Six Texans to Watch: Browns Edition
Patrick D. Starr
The Houston Texans are treading in uncharted waters with the Cleveland Browns coming to town. The Browns boast the #5 defense in the NFL and have the #2 pass defense also, and they will be put to the test on Sunday. For as good as the Browns defense it, they have the #26 ranked offense in the NFL, and have Texas born Colt McCoy leading them at quarterback.
With the Texans sitting 5-3 and first in the AFC South, they can help their playoff cause with a win this Sunday. Just like every game in the NFL anything can happen, but it is up to the Texans to control anything and everything in the game.
Here are some Texans to watch for Sunday's game.
DeMeco Ryans- With the injury to Darryl Sharpton, Ryans will be expected to take majority of the snaps on Sunday. Sharpton has been spelling Ryans to keep him fresh later in the games, but that is all over now with Sharpton out for the season with a torn quadricep. Ryans has been great in the box against the run, but he has shown vulnerability in pass coverage. If there is anytime for Ryans to get back to his pre-injury self this would be the time.
Kevin Walter- The Browns have a decent secondary, Walter must keep being Matt Schaub's go to wide receiver. Walter, since Andre Johnson's injury, has 19 receptions and 238 yards and 1 touchdown, compared to only 4 catches and 49 yards and a touchdown with Johnson in the lineup. He has been a solid option since turning into the #1 target for Schaub and expect his great play to continue.
Arian Foster- The stats may fool you but with the Browns #2 pass defense against the rush it is a different story, they are giving up 127.3 yards a game on the ground which puts them 26th in the league. Arian Foster better get his running shoes on and get ready for what could potentially be a big day of rushing for the Texans. Foster worked hard to get his 112 yards against the Jaguars, and has rushed for 100+ yards in 3 of his 6 games in 2011. Look for Foster to make it number 4 of the season this Sunday.
Glover Quin- He has been relatively quiet in his new position, but showed some life against the Jaguars in coverage and run support from the safety position. Early in the season Quin was attacking ball carriers and making plays, since his issues in coverage he has been non existent out of the secondary. Quin needs to get back to his aggressive self and help fill the void of losing Danieal Manning to injury, and start making some impact plays.
Lawrence Vickers- This is an important game to the ex-Brown on Sunday after being cut before the preseason was kicked off. Vickers has been put into the starting role ever since fullback James Casey went out with a pectoral injury against the Oakland Raiders. Vickers has improved dramatically since his first start in Baltimore and laid some big blocks against the Jaguars to lead the way for Ben Tate and Arian Foster. Vickers is also an important part of the Texans special teams so expect an energized man on a mission in Vickers on Sunday.
Brooks Reed- Reed has filled in better than expected since Mario Williams injury and has registered 2 sacks in his 3 starts at outside linebacker. He has been racking up tackles and doing a good job of setting the edge in rush plays his direction. Reed suffered a scary knee injury in the 1st quarter against the Jaguars, he sat out a few plays shook it off and was back in the game and finished. He has gotten better with his playing time on the field and has established himself as a smart pick by the Texans in the 2011 draft.