This post is the second part to Turner_The _Burner's post Best Case Scenario vs. The Texans. It can be read when he posts it.
It's that time of the week again when Turner_The_Burner and I, dunlagh, will give you a breakdown of the 3 best case and 3 worst case situations for the game. These will focus on different parts of the Falcons game where they could soar or suffer against our opponents. Obviously we’re Falcons fans, and have a bit more knowledge of the Dirty Birds than some other teams, so if you’re a visitor or just an NFL purist and we make a shocking mistake, please call us out on it! Other than that I hope you enjoy our work.
It's the home stretch and we are blessed with a string of winnable games, allowing us a very manageable shot at making at least the Wild Card spot. The Texans are banged up but the number 1 defence is no joke, their passing game won't be the same however their 3rd ranked running game can carry the load. Whatever the Texans have lost by injuries, they can make up in other parts of the game. So entering week 13, we give you the 11th best case/worst case scenario for 2011.
Flipping it to the Texans
I get to play the role of doomsayer, as I speak about 3 areas where Houston can hurt us bad. The Texans lost Schaub a couple weeks back, then Leinart this last week which helps our chances alot, however this Texans side will no go down without a fight. Foster and Tate are killing defences on the ground and the Texans D, is dominant in all areas, making them a force to be reckoned with, QB or no. So the 3 worst case scenarios for the Falcons are - Johnson is back, Running rampant and Dominant defence.
Johnson is back: Andre Johnson is a premier Wide Receiver in the league, his speed, strength and size have made him a dominant force since he entered the league. With him back for the second week after his injury he will have some more time to create chemistry with TJ Yates and create more chances for himself. He will provide a tough matchup for our defense as he can stretch the field, reel in the short passes and spread the field wide as well. His presence forces people away from Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and Arian Foster (their next 4 biggest names in the passing game). The Texans have no clear passing threat outside of Daniels and Johnson however like the Falcons the spread of the football makes defences play honest when against the Texans and focus on everyone, forgetting one receiver can be costly as all of them can make plays that can hurt us. Foster is a beast on the ground but also in the air and the return of Johnson means less players in the box and more room for Foster, even if he doesn't make a statistical impact, Johnson's presence opens this game wide open.
Running Rampant: Ben Tate is a beast, he is projected to run for over 1000 yards this season, he has a 5.6 yard per carry average and has 3 TD's. He has 4 games of over 100 yards and has averaged over 4.0 yards per game every time he steps on the field. Did I mention he is the back up? While Tate is killing defences on many plays in a game he isn't even the biggest threat, as Arian Foster leads the Texans backfield charge and is looking to repeat his breakout year performance. Foster has 805 yards, 7 TD's, 4.2 yard average and he even missed 2 games. Foster is a special kinda back who has been dominant since becoming the starter last year and doesn't look like he is going to slow down. But even if he lacks in rushing prowess his versatility in the air is special. He has another 469 yards and 2 TD's just from the passing game and is averaging 12.3 yards per catch. Foster has the power, speed and smarts to kill our defence, and despite our impressive run stopping ways, Foster will be one of (if not our biggest) challenge on the ground this year. Look for Lofton and 'Spoon to be focusing in on this impressive 1,2 punch the Texans own. This is the match up for the day in my eyes and will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Dominant Defence: Brian Cushing is a beast and he sets the tone for the rest of this defence that Wade Phillips has turned into a power house. Coming of numerous years of having a poor defence, Phillips has flipped the script and created the number 1 ranked D. With 35 sacks and 8 FF they are dominant in the pass rush and this is even with Mario Williams (5.0 sacks) being injured since week 5. However JJ Watt (4.5), Antonio Smith (4.5), Connor Barwin (8.5), Brooks Reid (6.0) and Brian Cushing (3.0) has shouldered the load in his absence. Their DB's have also been fairly stout, having the 2nd best pass D and 15 INT's. Jonathan Joseph has nabbed 4 picks, Jason Allen has 3 and Cushing, Brice McCain, Quinten Demps and Danieal Manning all have grabbed 2. This dominant defense has given teams fits before and will no doubt give us lots of trouble too. A small bit of sunshine in this doom-saying: The Texans have been great on D but have also played some fairly lackluster offensive teams such as the Colts, Dolphins, Raiders, Titans, Jaguars x2, Browns and Buccaneers. They will be tough but they probably look a bit better then they actually are.
Unfortunately that is all we have for this week. But we will be back, we always are. A win here would keep us on track for a playoff spot but a loss would make it very competitive when attempting to make it to the post season. But until next time, I wish you good luck and all the best to the Falcons - this should be a great game.