I'm not breaking new ground by suggesting that the Houston Texans have a problem covering tight ends. Football Outsiders has the Texans currently ranked 17th in the league against tight ends, giving up an average of 6.5 receptions and 51.7 yards per game. As Weston noted in his article analyzing Houston's defense back on October 21st, however, that stat should be considered in the context of the Texans getting to play the Jaguars (with Julius Thomas in his second game of the season for a new team) and now the Titans (with Zach Mettenberger under center). When the Texans have faced above-average tight ends and competent quarterback play, they've struggled mightily. Recall the damage that Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen did in the Chiefs and Panthers' wins over the Texans, respectively. And we're not even talking about the team's historical struggles against receiving tight ends, lest we have to revisit what the Patriots did to Houston with Aaron Hernandez back in the halcyon days of 2012.
On Monday night, the Texans will be confronted with the problem of trying to cover Tyler Eifert, a 6'6" 250 pound matchup nightmare who's coming off a three (3!) TD performance against the Browns and has already notched nine (9) trips to the end zone this year. What should Romeo Crennel do on Monday night?
Move a safety down?
Hope a cornerback doesn't get abused?
Trot a linebacker out there across from Eifert and pray?
Send the house at Andy Dalton and count on him making a mistake or routes not developing in time to offset J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and/or Whitney Mercilus?
If you were coordinating the Texans' defense on Monday night in Cincinnati, what would you do?
Texans vs Bengals coverage