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2015 Week Two Infographic: Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers

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Check out today's Infographic on BRB in advance of the Texans-Panthers game in Week Two.

My name is Ryan Mallett. My world is fire. And blood. Once, I was a backup quarterback, a road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy.

Me... or everyone else.

Here they come again. Worming their way into the black matter of my brain. I told myself... they cannot touch me. They are long dead. I am the one who runs from both the living and the dead. Hunted by scavengers. Haunted by those I could not protect. So I exist in this Wasteland. A man reduced to a single instinct: survive.

Mad Mallett takes over the Texans' offense against the Panthers. Here is this week's infographic breaking it down.

Now for the X-Factors:

kdentify:

Mallett. If he can operate the offense effectively, and allow us to take advantage of the absence of Kuechly and Star (projecting based on how CSR folks said they weren't feeling good about it given what Riverboat Ron said in a PC), we should be able to win this one (especially since Cam is dealing with one of the weakest WR corps in the NFL since Kelvin Benjamin went down for the season). Olsen will be an issue, and missing Mikey Mo's coverage skills will hurt, but I cannot believe RAC and Vrabel would allow the LB corps to perform this week like they did against Travis Kelce. Of course, the DL boasts Watt-Wilfork-Crick, and Clowney should be even better this week, while our secondary should have an effective game, too. The loss of Foster hurts, of course, but Mallett is better equipped to take advantage of Nuk, Shorts, and Washington than Hoyer could. However, if Mallett comes out and sh.ts the bed, all the bleach in the world won't be enough for Texans fans, so, for our chances at victory and our livers' sakes, Mallett is key.

Chris Watkins:

JD Clowney. He looked better than I think any (reasonable) Texans fan could have hoped last week considering he can't possibly be near 100% after having the microfracture surgery just nine months ago. He still looked explosive, and the bonus for me was that he did not look as raw. One of the many criticisms of Clowney is that he would try to coast on his natural talent. He's still raw in technique, but there was a clear improvement. Now he's playing essentially in front of his hometown people with a game under his belt that he came out of without any issues. Against a questionable offensive line, I look for JD to wreak a little havoc on Sunday as he continues his remarkable comeback.

BFD:

Panthers LT Michael "Blind Side" Oher. Oher has a tendency to struggle more than not, and he'll see a lot of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday. We all know about Watt, but Clowney's return from microfracture surgery has been fantastic. Both Clowney and Watt use speed moves to their advantage, and this is where Oher especially struggles. This could turn into a very long day for Cam Newton.

Tim:

Ryan Mallett. Just because it's the easy answer doesn't mean it's the wrong one. If Mallett can make good decisions, including but not limited to protecting the football, the Texans should win this game. If he doesn't, they won't. Not to oversimplify it, but I think it really comes down to that on the road against a team that features a salty defense of its own.

Capt. Ron:

Turd Furguson: Essentially whoever they end up putting in at left tackle in place of Duane Brown will likely determine the outcome for the Texans. The running game is nearly void without Foster, and Mallett needs a couple of seconds of protection to get the cannon working. Left tackle is the most critical link in a unit that is struggling the most for the Texans.

Brett Kollmann:

DeAndre Hopkins. He is facing a really, really good corner in Josh Norman this week who excels as both a press and press-bail DB despite not being the fastest guy in the world. If Hopkins can't win at the line and get over the top of Norman - which is really Norman's only big weakness - then Ryan Mallett might have trouble getting the ball to his go-to target. If Mallett is then forced to rely on secondary targets like Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts, this offense could really struggle.

MDC:

Clowney. As the inimitable Brett Kollman showed us, the Chiefs ultimately decided they had to double Clowney and/or slide protection toward him. And they did this while J.J. Watt was on the field. I assume Watt is already thinking about what he will do if Clowney commands the same amount of attention against the Panthers, and his plan involves questions like "what's the proper etiquette for disposing of a severed head without calling a timeout?" and "if I hit Cam Newton so hard that he stops moving, will that preclude him from ever pretending to be Superman again?"

Capt. Ron:

I wonder if Watt will go in at TE for more than just a goal-line situation.

MDC:

I want him to line up at FB and get a rushing TD and/or a Wild Badger formation from which he throws a TD pass to Hopkins.

Matt Weston:

The Panthers usually play zone coverage, and mask their dumpster diving secondary with the speed of their inside linebackers Luke Kuechly, and Thomas Davis. With A.J. Klein, who's perfectly ok, replacing Kuechly the middle of the field should have lanes that aren't normally there. So now is the time for Garrett Graham or C.J. Fiedorowicz to receive some targets...

Like that will ever happen. We all know a Houston tight end will never catch a pass ever again.

HOU won't be able to run the ball against this front seven, but they'll still hand the ball off a ton. So it will come down to Mallett, and if he can complete passes on corner routes that attack the deep sidelines, and posts and deep ins that fit in the gap between the linebackers and safeties. We all know he has the arm strength to do it, but the question will be if the accuracy is there.

Brett:

I like Norman and Benwikere a lot. They aren't the fastest guys in the world but they are very well coached and play fluidly within their C1/C3 system. CAR's main issue in the secondary is not having dick at safety and Charles Tillman being a liability against deep threats that can get a step on him. This game has Nate Washington written all over it.

Also Norman is extremely aggressive and might be susceptible to out and ups considering he won't really have any speed at safety over the top to bail him out when he bites.

Matt Weston:

That's funny. I have Benwikere and Norman in my notes as guys to watch this week after watching the film vs. JAC. They are still fifth round picks and the reason why their defense works is because of the way Kuechly and Davis cover the middle of the field and the pressure they get with their front four. They ran a lot of cover two last week, not cover one or three, and from what I read it seems to be what they've done the last few years.

I think Shorts will have a better game than Washington this week.

Brett:

You are right about Bortles. The weird thing about the Jags is they do nothing well on offense. In the run game it seems like there is no consistent scheme or play they could run well vs CAR. In the passing game it seems like every play is locked in on the first read and they are going to throw short or long, that's it. Bortles doesn't really progress and he had guys open. I also hate how he seeps out of the pocket rather than step up when there's pressure or no one open right away.

Weird, a lot of my notes from Bortles' fuck ups (there were many) had them in single high looks. They must vary it up a bit. Speaking of Bortles, a lot of the Jags offensive woes, at least to me, were because of poor decisions and him holding on to the ball way too damn long. All but one of the sacks were on Bortles imo, and a quarterback with a quicker release would eat them alive I think. They got simply zero interior pressure. Addison was the only one consistently getting anything done, and even then it wasn't like he was a world beating force like Houston or Watt.

I think Mallett is the perfect quarterback to face this defense. He has the arm to exploit deep seams when they go into zone looks, and he has shown to be intelligent and have a quick release in the past when defenses start getting blitz happy. I'm optimistic.

Matt Weston:

I went back and watched some more and they ran more cover 3 than I thought originally. It seems like a lot of that and cover two.

You are right about Bortles. The weird thing about the Jags is they do nothing well on offense. In the run game it seems like there is no consistent scheme or play they could run well vs CAR. In the passing game it seems like every play is locked in on the first read and they are going to throw short or long, that's it. Bortles doesn't really progress and he had guys open. I also hate how he seeps out of the pocket rather than step up when there's pressure or no one open right away.

Rashad Greene's stat line was hilarious: 13 targets, 7 catches, for 28 yards.

***

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