I had the opportunity to ask five questions of Battle Red Blog, specifically Jeremy Brener, and he was kind enough to take a moment to give me some insights into the Texans as they are. He also, deliberately or not, revealed that the Texans fan mental state is remarkably close to our own.
Dave Choate: Deshaun Watson is a magician but his offensive line is obviously a problem. How concerned are you about a Falcons pass rush that has applied pressure but not sacks through four games, and what kind of game should we expect from Watson?
Jeremy Brener: On a scale of 1-10, definitely an 8. This is an inexperienced and banged up offensive line. The strategy with that is to simply get the ball out quick and to throw different offensive play styles at them. Try to trick the defense as much as you can.
Dave Choate: The Falcons have largely bottled up opposing ground games the last couple of weeks. How has Carlos Hyde fared, and should we expect to see more Duke Johnson given Atlanta’s difficulty containing speedy players?
Jeremy Brener: Duke Johnson fits an archetype that the Texans have lacked in their offense for a while. I think Duke has some favorable matchups with this Atlanta D that I would look to exploit.
Dave Choate: I’ve got to be honest: I’m terrified of this Houston defensive front, and the Falcons’ offensive line is banged up. How well has this group done thus far in 2019 and how, besides prayer, would you counter them?
Jeremy Brener: Double team J.J. Watt and do not run near Whitney Mercilus. Watt has been shy in box scores this season because he’s been doubled frequently and that has opened the door for Mercilus to step in. He’s the best Houston linebacker now, and the ball should be going nowhere near him.
Dave Choate: I’m hoping this is the week, in between sacks, that the Falcons get on track passing game-wise. How does that Texans secondary look and how would you recommend exploiting them? Spare no detail.
Jeremy Brener: Johnathan Joseph is in the Top 10 in yards allowed this season, if not pretty near close to it. Give the ball to Julio and let him do his thing. No excuse for him not to have 10 grabs for 150 yards this week.
Dave Choate: Who is going to win this game, and what are your expectations for the Texans season? It sounds like fans are a little disappointed with how things have gone to this point?
Jeremy Brener: The Falcons will win because the Texans play down to their competition and have zero rhythm at home. The season has been shaky thus far, with the Texans losing two games by six points combined and winning a 1-point game they did not deserve to win.
However, in true Texans fashion, they go 9-7, win the bad AFC South and lose in the Wild Card to the Bills or something.