Reading the coverage: Texans ran left a lot

Houston Texans

The loss of Brian Cushing is not a deal-breaker for the Texans, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Gary Kubiak shouldn’t have punted on fourth-and-inches as the end of the Jets game, as it exposed the one weak link of Houston -- special teams. It’s at the bottom of this Bill Barnwell piece at Grantland. (Hat tip to Nate Dunlevy.)

To which I say: The rationale for going for it is very sound. But go for it and miss and you get crushed by conventional thinkers, and conventional thinking still holds a lot of sway. Too much.

From Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus’ review of Texans-Jets: “The Texans went to the left on 21 of their 33 backfield carries and collected 5.3 yards per carry when running behind Chris Myers (+4.1 run block), Wade Smith and Duane Brown. While the right side of the offensive line settles (Houston again rotated their starters) the left side of the line is carrying the weight of the expectation."

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts made several roster moves, says Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star. Chief among them, nose tackles Antonio Dixon and Jerry Brown were added, as Fili Moala (knee) and Martin Tevaseu (foot) are expected to miss time. And nickelback Justin King was let go.

To which I say: The Colts must have really liked the work of Cassius Vaughn against the Packers and feel like Darius Butler can contribute as corner depth.

From Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus’ review of Packers-Colts: “Former first round pick Anthony Castonzo (-5.1) was once again an issue at left tackle as he struggled to keep Clay Matthews quiet. He coughed up three sacks, a knockdown and three more hurries on his own, making life very difficult for Luck in the pocket. The line combined to allow 17 total pressures on their rookie quarterback with the team down to bare bones and replacement players across the unit. The Colts need to start dedicating some major resources into securing linemen going forward.”

Jacksonville Jaguars

Maurice Jones-Drew takes losses hard, and he hasn’t been on a winning team since 2007 and says he’s sick of losing, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

To which I say: It’s crazy for anyone to give MJD a hard time for a postgame hug with Matt Forte. Such things offer no indication of how a guy is absorbing a loss, and we shouldn’t try to interpret these small snapshots or give them broad meaning.

From Nathaniel Peters-Kroll of Pro Football Focus’ review of Bears-Jaguars: “One of the only solid performers was Austen Lane (+2.6), who was fortunate to face off against (Gabe) Carimi. His ability to come off the edge with speed was a problem for Carimi, who struggled to move backwards as Lane came around him, seeing the Jaguar end up with a sack, a hit, and two hurries of Jay Cutler.”

Tennessee Titans

Five reasons the Titans are failing from John Glennon of The Tennessean.

To which I say: Being too young is definitely an issue, and the roster construction that didn’t put enough quality veteran leaders in place is a definite issue.

From Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus’ review of Titans-Vikings: “Slot corner Ryan Mouton (+2.4) for example had a great game as he didn’t allow a catch, and had two passes defended. The problem came once the Vikings caught the ball, and were making moves after the catch. As a team, the Titans missed 13 tackles which is far too many, and every single coverage defender in the Titans’ nickel defense had at least one missed tackle. The chief culprit on the day was Michael Griffin (-5.1) who missed four tackles; three of which led to Vikings first downs, and the fourth leading to a touchdown."