Cosell’s Watching the Wild Cards: Methodical Texans Move on

Cincinnati Bengals, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Houston Texans, Inside the Game

NFL Matchup’s Executive Producer shares notes from his study of Wild Card Weekend coaching tape: Texans offense vs. Bengals defense.

  • Bengals predominant “odd” fronts to get a DT head up on C Myers, whose best attribute is movement not power
  • MLB Maualuga played downhill versus Texans zone run game, Can’t play laterally
  • Play action out of base personnel again the foundation of the Texans passing game

  • Texans worked the middle of the field in the passing game, First 2 Yates completions (Johnson and Daniels) were between the numbers
  • Texans run game was multi-dimensional; They did more than run zone, They also ran “power” and “counter”
  • Foster an excellent one cut downhill runner with great patience, vision and decisiveness
  • Bengals double “A” gap alignment at times caused problems for Texans pass protection, Created some protection confusion
  • C Myers improved versus odd fronts as the game progressed, Quick feet and excellent leverage
  • Texans very patient with their run game, What struck me was number of run plays with pulling OL
  • Yates after a slow start played with poise and command in the pocket; Made some good throws both inside and outside, including a big time 3rd + 9 completion to Johnson on an out route versus “quarters” for 17 yds
  • Bengals “cover zero blitz” on 3rd + 6 just outside the red zone, Johnson one-on-one versus Jennings; Jennings played the sticks and was beaten by Johnson, Good throw by Yates and Johnson almost made a leaping catch
  • Corner Jones played with consistently poor footwork, technique, balance and body control; Negated his excellent athleticism
  • Nelson 3rd quarter sack came from double “A” gap alignment, Alignment dictated protection and Nelson was clean off the edge – Texans 7 man protection so no receiver broke off his route, Cin. pressure concept broke down protection
  • Foster 15 yd screen in 3rd quarter came versus overload zone blitz concept, Excellent play call against anticipated pressure
  • Yates very lucky on dropped Crocker interception on Daniels crosser off play action boot, Crocker was directly in Yates line of vision – That’s a throw that can’t be made
  • Johnson 40 yd TD was an out-and-up versus Jones, Jones bad footwork and balance; Single high safety Crocker too flat an angle and gave himself no chance – Excellent 6 man pass protection
  • Pass protection versus zone blitz concepts was a continuing issue for the Texans, They must improve this week against the Ravens
  • Foster better lateral agility and quickness than his running style suggests, He’s a long strider but he changes direction well and has the ability to stop and start in the hole and make people miss
  • Foster 7 yds on 3rd + 5 out of shotgun “power” in the 4th quarter was a big play, Bengals again double “A” gap alignment
  • Texans have the ability to eat clock and close out a game running the ball, A critical component to winning
  • Foster 42 yd TD on 3rd + 7 sealed the win, Outside zone out of “11” personnel to the slot and the field, Great job by RT Winston and TE Dreessen working together to seal the edge
  • A methodical and measured performance by the Texans offense, Score of the game allowed them to remain a run-first offense – Texans overall play call breakdown: 35 called runs, 22 called passes
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