By Will Martin
Washington Redskins vs. Houston Texans
Sunday – September 7 – 12:00pm
Reliant Stadium – Houston
5-27. Two rookie coaches.
That’s the combined records of the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins from 2013 as they commence the 2014 season in Houston’s Reliant Stadium on September 7th.
Baylor Made In The Shade
If you were to ask RG3 if there is anything he has to prove you’ll hear the response, ‘Absolutely nothing!’
It’s pretty clear the divisiveness between Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III ran pretty deep and thus Washingon debuts a new coach in Jay Gruden while Houston brings on Bill O’Brien to turn around a horrific 2013 campaign.
Shuffle Off To Buffalo
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be making the start for Houston on Sunday.
Indeed defenders like Brian Orakpo, Jason Hatcher, and Ryan Kerrigan believe they can apply enough pressure to make Fitzpatrick’s debut a long and frustrating one.
Houston drafted Jadaveon Clowney #1 and the thought of playing him alongside JJ Watt has made the Texans faithful salivate at the possibility of returning to respectability for a playoff push in 2014.
One change you can anticipate is the lessening of read option plays under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Sean McVay. The Texans defenders can expect quite a mix of quick screen passes and quick hit routes with big men like DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed, and Sean Morris.
Sean Morris also a great option to feed the ball to 25-30 times to eat up time, yards, and 3rd down conversions.
On the Texans side you have been hearing team based themes like, ‘Team First’ and ‘The More You Can Do’. You can forget about individual stories, it’s all about the team. Despite the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick has had his difficulties during the preseason many in Houston believe that Fitzpatrick is understanding the new system of play that Coach O’Brien is putting down.
Arian Foster had offseason back surgery and has yet to play a down. If his health is at a par where he was playing to his personal best circa 2012-2013 with the passing, running, catching, and blocking that will be a welcome release valve for Houston and the offense. Questions remain about the viability of the O-line against Washington.
Bill O’Brien has indeed preached some message of team. How else to explain being able to coax Andre Johnson into camp from a holdout status? Johnson believes in what O’Brien is saying.
You can expect some serious noise from the Texas crowd when Clowney records his first sack. No doubt a few Baylor alums will cheer wildly for the Griffin to be able to run and throw deep.
5-27 in 2014 will undoubtedly get taken higher. More like 18-14 between these two teams with much to prove.
I like the Texans in a defensive battle 24-20. Houston is going to have a lot to be excited about in 2014 with new faces, a new quarterback, a healthy running back, and a healthy #1 draft pick alongside the swat factor. Sean Morris and Arian Foster might display what a fast moving, ball-control game is supposed to look like.