Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Week 2: Keys to the Game, Texans

  1. #1

    Week 2: Keys to the Game, Texans

    Matchup of the Game: Watt next for Bengals up front?

    Posted 17 hours ago

    Bengals RG T.J. Johnson vs. Texans DL J.J. Watt - Another representative matchup, this one pitting two units looking to rebound from a less than stellar Opening Day in Thursday's game (8:25 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5 and NFL Network) at Paul Brown Stadium.

    T.J. Johnson, who started last season's finale, gets his second NFL start.

    Bengals RG T.J. Johnson vs. Texans DL J.J. Watt

    Another representative matchup with this one pitting the Bengals’ beleaguered offensive line against the Texans’ star-studded front seven of the NFL’s defending top-ranked defense that has to be fuming about going sack-less in an ugly home loss to Jacksonville on Sunday.

    Johnson’s second NFL start comes Thursday night against the Texans (8:25 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5 and NFL Network) in a firestorm stemming from a five-sack opener in the Ravens’ Opening Day shutout. Watt saunters into Paul Brown Stadium mad and healthy and leading a Texans defense that has had the Bengals’ number ever since wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton came into the league in 2011.

    “We’ve watched a lot of the things he’s done,” Johnson says of Watt. “I feel like we have a pretty decent game plan just sticking to our techniques and do what we’re supposed to do….He played a lot inside last week. They do a little bit of everything in that defense … We watched the film. We made our corrections, but the whole thing is we just have to set our jaw and look for Thursday night.”

    It’s just not just Johnson, though. Watt is in constant motion along the front.

    “He’s an explosive player,” says left guard Clint Boling. “He’s got a good mixture of speed, power and technique. He’s good at a number of things. Plays the run well. Chases things down from the back side well. He’ll line up across the line and it kind of makes it hard sometimes trying to make some adjustments. He plays hard, has a lot of effort and there a number of things that make him good.

    “I would imagine at some point almost everybody would probably get their opportunity (to block him).”

    T.J. on J.J.: “I think he's just got a lot of football instinct. I think he has a knack for knowing when guys are leaning one way. But at the same time, I think he knows where the ball is, where the quarterback is and he has a way of getting off and making guys look bad.”

    In those six games against the Texans in the past six seasons that include two Wild Card matchups, the Bengals are 1-5 and are averaging just 13 points per game while Dalton has three touchdown passes and Green no catches.

    Do you think this series has been defined by the Texans defense? Those five Houston wins have come from quarterbacks named T.J. Yates (two of his five wins have come against the Bengals), Matt Schaub (his one post-season win came against the Bengals), Brian Hoyer (with a save from Yates), and Tom Savage’s only win came against the Bengals last Christmas Eve. With Deshaun Watson expected to make his first NFL start Thursday, the Bengals are buckling up for another grind.

    Left guard Clint Boling also has to defend J.J. Watt: 'At some point almost everybody would probably get their opportunity."

    We all know about Watt. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year looking for his first sack of the year after being sidelined virtually all last season. From 2012-2015 he became the only player in NFL history with two 20-sack seasons (’12 and ’14) and in those four seasons led the league in hitting quarterbacks. After getting the ball batted three times Sunday, two for picks, Dalton faces Watt’s 45 career passes defensed, the most by a down lineman in the last six years.

    VIEW GALLERY | 132 Photos
    Ben-Gal Cheerleades - Ravens at Bengals

    But what about pass-rushing outside linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus? Clowney, a former overall No. 1 pick, is coming off a Pro Bowl season he had six sacks and 17 quarterback hits. Mercilus has the most sacks in the NFL during the last 25 regular-seasons except for Khalil Mack and Von Miller.
    “(Watt) is the best defensive player in the league,” says Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander. “The only defensive player you might think is as good as him is Clowney. There you go.”
    Now here comes Johnson, a calm, reliable, and smart veteran of four seasons and 33 games who just may be what the doctor ordered in replacing star-crossed Trey Hopkins (knee) fighting injury again when he went down defending the infield-fly-rule interception at the end of the half.
    “Every time he comes in he’s played well,” says center Russell Bodine. “He’s exactly what you’re looking for in that role. That’s why he’s here. He may have graded the highest of all of us the last game. You know you’re going to get a good performance out of him and I have no reason to think he’ll be any different.”
    The offensive line needs more high grades as the young tackles continue to come under glaring scrutiny, particularly left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi after he allowed two sacks and two pressures. Following Tuesday’s practice Alexander summed up the challenges facing Ogbuehi and right tackle Jake Fisher.
    “He and Fisher have so much athletic talent, it’s ridiculous,” Alexander says. “Sometimes players who have great athletic ability rely on their athletic ability over technique and that’s kind of where we are.”
    The Christmas Eve game in Houston marked the first time Ogbuehi and Fisher lined up as the left and right tackles and was rough on them giving both below average grades for run and pass blocking in a game the Bengals lost, 12-10. The web site had Ogbuehi for two sacks and one hurry and Fisher for one sack and four hurries in pass protection with Ogbuehi giving up a sack each to Clowney and Mercilus.

    Paul Alexander's message to Cedric Ogbuehi and his line: "To do it out there on the stage requires experience and it requires having backbone."

    Ogbuehi, who partially tore his rotator cuff that night, committed to a big offseason and looked to be getting his feet under him in the preseason. Alexander doesn’t view Sunday as taking a step back and delivered a simple message to him and the rest of the unit.

    “It’s easy in practice. You go out there, there’s no stress, there’s no nerves going on, but to do it out there on the stage requires experience and it requires having backbone ,where you do it, and you trust and you do it,” Alexander said. “Because nine out of 10 times, they did it right. But nine out of 10 isn’t good enough.”

    So Alexander is keeping it simple for the club’s No. 1 pick in 2015.

    “You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to have your mental focus and you’ve got to do it right every time,” Alexander said. “And I’ve really taken it no further than that because I think that’s the simple answer. The last thing I want to do is go in there and give him a 100 things and then you’re like the golf coach who has a guy who can’t hit a golf ball, do you know what I mean? I try to give them simple direction and it has to be with mental focus and concentration.”

    Asked if there are going to be more blockers moved to help Ogbuehi than there were on Sunday, Alexander said, “He got a lot (of help) … He got lots of it.”

    Houston’s proud defense is no doubt looking to rebound in a big way. A major reason it was No. 1 in 2016 is because in the second half of the season they allowed 71.9 yards rushing per game, but on Sunday Jags rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards in his debut to lead a stunning 155-yard attack against the Texans.

    So this is a game between two units with a chip on their shoulders.

    “We have to put last week completely behind us. We've got to get started and this is the first game to start the roll,” says Johnson, not rattled and planning to rely on what got him here. “I've been very fortunate in the fact that I've been here, I know what we're doing. I've just got to relax and stick to our technique.”

  2. #2
    Matchup: Texans @ Bengals

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017

    Thursday Night Football

    Houston @ Cincinnati
    Team Totals: Bengals 22, Texans 16

    As both teams are returning from putrid Week 1 offensive efforts, it’s no surprise Thursday night’s game has the lowest total (38.0) on the Week 2 slate. This game seems likely to get ugly, and there are very few trustworthy fantasy plays on either side. … The Texans showed run-defense vulnerability by yielding a 35/142/1 rushing line to Jaguars backs on Opening Day while losing ILB Brian Cushing (concussion). Unfortunately, Cincy’s three-man backfield has yet to sort itself out. Giovani Bernard was the Week 1 leader in running back snaps (48%), but he logged only eight touches. Joe Mixon led in touches (11) but played just 36% of the downs. “Starter” Jeremy Hill totaled 24 scoreless yards on seven touches at a tiny 16% playing-time clip. I expect this committee to be whittled down from three to two eventually, but at present all members are undesirable flex options. … Andy Dalton was a predictable Week 1 fantasy dud against the Ravens, spreading five turnovers and five sacks among 36 dropbacks. (He did get unlucky with two tipped INTs.) Up front, usual culprits LT Cedric Ogbuehi and C Russell Bodine had especially abysmal games. The Texans’ pass defense wasn’t tested in Week 1 because they fell behind big and Blake Bortles needed to complete only 11 passes in a lopsided Jaguars win, but Houston usually poses a difficult quarterback matchup. The Texans have finished Nos. 6, 7, and 5 in pass-defense DVOA over the past three years, and in his career Dalton has a 3:7 TD-to-INT ratio against Houston in six meetings. It can’t help that Dalton carries a 59.2% completion rate, 19:14 TD-to-INT ratio, and 6.3 YPA in 16 career night games, including a 5-11 record in games played at 7PM ET or later. At all other start times, Dalton’s career record is 51-24-2. We should see signs of improvement when Cincinnati’s schedule loosens up in the near future, but in Week 2 Dalton is a mid-range two-quarterback-league start at best.

    Dalton’s Week 1 target distribution: A.J. Green 10; Brandon LaFell 5; Tyler Boyd 4; Mixon 3; Bernard and Cody Core 2; Hill and Tyler Eifert 1. … The Texans have contained Green historically, holding him to stat lines of 5/67/0, 12/121/0, 5/80/0, 5/47/0, and 5/59/0 in five career meetings. The bet here is on Green individually, not past player-versus-team results. Green has drawn double-digit targets in 7-of-10 fully-played games since the beginning of last season. Texans LCB Johnathan Joseph is 34 years old, and RCB Kevin Johnson showed poorly coming off his second foot fracture in as many seasons in Week 1, getting thrown at four times and giving up catches of 20, 17, and 9 yards to Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. … LaFell was the Bengals’ starting flanker in Week 1 with Boyd in the slot. Both failed to clear 25 yards against the Ravens and are tough fantasy sells in this week’s lowest-totaled game. … Eifert was a Week 1 flop, playing 89% of the offensive snaps but drawing one target. Cincinnati’s five turnovers and 34-to-26 loss in the time-of-possession battle were major factors in their slew of Opening Day fantasy busts. Unfortunately, Eifert’s Week 2 matchup doesn’t portend a rebound game against a Houston defense that allowed the NFL’s third-fewest yards to tight ends (565) last year. Much like Green, a fantasy start invested into Eifert is a bet on how good a player he is when healthy, and not on any outside factor. ... First-round pick John Ross (knee) was listed as a full participant in practice this week, but the Bengals only held walkthroughs in shorts and t-shirts. Beat writers don't expect to see Ross before Week 3.

    Editor's Note: Looking for a weekly edge in your fantasy leagues? Get the Rotoworld Season Pass for projections, early-week rankings, WR & RB reports, exclusive columns and chats with our experts and much more for just $19.99.

    Deshaun Watson gave the Texans a temporary first-drive spark after replacing Tom Savage at halftime of Week 1, but the ballyhooed rookie fizzled thereafter. Slow to process information and deliberate to deliver the ball, Watson absorbed four second-half sacks, committed two turnovers, and continued to demonstrate the wild ball location and frenetic pocket tendencies Watson showed in preseason games. Watson is a better option for the Texans than Savage, but that’s not saying much. On the road in his first NFL start and what’s expected to be a low-scoring game, Watson is a prime target for streamers of the Bengals’ D/ST. … Lamar Miller was the Texans’ Week 1 feature back, totaling 96 yards on 19 touches and playing the second-most raw snaps (64) of any running back in the league. Miller now draws a Vontaze Burfict-less Bengals defense the Ravens’ sub-par backfield tagged for a combined 41/155/1 rushing line last week. Miller’s efficiency has been an ongoing problem as a Texan, but his workload is secure and this matchup is favorable enough for Miller to be approached as a high-floor fantasy RB2. Coach Bill O’Brien has promised “more carries” for rookie D’Onta Foreman, although that wouldn’t take much. Working behind Miller and Tyler Ervin, Foreman played just two snaps against the Jaguars, rushing once.

    Watson’s Week 1 target distribution: DeAndre Hopkins 11; Stephen Anderson 4; Tyler Ervin 3; Miller, Braxton Miller, Bruce Ellington, C.J. Fiedorowicz 1. ... Watson completed 6-of-11 second-half targets to Hopkins for 48 yards and a touchdown last week. Watson’s affinity for peppering Hopkins with footballs is promising, although Week 2 opponent Cincinnati yielded the NFL’s second-fewest catches (177) and fourth-fewest touchdowns (12) to wide receivers in 2016, and held Hopkins to 43 scoreless yards on six targets last Week 16. They are also getting back top CB Adam Jones from a one-game suspension. Over his last 17 games including the playoffs, Hopkins has just four TDs and has cleared 75 yards twice. Still, the Texans’ utter lack of ancillary weapons should guarantee “Nuk” enormous weekly target shares. … The Texans get back Jaelen Strong from a one-game ban, and he is slated to start across from Hopkins. A third-year pro, Strong has never reached 60 yards in an NFL game. … In Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin, and Anderson, all three of Houston’s tight ends suffered concussions in Week 1. This is a brutal sport.

    Score Prediction: Bengals 20, Texans 17

  3. #3
    I personally think cut blocking should be outlawed, but until it is, they need to be cutting people all over the place. Especially this week against the Texans.

  4. #4
    timestamp video

    Omar RuizVerified account @OmarDRuiz 2h2 hours agoMore

    Week 2 now just one day away, here's my report on how the #Bengals are prepping for Deshaun Watson & the #Texans #TNF

  5. #5
    good insight in that video, though I'm sure they just told the Texans their gameplan...

  6. #6
    After watching that all 22 of the bengals passing plays, the key to this game is clearly to run the ball well and use that and PA to set up the passing game. Play actions and boots were some of the best ways to give andy time besides the quick passes.

    Run the ball well and we have a chance. We havent run the ball well in like 4 years though.

  7. #7
    Guessing this game comes down to field position. Between turnovers and 3rd down conversion rates, we just gave up too much field position Sunday. Since both offenses struggle with pass rush, it is going to be key to getting turnovers in their field position and/or nice returns from special teams.

    Hopefully this is where Adam really helps us out.

  8. #8


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts