jeff Allen and for most, if not all the game, he went one-on-one with Jacksonville’s stud pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. It was match-ups like that all along the line that let the Jags defense dominate from start to finish. The need for drastically better o-line play must be addressed in the off-season for the sake of Deshaun Watson’s future health.
Totaling just a mere 87 yards on the ground is another sign of terrible play from the front five. Not being able to create any space for Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue made the offense very simple and easy to attack. Houston couldn’t run the ball, so Jacksonville could just sit back in coverage and watch their tenacious defensive line go after Yates.
Hopkins Every Week
Probably the best thing about this rotting season, if you’re a Texans fan, is getting to watch DeAndre Hopkins go out every week and make plays like his team is still in playoff contention. He only caught four balls for 80 yards and one touchdown today, but they were marvelous to see since the other 50 or 60 plays went nowhere. Of course, star corner Jalen Ramsey was the man who covered Hopkins for the day and of course, he tried getting in his head with lots of extra-curricular trash talk. Although he did put up a score for Houston, it was still an underwhelming day for Hopkins. Expect more targets, receptions, and touchdowns next week when Hopkins faces an unstable secondary in Pittsburgh.
Impassionate Defensive Performance
No sacks, no interceptions, no forced fumbles, and no fire. Yes, the Jaguars played a tremendous game offensively, but still there must be some way for the Houston defense to disrupt a functioning offense. One of the many disappointments today was the play of Jadeveon Clowney. He put together quite an empty stat-sheet with just two solo tackles and two assisted tackles. In his defense, he is the only game-wrecker left on this defense due to the J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus injuries, so protection schemes can easily have two or three blockers on him every play without having to worry about other disruptors.
Next week, Houston has to go up to Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas Day. With this upcoming game being the second to last of the year the outcome doesn’t matter too much so fans should watch closely for players who seem like they really love football.