As is his style, TDC did a dynamite job identifying several matchups that Texans fans should keep an eye on when the good guys play Jacksonville on Sunday. Specifically, he mentioned:
1. Matt Schaub v. Jacksonville's pass defense;
2. Houston's interior offensive line v. Jacksonville's defensive tackles;
3. Maurice Jones-Drew v. Houston's run defense; and
4. Connor Barwin v. Eugene Monroe.
If you had to identify one of those four matchups being the primary key to a Texans victory on Sunday, which one would you choose? My answer is after the jump.
I'd immediately dismiss the Barwin v. Monroe battle as the least important. Barwin's a stud, but the Texans proved last week that they can pressure the QB even if Barwin's neutralized.
Next in lack of relative importance? I think I'd go MJD v. Houston's run defense. Even if MJD has a lot of success running the ball, Blaine Gabbert is going to have to throw at some point to keep Houston's defense honest. I remain unconvinced he can do that consistently, so MJD running wild doesn't scare me in terms of dramatically affecting the chance at a Houston win on Sunday.
That leaves us at Schaub v. Jacksonville's pass defense and Houston's interior OL v. Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu. I suppose I'd have to say the ability of Myers, W. Smith, and A. Caldwell to handle Knighton and Alualu is more important to Houston's chances than Schaub strafing the Jags' secondary. If the Texans can't run the ball effectively, that's liable to have a more deleterious effect on the offense than Schaub not being able to light Jacksonville up through the air. We've seen what a Houston offense with zero running game looks like, and it's far uglier than a Houston offense with a lesser passing game, I'd say.
Agree? Disagree? Just want to talk about how awesome Coors Light is? Hit the comments.