Houston Texans: 5 Players Who Will Stumble in Week 1
5 Houston Texas who will stumble in Week 1
We talked yesterday about the five players who would shine in Week 1 for the Houston Texans. So the law of averages tells you that at least as many will likely stumble in the season opener against the Chargers.
There are several question marks on the team, many of them about players returning from injury with little or no preseason snaps. Ed Reed is still unlikely to play, and Arian Foster and Whitney Mercilus are starting without a single play in the preseason.
While most NFL veterans don't need the preseason, some do for conditioning purposes. Using a regular season game to get into game shape isn't always the best idea.
With all of the problems on the offensive line and in the secondary, Houston still has one of the best rosters in the league on paper. If they're going to put it all together in 2013, that road starts in San Diego.
The last time these two teams played, Phillip Rivers embarrassed then-rookie Kareem Jackson so bad that fans were ready to cut him at halftime. Things are quite different now and Jackson is considered one of the best No. 2 corners in the league.
With this game, Houston begins its march as an AFC Super Bowl contender. While I still believe that the Texans win this one comfortably, here are five players who will not help them get off on the right foot on Monday night.
5. Shiloh Keo
This is the most glaringly obvious one, so I'll get it out of the way first. The fact that the team is serious about running Shiloh Keo out as a starter in Week 1 should be viewed as an embarrassment. If ever there was an embodiment of a special teams-only player, it's him. Thankfully, the pass rush is significant enough that he won't get smashed in coverage too badly.
4. Arian Foster
While struggling to get into game shape and having a decreased workload, Arian Foster will spend a lot of time watching Ben Tate in the second half after he puts one on the ground in the second quarter. This, of course, will start to really rev up the talking heads about if Foster is beginning his inevitable decline a year after severe overuse by Gary Kubiak.
3. Brooks Reed
Even with the weak San Diego offensive line and J.J. Watt demanding extra attention, Brooks Reed continues his descent into becoming just a guy at outside linebacker. He does well in containing the run, but his counterpart Whitney Mercilus has more success at getting to Rivers while Reed remains a ghost in that department.
2. DeAndre Hopkins
Everyone in Houston is expecting big things out of DeAndre Hopkins, myself included. I stand steadfast in my belief that he will go down as the best wide receiver out of this draft class, but it doesn't happen in his first NFL game coming off of precautionary concussion tests. The game is so fast and it will take "Nuk" a couple of games to adjust.
1. Randy Bullock
When Randy Bullock misses two field goals in his debut, it makes Texans fans start to worry if they made a mistake in letting him handle the job. The special teams giving up a big return on a kickoff after he is unable to kick it deep also gets the natives grumbling. While he'll probably be fine in the long run, the butterflies will get him in Week 1.