5 Texans To Watch In Week 2
Anthony R Wood
Let's be honest, the 2020 NFL season opener didn't exactly go to plan for the Houston Texans. On arguably one of the biggest stages of the season, from start to finish it was mediocre at best for the Texans. One week later and it's time for the Texans to turn a new leaf as they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and his 1-0 Ravens head to the Lone Star State with reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson leading the way. Fresh off of a 38-6 victory against the Cleveland Browns, Bill O'Brien's Texans will have to be on their 'A' game if they are to walk away victorious.
With this in mind, here are five players who will be worth watching out for this Sunday.
J.J. and P.J.
The Texans' situation at nose tackle is a confusing one. After losing D.J. Reader in free agency to the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston drafted TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock in the second-round.
The rookie didn't get off to the flying start many were expecting, only playing 10 defensive snaps in Week 1. While his role will surely increase as the weeks go on, in the meantime, it will fall on his teammates to fill the void upfront.
Defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive tackle P.J. Hall both spent time at defensive tackle at Arrowhead in Week 1, both giving the Texans reason to be optimistic moving forward.
According to ESPN's Seth Walder, both Watt (1st) and Hall (4th) finished inside the top 10 performers in run stop win rate among interior defenders in Week 1.
Given their success at the position, Watt remained at defensive end for the most part while Hall only played 17 snaps. The Texans would be wise to include both in their run defense more frequently against the Ravens.
Third-round rookie Greenard has had a difficult start to his NFL career having missed much of preseason and Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
Now listed as a full participant on their injury report, the former Florida Gators outside linebacker looks set to make his NFL debut at a position of need for the Texans.
Houston's pass rush struggled in Week 1, and with fellow linebacker Peter Kalambayi questionable to play on Sunday, depth at the position is welcome.
The Texans clearly have big expectations for Greenard, given defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver's comments on the rookie in August during training camp.
"You can see that the sky is the limit for that kid," said Weaver. "He’s very smart. You can teach him all the fundamental underneath coverage drops, particularly zone drops. Like I said, he can set the edge. He’s only going to develop and continue to get better as a pass rusher."
The former Seattle Seahawks running back has been plagued by injuries since he entered the league back in 2016. Now in his first season in Houston, perhaps a fresh start is what the doctor ordered as he looks to make an impact on the Texans run game.
Promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, Prosise will fill the hole left by Duke Johnson who is questionable with a sprained ankle. A dual-threat back similar to teammates Duke and David Johnson, he should fit into Tim Kelly's offense like a glove.
READ MORE: Roster Move: Texans Activate RB Prosise
With only special teamer Buddy Howell and full back Cullen Gillaspia the other options in the backfield, Prosise has a real shot at some meaningful snaps on Sunday.
A number of Texans players were vocal about their unhappiness with their team's performance in Week 1. None more so than wide receiver Randall Cobb.
READ MORE: Cobb Pinpoints Texans Week 2 Need
"We can’t go out and play like we did on Thursday night (Week 1). That’s bad ball," said Cobb on Thursday "That was bad ball across the board and we can’t put that on film because that’s the film we’re putting out for the rest of the league to see. We’ve got to be better as a group and individually, myself."
The former Pro Bowler was only targeted three times for two receptions and 23 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs and had little impact on the game. The offense as a whole struggled to gain any momentum or rhythm with so many new players in the lineup.
It doesn't take a genius to see that the Texans must use their more experienced and talented playmakers, such as Cobb, more in the coming weeks if they are to make a playoff push this season.
Clearly driven and with another week of training in this system under his belt, this may be the game where Cobb begins to find his feet in this offense.