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The 5 O’Clock Club: A look at the Houston Texans

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

A quick peek backwards

Before we move forward to look at the challenge the Redskins will be facing when they host the Houston Texans this Sunday, let’s take a quick look back at the Tampa Bay game.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, ahead of the Tampa Bay game, 5 o’clock club readers were invited to vote on over-under predictions for the game. Let’s see how we did.

Predictions & actual results for last week’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers game

3.5 false start penalties

  • prediction: over (55%)
  • actual: There was only one false start penalty against the Redskins OL on Sunday (Morgan Moses), with a second false start called against Jordan Reed. However, there were also three holding penalties against the OL — two called against Cooper and one against Moses, so the OL was responsible for 4 of the Redskins’ 8 penalties.

350 passing yards for Tampa Bay

  • prediction: over (54%)
  • actual: Fitzpatrick put up 398 passing yards in a losing effort
NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

27.5 points scored by Tampa Bay

  • prediction: under (62%)
  • actual: Tampa Bay, who came into the game ranked 8th in points per game on offense at 28.6, scored 3 points against the Redskins. They had been held to less than 26 points only once in their first 8 games (10 points at Chicago, Week 4).

2.5 sacks by the Redskins defense

  • prediction: over (87%)
  • actual: The defense sacked Fitzpatrick two times — once by Ioannidis and once by Preston Smith. The Smith sack resulted in a forced fumble/turnover. Cassanova McKenzie took Fitzpatrick down a third time in the game when he turned the corner nearly parallel to the ground to beat the tackle on a beautiful defensive play that was negated by a holding call against Josh Norman.

1.25 sacks by the combination of Payne, Allen, Ioannidis

  • prediction: over (89%)
  • actual: 1 sack by IoanMan. The Redskins pass rush seemed to have Fitzpatrick nailed in the backfield several times during the game, only to see him escape and extend the play, similar to Houdini or Carson Wentz.

219 passing yards by Alex Smith

  • prediction: over (74%)
  • actual: Alex Smith was credited with 178 passing yards according to NFL.com.

66 rushing yards by Adrian Peterson

  • prediction: over (72%)
  • actual: This was close. Adrian Peterson racked up 19 carries for 68 yards.
NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

1.5 forced turnovers by the Redskins defense

  • prediction: over (73%)
  • actual: This one wasn’t close — three forced fumbles, with two resulting in turnovers, plus two interceptions for a total of four defensive takeaways.
NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

9.5 total kickoffs for both teams combined

  • prediction: over (51%)
  • actual: The Bucs scored once, the ‘Skins 4 times. So, 5 post-scoring KOs plus the start of each half means a total of seven kickoffs for the game.

5.5 receptions for the Redskins’ reception leader (whoever it happens to be) for this game

  • prediction: over (82%)
  • actual: This was close, with Maurice Harris pulling down all 5 of his targets for 52 yards.
Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

8.5 wins for the Redskins by the end of this season

  • prediction: over (71%)
  • actual: to be determined... stay tuned.

So, the fans were 4-6 on their ten predictions (with the final one still unknown). In any case, the readers are sure to be below .500 on over/under versus Tampa Bay.

Shifting the focus to the Houston Texans

Houston comes in hot to Landover on Sunday, having won 6 straight games and leading the AFC South after starting the season 0-3.

The Texans are led on offense by Deshaun Watson, the #12 overall pick in the 2017 draft, but their biggest names may play on the defensive side of the ball, which features JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Tyrann Mathieu. Of course, DeAndre Hopkins lines up for the offense, and some people argue that he’s the best receiver in the league. Another big offensive name, though a bit long in the tooth, is Demaryius Thomas. Keke Coutee is a name that has only recently become known to NFL fans, as he has put up the kind of performances that stand out in today’s world of fantasy football.

Here’s a look at their offensive and defensive depth charts.

Offense

Defense

Houston is fighting to stay ahead of a talented Tennessee Titans team. However, despite the 6 game win streak, many people aren’t “believers” when it comes to the Texans — a number of critics have questioned whether they have played a string of sub-par opponents. .

The first three of the team’s six wins came against the 4-win Colts, a struggling Cowboys team that had lost every road game played prior to Week 10, and a very poor Buffalo team in a game that saw both rookie Josh Allen and the no-longer-in-the-NFL Nathan Peterman each take snaps under center.

More recently, Houston knocked off Jacksonville, who have done a reverse-Houston, by winning 3 out of their first 4 games before going on a 5-game losing streak.

The Dolphins, at 5-5, may be the best opponent the Texans have beaten, as the team they played last week — Denver — has just one win in its last five games.

The Redskins in Landover are likely to be the stiffest test Houston has faced since dropping their first two games — both on the road — against the Patriots and Titans.

The Redskins’ schedule

The Redskins are finished with the NFC South now, going 2-2 against the division.

Having played the Colts and lost, the Redskins currently stand at 0-1 versus the AFC South, with games against Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee all remaining in the final 7 games of the season, and Washington is hoping to win two or three of those contests.

First up, this week, is the game against the Texans, and it is one of only three remaining home games on the Redskins’ schedule (the other two are division games against the Giants & Eagles in Weeks 14 & 17). With 4 road games still on the schedule, the Redskins need to make the most of the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd.

Let’s take a look at some of the key numbers for this game against the Texans

Houston is ranked 14th in the NFL in offensive yards per game (369.1) and 16th in points per game (24), which makes their offense statistically much less powerful than the Tampa Bay offense, though they are loaded with top-end talent.

The Redskins are currently ranked 17th in yards allowed per game (361) and 4th in points per game, at 19.4, after giving up 501 yards and 3 points last week in Florida.

The Texans have been held to 17 points, 19 (twice), 20 (three times), and 22 in seven of their nine games. They scored 37 & 42 against the Colts at home & Dolphins on the road.

Poll

19.5 points scored by the Texans against Washington

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    over
    (137 votes)
  • 48%
    under
    (131 votes)
268 votes total Vote Now

The Texans defense has taken away 8 forced fumbles this season; Washington has taken away 9.

The Redskins have picked off 9 passes this season, while the Texans have 7 interceptions.

Houston is +4 in turnover margin for the season. Washington is +11.

Poll

Redskins +1.5 turnover margin versus the Texans

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    over
    (148 votes)
  • 39%
    under
    (96 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now

Tress Way has landed 25 punts inside the opponents’ 20 yard line this season without a single touchback. Over the past 4 games, he has landed 21 punts between the opponents’ goal line and 20 yard line.

Can he keep it up?

Poll

3.5 punts downed between the goal line and Houston’s 20 yard line

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    over
    (123 votes)
  • 45%
    under
    (104 votes)
227 votes total Vote Now

Houston’s pass defense is ranked 16th, giving up 243.4 passing yards per game.

Recent Redskin opponents:

Tampa Bay (29th - 291.9 ypg avg) - Alex put up 178 yards (win)

Atlanta (30th - 294.4 ypg avg) - Alex put up 306 yards (loss)

Giants (18th - 244.7 ypg avg) - Alex put up 178 yards (win)

Dallas (8th - 231.9 ypg avg) - Alex put up 178 yards (win)

Carolina (22nd - 258.2 ypg avg) - Alex put up 163 yards (win)

New Orleans (31st - 296.1 ypg avg) - Alex put up 275 yards (loss)

NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Poll

229 passing yards for Alex Smith versus Texans

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    over
    (92 votes)
  • 63%
    under
    (162 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now

Houston is averaging 7.33 penalties per game for an average of 51 yards per game.

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Redskins Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Redskins are averaging 7.11 penalties per game for an average of 69.33 yards per game. Their worst game of the year was against the Falcons, when they were flagged 10 times for 147 yards. The least penalized game of the year for the ‘Skins came against the Cowboys when they were flagged 5 times for 35 yards.

Poll

Which team will be flagged for more penalties on Sunday?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Redskins
    (146 votes)
  • 39%
    Texans
    (94 votes)
240 votes total Vote Now

The Redskins are 5th and the Texans are 6th in rushing defense, at 90.9 and 92.9 yards per game allowed, respectively.

Adrian Peterson is ranked 8th in the league in rushing, at 74.7 yards per game. He averages over 100 yards per game when the Redskins win, but only about 14 yards per game in losses.

Carolina Panthers v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Poll

53 yards rushing for Adrian Peterson against the Texans

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    over
    (207 votes)
  • 17%
    under
    (45 votes)
252 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who will lead the Redskins in number of receptions versus the Texans?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Jordan Reed
    (61 votes)
  • 5%
    Vernon Davis
    (14 votes)
  • 34%
    Maurice Harris
    (88 votes)
  • 7%
    Trey Quinn
    (20 votes)
  • 18%
    Josh Doctson
    (48 votes)
  • 6%
    Kapri Bibbs
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Byron Marshall
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Adrian Peterson
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else
    (2 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now