Oct 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite (57) sacks Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (13) during the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Houston Texans 34-3. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
While you would be hard-pressed to find a positive word about the St. Louis Rams this morning, there will certainly be plenty of eyes on the game today, looking to see if Matt Schaub will continue his record of consecutive games with a pick-6. Few are giving the Rams a shot today, continuing to act as if their season consisted of only Week 3 and Week 4. However, in the interest of Rams Nation, and the few that have actually watched the team play this season, we wanted to know more about this Texans team, aside from their quarterback struggles. In order to get some background knowledge on the Houston Texans, Ramblin’ Fan went behind enemy lines and spoke with editor Stephen Forsha of ToroTimes.com, the Houston Texans site within the FanSided Network. Check out our Q&A…
1. Matt Schaub might be the most controversial quarterback in the NFL right now, with many media members suggesting he should be benched after his poor performance this season. How does Texans Nation feel about their starter, and will be able to break out of his slump this week?
I have the feeling Texans Nation is split with Matt Schaub still being the starter for the Texans, though, the ones who support him … their patience is wearing thin. II think he’ll be able to break out of his slump this week, and if he doesn’t, he’ll be holding a clip board for a few games.
I’m not 100 percent sold on T.J. Yates being a solid NFL starter, but if Schaub continues to be ratted by making multiple miscues in games, the Texans will have no choice but to make a change at quarterback.
2. Despite the Rams relatively low sack number, St. Louis defense is ranked 10th overall in the pass rush. Conversely, the Texans are ranked dead last in pass blocking. Can the Texans stop the Rams front-four, led by the top-ranked, pass rushing player in the NFL this season, Robert Quinn?
That’s a very interesting question because the Texans are banged up on the offensive line. They haven’t had their first five one the same unit since week two, as Duane Brown missed two games and last week they didn’t have their “regular” starting five playing at the same time.
Don’t forget the Texans will be without starting tight end Owen Daniels, so there is more blocking skills missing for the Texans.
If the Texans want to break a three-game losing streak, they better stop the Top 10 pass rush. I don’t know if they can stop it on a consistent basis, but they better keep Quinn in their radar
3. Outside of Andre Johnson, the Houston Texans do not appear to have many offensive weapons in the passing game this season. DeAndre Hopkins has been average, aside from the game against Tennessee, Owen Daniels just got placed on the IR-DTR, and Andre Johnson will be a “game time decision.” Do the Texans have enough weapons to put points on the board?
I don’t believe DeAndre Hopkins is an average player, but his stats read that way. Hopkins has a chance to be a big-time player in the league, but with the offensive line not playing great on the pass rush, the quarterback throwing TDs to the other team in four consecutive games, and the Texans not getting their running game going on a consistent basis, the play of Hopkins has been hampered.
If Johnson ends up missing this game, well then the Texans better rely on their running game, because honestly I don’t know how many more weapons they can ill-afford to lose.
4. Which “lesser known” players will have the biggest impact on the game Sunday for the Houston Texans?
One player to look out for is new starting tight end Garrett Graham. I like to refer to him as a secret weapon, but now with the departure of Daniels to the IR, it is now to for Graham to shine.
Just from watching Graham this season, he has the look of a tight end that can be productive in the NFL and with three TDs in short-yardage situations he can be big in the red zone.
5. Game prediction and score?
I believe this is a must-win and winnable game for the Texans. They will, again, have to rely heavily on their defense to cause problems for the Rams’ offense, but the offense really needs to open up and play with some excitement, instead of the stale product they’ve played with throughout the season.
I think the defense of the Texans call off-set anything their offense will or will not do Sunday, but it won’t be easy, as is the story of the Texans’ 2013 season.
Score Prediction: Texans 24, Rams 13