It's Week Four of the preseason, and we once again head to Arlington to take on the Dallas Cowboys. This is do-or-die time for those players on the roster bubble. It's their last chance to put plays on tape and make an impression on the coaching staff, either in Houston or somewhere else in the NFL. As the Texans look to go 4-0, what's worth the watch?
1. Offensive Line Progression
The Texans' offensive line has been a work in progress this preseason. Whilst the pass protection has been decent enough, the real struggles have been with run blocking. Some of this could be chalked up due to the lack of talent in the group with so many starters out, but I think some of this may come down to lack of continuity and teamwork issues. There was some improvement against the Cardinals, and I'm keen to see more this week. Hopefully with another week we can see that and ease some concern heading into the regular season.
2. Brennan Scarlett
Wow, that man was everywhere against the Cardinals. Six tackles, two of which were for loss, two sacks, and two quarterback hits. Scarlett showed up big time and put up the numbers on the stat sheet on his 53 snaps. The question is whether he can solidify his spot on the 53 man roster. There's no doubt he is in the lead this far, but when you're on the roster bubble, you can't afford to ease up. He's been a pleasure to watch so far this preseason, and he's worth watching again this time round.
3. Special Teams
Bill O'Brien has talked plenty about how special teams earns you a roster spot in this organisation. With so many battling for spots, how people perform on special teams this week is a key. Who is getting down there on punt and kick coverage? Are they sticking to their job? Who is blocking well on returns? These are all crucial questions this time out, and whoever stands out here may well earn themselves a spot.
4. Texans' Run Defense
The Texans' defense has struggled against the run, and they face another big test against the Cowboys. Whether Ezekiel Elliot plays or not, Alfred Morris has been very good so far and the Cowboys have a very good offensive line. The Cardinals averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt last week against the Texans, and that isn't good enough. We need to see some improvement sooner rather than later in this department. Otherwise, it could become a problem that loses us games.
So what are you looking forward to watching against our in-state rivals?
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