TEN-HOU GRADES: CAREER DAY FOR WATT AS TEXANS SMOTHER TITANS
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Texans’ 20-6 win over the Titans.
– It says a lot about the Titans’ performance on Sunday that their highest-graded player was Brett Kern (+4.2), their punter. He was a busy man yesterday afternoon as Tennessee was forced to punt the ball seven times as Kern did all he could every time to flip the field position. He allowed a total of 28 return yards, kicked three punts inside the 20 and even had one go out of bounds at the Texans’ seven yard line.
– Tennessee did not ask a lot from quarterback Zach Mettenberger (-1.6) yesterday, as only 8 of his 28 pass attempts went further than 10 yards. Indeed, within 20 yards he was very accurate completing 21 of his 24 pass attempts in this range. However, when the time came to extend the field and hit big completions, Mettenberger was unsuccessful as he failed to complete any of his four passes over 20 yards and his lone interception was also among these throws. It also did not help that the quarterback was under pressure on 37.8% of his dropbacks and in these situations his yards per attempt dropped to 3.0 from the 6.1 that he recorded with a clean pocket.
– While the Titans front seven played relatively well and could put pressure on quarterback Brian Hoyer and also limit the running game, the secondary consistently allowed key plays in crucial situations. Cornerbacks Coty Sensabaugh (-4.3) and Jason McCourty (-1.9) were targeted 17 times and combined to give up 14 receptions, 180 yards and a touchdown. Hoyer had a passer rating of 150.5 when targeting Sensabaugh and 147.4 when throwing towards McCourty.
P Brett Kern (+4.2)
DE Jurrell Casey (+3.7)
OLB Derrick Morgan (+1.8)
S Da’Norris Searcy (+2.0)
DE DaQuan Jones (+1.6)
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (+1.6)
– The Houston defense reacted well to the criticism they received following the ugly loss against Miami last week. The front seven was able to consistently put pressure on Mettenberger throughout the game until the very last snap. The rush was led by DE J.J. Watt (+14.9) who had his best game of the season and also one of, if not the best game of his entire career. It has to be noted that Watt was up against rookie tackle Jeremiah Poutasi (-6.4) in the first half and was able to take full advantage of the situation. Over the entire game, he recorded 11 total pressures on 39 pass rush snaps with three sacks, four quarterback hits and three hurries.
– Cornerback Kevin A. Johnson (+2.5) managed to bounce back well after recording the worst grade of his rookie season against Miami last week. Johnson was targeted three times and allowed only one reception for 12 yards and recorded his first interception in the NFL with a passer rating of 6.9. In addition, he earned a positive grade for his run defense due to some solid tackling and aggressive play at the line of scrimmage.
– While it may have been quiet by his standards, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (+2.1) had another solid game against Tennessee on Sunday. Hopkins was targeted 11 times, which is tied for the least amount of targets for him this season, but he hauled in all eight catchable passes which included his touchdown reception, the only catchable deep ball thrown towards him all afternoon. Although only 12 of his 94 yards came after the catch, this was mainly due to the fact that most of these receptions occurred close to the sidelines and he was quickly forced out of bounds after catching the football.
DE J.J. Watt (+14.9)
OLB Whitney Mercilus (+4.9)
CB Kevin A. Johnson (+3.2)
WR DeAndre Hopkins (+2.1)
OT Chris Clark (+1.9)