Houston Texans: 5 Players Who Will Stumble in Week 2
Who Stumbles in Week 2?
After what was a thrilling comeback victory for the Houston Texans, in Week 2, their reward is a short week before their contest against the division rival Tennessee Titans.
While the Titans are currently in the middle of a rebuild, they're far from an easy win for Houston. Most rivalry games are close no matter how good one team is or how bad the other is. Tennessee leads the all time series 14-8, but Houston has won three of the last four and the one loss was in the final game of the season in which starters were being rested for the playoffs.
Houston clearly has the upper hand in the series at this point and they have the better team. The Titans are spoken of as an organization adding the right personnel in a rebuild, whereas Houston is considered widely to be an AFC title contender this year.
The key matchup this week will be seeing J.J. Watt going against top-10 pick, and rookie guard, Chance Warmack. In my pre-draft analysis, I had Warmack as a top-five player in the entire draft and Tennessee picked him solely to slow down Watt within the division. He'll have help all day in a double team, but it's the first real test for the rookie against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
The Houston defense was lit up in the first half in San Diego in Week 1, then played lights out in the second half. It'll be interesting to see which defense is the truth and which was the impostor.
Same thing goes for the offense, which really took off in the second half and we got a good look at some of the new weapons that the team has brought in to help them open the field a little more.
With all of this in mind, here are the names I have circled to keep a close eye on as the ones who will not help the cause for the Texans in their home opener this Sunday.
By now, most Texans fans know my opinion of Derek Newton. But that has nothing to do with why I have him as one to stumble this week. The Titans pass rush has improved and they had Ben Roethlisberger running for his life last week. I think Newton struggles against that and it effects his run blocking, too.
Even after making the under the radar defensive play of the game in week 1, I believe Earl Mitchell is the victim of trying to contain the Titans running game by himself. They're going to run the ball a lot and run it right at Mitchell and Whitney Mercilus until they prove that they can't.
Despite the fact that he is apparently behind Lestar Jean on the wide receiver depth chart, Keshawn Martin hasn't been anything to write home about on kickoff returns, either. His unwillingness to take a knee, even after booting the kick, put the Texans in some bad field position last week. I expect it to get worse when he puts one on the carpet this Sunday.
The Texans defense wet the bed collectively in the first half in Week 1 and Brice McCain had his share in that performance. Fans begin to become overly concerned when he struggles again this week against a faster slot receiver and gets hit with a pass interference or two, along with giving up some big gains.
Here is my outside the box pick of the week. Even after I predicted his strong performance in Week 1, I think Owen Daniels falls off a bit this Sunday. It isn't as much as Daniels playing poorly as it is Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins having big games. But I will predict that Garrett Graham has a bigger day than Daniels at tight end in Week 2.