PFF Preview: Texans @ Browns, Week 11
As we inch closer to the end of the regular season, the Houston Texans (4-5) pay a visit to the Cleveland Browns (6-3), who have won three straight games and find themselves in sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
If the Browns hope to stay atop the AFC North, they’ll need to slow down the Texans’ rushing attack, powered by Arian Foster. Having had this past week to rest during the bye, the Browns may see a heavy dose of Foster, as he’ll look to take a load off the shoulders of Ryan Mallet who is making his first career start.
With a total of 187 touches this season, both carries and receptions, Foster has earned an elusive rating of 57.6, 10th-best among 48 running backs with a minimum of 61 touches. Of Foster’s 822 total yards compiled on the ground, 290 of those yards have come from his 10 runs of 15+ yards. Those 290 yards and 10 runs of 15+ yards are both second among all running backs and have earned Foster a Breakaway Percentage of 35.3, seventh-best among those same 48 qualifying running backs.
Hoping to slow down Foster, the Browns may have a pair of linebackers capable of the job. Between the two of them, Jabaal Sheard (15) and Paul Kruger (14) have racked up a total of 29 stops against the run, good for second and third among all 3-4 outside linebackers. With that in mind, of 45 total 3-4 outside linebackers who have played a minimum of 66 run snaps, Sheard (9.3%) has the fifth-best Run Stop Percentage and Paul Kruger (8.1%) has the eighth-best.
Both Sheard and Kruger will look to make life difficult for Foster on Sunday, as the Browns will likely attempt to eliminate Foster and allow an inexperienced quarterback making his first career start to try and beat them through the air.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
J.J. Watt – Watt’s 61 total pressures have earned him a Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP) of 14.1, both of which are first among all 3-4 defensive ends.
Jadeveon Clowney – Although Clowney has only played 55 total snaps this season, he has been better in run defense (+1.2), than he has when rushing the passer (-1.4).
Brandon Brooks – Brooks (+1.1) is the only member of Houston’s offensive line who has a positive pass-blocking grade.
Brian Hoyer – When throwing the deep ball (20+ yards), Hoyer’s Accuracy Percentage of 56.4% is ranked third out of 34 quarterbacks.
Joe Thomas – Of 73 offensive tackles that have played a minimum of 114 passing plays, Thomas has the highest Pass Blocking Efficiency (PBE), earning a PBE of 98.6.
Tashaun Gipson – Gipson has put together an impressive year as he has only given up 0.33 Yards Per Coverage Snap, 22nd out of 82 safeties.
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