Opponent Preview: Get to Know the Houston Texans

Here’s a quick guide to familiarize yourself with the Houston Texans

**

**

The Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) head to NRG Stadium to square off against the Houston Texans (9-7) this Saturday at 3:35 p.m. in the Wild Card round of the AFC playoffs.

The Texans, in similar fashion to the Chiefs, rallied after a 2-5 start to make the postseason by winning 7 of their last 9 games. It's head coach Bill O' Brien's first playoff trip in his two years coaching the Texans.

"It's an exciting time and we're just happy to be in it," O'Brien said. "We know we have a huge challenge here with the Chiefs, but it's an exciting time."

Just as Chiefs head coach Andy Reid noted this week, O'Brien explained that although the Texans played the Chiefs in Week 1, a lot has changed over the course of the 17-week season.

"Obviously, the first game, they had Jamaal Charles, and unfortunately he's injured," he said. "There are some things that happened during the course of the year where your team has to weather the storm and variably, the team has to change. I think both teams have changed a bit."

Here's a look at the Texans coaching staff:

Texans Coaching Staff

Position

Name

Head Coach

Bill O' Brien

Offensive Coordinator

George Godsey

Defensive Coordinator

Romeo Crennel

Special Teams Coordinator

Bob Ligashesky

The most talented player on the Houston Texans offense is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who became the team's true No. 1 option this year with Andre Johnson's departure this past offseason.

Hopkins finished third in the league in yards receiving (1,521) and had a team-leading 11 touchdowns receiving this season, sending him to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

"It means a lot," he explained of making the Pro Bowl. "It means my teammates have definitely been playing some good football and the coaches have been doing a good job of helping me get there. The Pro Bowl really isn't, in my position, an individual award. It takes a lot of guys to do their job for you to be successful."

O'Brien explained that Hopkins is as good as he is because of his work ethic.

010715-DeAndreHopkins-ia.jpg

"From the day we walked in here, he's put in extra time to really learn our offense," O'Brien said. "He's able to line up in different spots and then, he's got a really unique skillset. He can run good routes, he's got great hands. He can catch anything. He's a smart guy. He's got size. He's a guy that has really played well for us this year."

Hopkins and the Texans have played with four different starting quarterbacks this season, led in starts by Brian Hoyer, who currently has the role and will start against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Hoyer has been in the league since 2009 and spent three seasons as New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's backup, learning from the future Hall of Famer.

While he was able to showcase that he had the capability of starting for an NFL team last season in Cleveland, 2015 was by far the best season of his career. In 2015, Hoyer set career highs in touchdowns (19), completion percentage (60.7) and passer rating (91.4) in seasons in which he started three games or more.

When Hoyer wasn't throwing the ball this season to Hopkins, he utilized veteran Nate Washington. But with Washington (hip) and Cecil Shorts III (hamstring) both dealing with injuries, rookie Jaelen Strong would be the next man up if need be. Strong had 14 receptions for 161 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns for the Texans this season.

As far as a rushing game, after Arian Foster went on Injured Reserve earlier this season, second-year running back Alfred Blue took the lion's share of the snaps for Houston. Blue averaged 3.8 yards on 183 attempts (698 yards) this season.

The Texans tend to pass more than throw by far, throwing 619 times and rushing 472 times during 2015.

A key injury to note heading into Wild Card weekend is that of starting left tackle Duane Brown, who tore his quadriceps during the first quarter of Week 17. Veteran offensive lineman Chris Clark, who has started 31 career games since 2010, will start in Brown's place. 

Here's a look at the unofficial offensive depth chart for the Texans:

Houston Texans Offensive Depth Chart (Unofficial)

POS

FIRST

SECOND

THIRD

OTHER

WR1

DeAndre Hopkins

Cecil Shorts

LT

Chris Clark

Andrew McDonald

LG

Xavier Su'a-Filo

Oday Aboushi

C

Ben Jones

RG

Brandon Brooks

Oday Aboushi

RT

Derek Newton

Kendall Lamm

TE

C.J. Fiedorowicz

Ryan Griffin

Garrett Graham

WR2

Nate Washington

Keith Mumphery

Jaelen Strong

QB

Brian Hoyer

Brandon Weeden

B.J. Daniels

RB

Alfred Blue

Jonathan Grimes

Chris Polk

Akeem Hunt

FB

Jay Prosch

Here's a look at the Texans numbers and ranks so far this season on offense: 

Offense

Chiefs

Texans

Net Yards Per Game

331.2 (27th)

347.8 (19th)

Yards Per Play

5.55 (12th)

4.94 (31st)

Points Per Game

25.3 (9th)

21.2 (T-21st)

Possession Average

30:55 (11th)

30:48 (14th)

Net Rushing Yards Per Game

127.8 (6th)

108.2 (15th)

Net Passing Yards Per Game

203.4 (30th)

239.6 (18th)

Had Intercepted/Yards

7/116

12/123

Sacks Allowed/Yards

46/-238.0 (T-26th)

36/-246.0 (16th)

Fumbles/Lost

16/8

22/8

Third down Pct.

38.2% (T-19th)

38.6% (18th)

Red Zone TD Pct.

57.4% (14th)

57.8% (13th)

Giveaways

15 (2nd)

20 (T-11th)

The Texans defense begins with defensive end J.J. Watt, who recently fully healed from a broken left hand suffered at practice in early December.

Watt finally shed the cast he had been playing with last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"Even when he had the club on his hand, he was still disruptive, very disruptive," O' Brien explained, "but obviously when you're on the defensive line and you have the use of your fingers and your full hand, you can do more. He had a great game for us Sunday against Jacksonville. I think everybody understands how much he means to our team."

010716-JJWATT.jpg

Watt had 3 of Houston's 8 sacks against QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars Sunday and in doing so, clinched the NFL's sack lead for 2015 with 17.5.

Watt is complemented in the Texans front seven by linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who finished second on the team in sacks with 12.0. Mercilus roomed with Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen at the University of Illinois.

"I think we've played really good team defense," O'Brien added of his entire unit. "When you look at it and you show the team on J.J.'s plays or Whitney Mercilus, or (Vince) Wilfork or John Simon, all these guys that get to the quarterback for us, (Jadaveon) Clowney when he's been in there, a lot of it has to do with the coverage. The coverage has been good. Whether it's Brian Cushing underneath, or Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, the safeties (Quintin) Demps and (Andre) Hal, it all has to work together and I think that that's what happens. We're playing good team defense and obviously the challenge is to continue that against the Chiefs."

Hal leads the Texans in interceptions with 4, while Joseph leads the team in passes defensed with 22.

Familiar Face:Safety Quintin Demps played for the Chiefs in 2013. Demps played in all 16 games, recording 4 interceptions. Demps had the only fumble recovery touchdown for the Texans in 2015.

Here's a look at the unofficial defensive depth chart for the Texans:

Houston Texans Defensive Depth Chart (Unofficial)

POS

FIRST

SECOND

THIRD

RDE

J.J. Watt

Jeoffrey Pagan

NT

Vince Wilfork

Christian Covington

LDE

Jared Crick

Brandon Dunn

OLB

Whitney Mercilus

MLB

Brian Cushing

Akeem Dent

Max Bullough

ILB

Benardrick McKinney

Justin Tuggle

Brian Peters

JLB

Jadeveon Clowney

John Simon

LCB

Kareem Jackson

Kevin Johnson

Darryl Morris

RCB

Johnathan Joseph

A.J. Bouye

SS

Quintin Demps

Eddie Pleasant

Kurtis Drummond

FS

Andre Hal

Rahim Moore

Corey Moore

Here's a look at the Texans numbers and ranks so far this season on defense:

Defense

Chiefs

Texans

Net Yards Per Game

329.3 (7th)

310.2 (3rd)

Yards Per Play

5.08 (6th)

5.03 (5th)

Points Per Game

17.9 (3rd)

19.6 (T-7th)

Net Rushing Yards Per Game

98.2 (8th)

99.8 (10th)

Net Passing Yards Per Game

231.1 (9th)

210.4 (3rd)

Intercepted by/Yards

22/477

14/180

Sacks For/Yards

47/-290.0 (4th)

45/-311.0 (5th)

Opponent Fumbles/Lost

19/7

20/11

Third down Pct.

33.2% (2nd)

28.5% (1st)

Red Zone TD Pct.

60.0% (21st)

56.4% (15th)

Takeaways

29 (5th)

25 (T-12th)

Finally, here's a side-by-side comparison of the individual statistical leaders for both teams:

Chiefs

Texans

Passing Yards

Smith

3,486

Hoyer

2,606

* *

* *

* *

Yates

370

* *

* *

* *

Weeden

305

Rushing Yards

West

634

Blue

698

Smith

498

Polk

334

Ware

403

Grimes

282

Receiving Yards

Maclin

1,088

Hopkins

1,521

Kelce

875

Washington

658

Wilson

451

Shorts III

484

Points Scored

Santos

129

Novak

83

Maclin

48

Hopkins

68

Ware

36

Washington

24

Interceptions

Peters

8

Hal

3

Parker

3

* *

Three tied

2

Five tied

2

Four tied

1

Branch

1

Sacks

Houston

7.5

Watt

17.5

Hali

6.5

Mercilus

12

Howard

5.5

Simon

5.0

Parker

5

Clowney

4.5

Defensive Tackles

Johnson

116

Cushing

110

Parker

78

Watt

76

Berry

61

Demps

61

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising