The 4-5 Houston Texans fly to New York this weekend to take on the (7-2) New York Jets at the New Meadowlands this Sunday. The match-up likely sends chills up the Texans’ coaching staff and players heading into Sunday, not to mention fans who remember last year’s beating. In fact, for the past two years, Rex Ryan has been able to make the Texans look like test dummies for his newest blitzes and creative playcalling.
From his 2008 Ravens as defensive coordinator to last season’s Jets as head coach, Rex Ryan has done a spectacular job with the Jets. And this year, the Jets are a better team than last year. The Texans, on the other hand, have improved in some areas but truly have fallen off in the rest. Expect the Texans to struggle for breathing room on Sunday, the Jets should be playing at will.
The Houston Texans will likely utilize the pass more than they would like Sunday. Against the Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez and receivers Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery, the Texans’ secondary has their worst match-up for the season. Let’s not calculate what that means. Additionally, with the Jets’ likely to go up early, the Texans will likley resort to their 2010 form – quit the run and pass.
Arian Foster has benefited from excellent run blocking this season, but his excellent field vision and quickness have turned him into one of this season’s best running backs. Expect him to carry the rock 15-20 times; where as he would normally carry the ball over 20 times a game against any other defense.
The Texans’ defensive line will also likely have a very hard time on Sunday. The Jets’ offensive line is stacked to say the least. left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, center Nick Mangold and right tackle Damien Woody are a few of the league’s best at their position.
The Texans’ defensive line has yet to play a line like this, and that also shouldn’t be calculated for meaning. However, expect Mario Williams to step-up his game in the face of the best talent he’s seen all season. He struggled after a great opening two minutes against Kansas City’s former-Texan and Chief replacement tackle, Jordan Black.
In case you are not familiar with the Jets’ defense, it is a very talented group. Led by middle linebacker David Harris, a former Michigan Wolverine, the Jets 3-4 defense are fifth best in the league. Harris is joined by Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace.
These linebackers should present a problem for Arian Foster, who said this is the best defense he’s ever seen. With superb secondary play in Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool, the Jets are more than well equipped to handle the Texans’ receivers. Also, although the Jets’ number one nose tackle Kris Jenkins is out for the season, their defensive line should have the upper edge against the Texans on Sunday.
For the Texans to win Sunday, they’ll have to come out playing their best football of the year. They’ll need to shut down the Jets’ running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene before they shut down Sanchez and the Jets pass game. Most importantly, the Texans’ coaching staff has to be ready for anything and everything.
If we learned something from Rex Ryans’ whooping on the Texans last season, then the Texans’ defense should be ready to put up as many points as the offense. Hopefully we don’t see the 2008 (four interceptions) or 2009 (183 total offensive yards) Texans against Rex Ryans’ defense; however, Texans fans should be ready for anything, as well.