Houston hopes they are able to wear Wilfork down.
"He’s extremely tough," Texans left tackle Duane Brown said. "I had one encounter with him where I pulled inside and didn’t really get much movement. He’s a big guy, creates great leverage, very smart player, can read a lot of stuff."
"When running away from him, it can be very important to get him on the ground so he’s not able to pursue and get tackles for losses. They’ve got a very talented interior defensive line, and can rotate in a lot of big guys. If you’re able to run the ball effectively for the majority of the game, it’d be nice to wear them down a little bit. We weren’t able to get that accomplished in the last game."
Of course, as has been pointed out all week, Wilfork and how the Texans handle him will be a big part of the running game's success, or lack thereof, on Sunday.
Brown makes mention of wearing the Patriots' defense down a little bit, but the key word in his quote might be the part where he says New England can rotate in a lot of big guys. If the rotation is an issue and wanting to wear down Wilfork is a goal, perhaps Houston's best bet can be found in its early season muddle huddle.
For those who don't recall, the muddle, or sugar, huddle is where Houston's offense doesn't really get into a huddle and sort of quickens the tempo. It's not exactly a no-huddle either, but it keeps Houston in control of the tempo and creates uncertainty for opponents as far as changing personnel and rotating people in.
The Texans were quite successful with the muddle huddle earlier this season, keeping Jacksonville and Denver, as those articles linked to, off kilter and allowing the offense to dictate the match-ups, tempo, and personnel. If the goal is to wear down a big man, throw off their rotations, and take the fight to New England, a new wrinkle in this match-up will be the muddle huddle, especially if those first 15 plays are scripted and ready to go.
So, I ask you masters of strategy this: Is the muddle huddle the right kind of change for Sunday?
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