The Houston Texans enter week 11 with a 7 game losing streak. Both Arian Foster and Brian Cushing are out for the season, they have made a QB change that has helped but hasn’t turned into wins, and just released their biggest offseason acquisition over this past week. Seems like the wheels are falling off in Houston, but the Texans still want to play as if the playoffs were in sight. Sure having 7 losses already really hurts, but if they win out they could make the playoffs and that’s the teams goal. Next up for Houston, the Oakland Raiders a team struggling as well. The 2-7 Texans need a win badly, it’s been 2 months since they’ve won a game. Here are 3 keys to the Texans getting a win this week.
Running the ball: The Texans are going to be without their star RB Arian Foster for the rest of the year. Ben Tate will have to pick up the workload now in the backfield. The Texans haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since the Seattle Seahawks came to Houston in week 4 of the season. That’s going to have to change if they plan on ending this 7 game losing streak on Sunday. It would help QB Case Keenum by forcing the Raiders to actually respect the run and not key in on pressuring the QB. If the Texans are able to actually get the ground game going this week might end in a win.
Protect Case Keenum: After starting just about every game he’s played in on fire Texans QB Case Keenum starts to struggle when teams start bringing the heat. The Texans were a team known for their ability to run the ball, but since Keenum’s took over as the starter they’ve been using more pistol and shotgun formations. This has directly effected of the gamelan of the Texans. The offensive line has struggled to pick up the blitzes and protect Keenum as of late, and that must change if the Texans hope to beat a Raiders defense that’s finally coming around as a unit. Keenum can make plays if he’s given time to, the Texans must make keeping him clean a priority this week.
Pressuring the QB: With Terrell Pryor injured the Texans must put an emphasis on getting after the passer. The Raiders offensive line has shown they can struggle picking up pressure all year. Texans defensive coordinator Wade Philips will probably be calling for the heat early and often playing against Matt McGloin, a player starting his first game ever. This may be the week we finally hear the names Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus. If the Texans get pressure on the QB from players not named JJ Watt they’ll have a great chance at winning the game on Sunday.