PFF Preview: Texans @ Giants, Week 3
What a difference a year makes. After losing 14 straight games last season, the Texans (2-0) look to keep things rolling under new head coach Bill O’Brien, as they head to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to take on the New York Giants (0-2), who find themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum.
As the Texans have reverted to old school ball to win games, i.e., an efficient run game, defense, and winning the turnover battle, it’s likely they’ll take the same approach against the Giants. After all, if it isn’t broke, why fix it?
With 55 carries, Arian Foster ranks first in the league in rushing attempts, second in rushing yards with 241 (second to only DeMarco Murray) and a respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Although Foster deserves credit for his performance through two weeks, some credit is due to the blocking up front, as the Texans are tied for seventh in run blocking with a grade of +4.0.
That being said, Arian Foster and Co. will face a tough task on Sunday, as the Giants are letting up just 3.4 yards per carry, good for sixth in the league, and rank fourth in run defense with a grade of +12.1. On top of that, not a single Giants’ player earned a ‘red’ grade in run defense last week and the Giants are getting good run support on defense from their safeties, Stevie Brown (+2.6) and Antrel Rolle (+3.1).
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Derek Newton – A seventh-round pick out of Arkansas State in 2011, Newton has improved tremendously in his fourth year. He has an overall grade of +6.5, ranking second only behind Branden Albert among offensive tackles.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Although Houston has relied heavily on Foster, Fitzpatrick hasn’t disappointed. With an overall grade of +2.7, Fitzpatrick ranks seventh among all QBs and has yet to throw an interception.
Kareem Jackson – Jackson has been phenomenal thus far, as he has held opposing QB’s to a rating of 32.7 when they target him, seventh-best in the league.
New York Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul – Pierre-Paul finished the 2012 season atop all 4-3 defensive ends in run defense and he’s looking to repeat his success this season, currently earning a grade of +4.1, second only to Red Bryant (+4.2).
Robert Ayers – Through two weeks, Ayers has been the Giants’ best defensive player, earning an overall grade of +4.4 and recording a team-high three sacks.
Eli Manning – Despite throwing a league-high tying four interceptions, Manning has still been able to earn an overall grade of +2.1, 10th among all QBs. Manning’s top receiver, Victor Cruz, has four drops to go with his seven receptions through two weeks.
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