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Big Play Breakdown: Both sides of the ball stand out vs. Cincy


I don't know how much more my heart can take. One week after one of the most scintillating wins in regular season history last week at NRG Stadium, the Texans made it interesting again at Paycor Stadium on Sunday. That said, they left Cincinnati with another massive win 30-27 in tow. Let's dive into my Big Play Breakdown because it's going to take a while.

2nd Quarter

10:40 remaining - Texans ball

+6 yard line

1st and goal

Bengals ahead 7-0

The Texans came out in 12 personnel (one back and two tight ends) after a Noah Brown catch and a subsequent face mask penalty moved the ball inside the ten yard line. The Texans put a loose bunch to the right side of the formation. WR Tank Dell went in short motion to create that bunch. The Texans ran a similar concept on a two point conversion last week with the same short motion and then threw to Tank - it fell incomplete. This time, though, OC Bobby Slowik called the counter off of that - fake that screen to see if one of the other two pass catchers could slip into the end zone open. To the Bengals' credit, they locked up those two WR, but they left Tank open. So, QB C.J. Stroud flipped it out to Tank who caught the ball at the six and then he became one tough SOB RB turning up the field with a head of steam. Dell dove for the end zone and scored a touchdown to tie the game.

2nd Quarter

8:58 remaining - Texans ball

-20 yard line

1st and ten

Game tied at 7.

After a three and out, the Texans started their next offensive drive at their own 20-yard line. They had been running the ball well to start the game so they came out in a 2x2 with Dalton Schulz and Noah Brown to the right side and Tank Dell and Robert Woods to the left side. C.J. faked an outside zone to the left side and C.J. rolled back to his right. Woods ran to the right flat but the Bengals covered that well. So, C.J. pulled up and threw ALL the way back across to the left side to Brown, who ran a deep over to that side of the field from an inside slot position on the right. The pass protection was GREAT because that took some time to throw. But, the protection was on point and C.J. delivered a DIME to Noah, who was knocked out of bounds after a 29-yard catch. What a day for Noah - eight for 172 yards - a career day. That particular play was money for the Texans all day and Noah had at least three catches on it for big yardage.

2nd Quarter

4:35 remaining - Bengals ball

-30 yard line

2nd and eight

Game tied at seven

The Bengals struggled with the Texans pass rush all day long, Sheldon Rankins, in particular. So, on this second down play, The Bengals motioned to a 2x2 set with RB Joe Mixon to Burrow's right side. The Texans just rushed four, straight up, no tricks, no blitzes. Rankins ran smack dab into C Ted Karras and drove him straight back into Joe Burrow. The Bengals QB had no escape lane with Myjai Sanders and Will Anderson Jr rushing upfield out on the edges. So, Burrow tried to spin forward and to get out, but big 98 snatched him with his right hand and wouldn't let go. A fracas ensued, but Rankins came out of the pile with his hand raised in the air, signifying the fact that he picked up that sack, one of THREE on the day for Sheldon.

3rd quarter

13:47 remaining - Texans ball

-40 yard line

2nd and seven

Texans ahead 10-7

Okay, so this was one freakin' crazy. The Texans had a condensed 2x2 set on the field. This time, C.J. faked an outside zone to the right and started to boot back to his left but Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson never bought the fake. He rushed straight upfield and right into the path of Stroud. On the play, WR John Metchie III crossed over the formation to help block and saw Hendrickson about to snatch up Stroud. So, Metchie III peeled back and got a piece of Hendrickson to cut him off and left Stroud dart underneath that block. Then, Stroud started left, spun around and went back to his right side. It was that point when, again, Noah Brown got open, working back to his QB for another MASSIVE gain into Bengals territory. I mean, that was incredible on so many different levels. The Texans went down and kicked another field goal to take a 13-7 lead a few plays later.

3rd quarter

7:15 remaining - Texans ball

+6 yard line

1st and goal

Texans ahead 13-7…for now.

On the play prior, the Bengals brought an all out blitz and C.J. spied it, let RB Devin 'Motor' Singletary clear underneath and Stroud hit his speedy RB with a dart. Singletary then took it down to the Bengals six yard line. The Texans FINALLY hit that run game they've been looking for all day long and they'd go to it right here. The Texans had 11 personnel in the game and came out in a bunch set to the right side. TE Dalton Schultz shifted back into the backfield as a fullback. Then, Tank came in motion the opposite way. C.J. faked a jet sweep handoff to Tank which froze the defense. C.J. then pitched the ball to Motor with RT George Fant out in front of him and Schultz just behind Fant. Those two got knock down blocks but Noah Brown also had a key pin down block on DE Myles Murphy too. Motor took the pitch and sped into the end zone with his first rushing TD on the season. The play call was brilliant and the execution was tremendous. That TD put the 

4th quarter

3:59 remaining - Bengals ball

1st and ten

+14 yard line

Texans ahead 27-17

The Bengals had just gotten a 15-yard penalty on the Texans for hitting too hard which put the ball at the Texans 14 yard line. It was 1st and ten and it looked like the Bengals could cut the lead quickly. But, they didn't because Shaq Griffin struck. Burrow went back to pass and was forced out to his right by DE Jon Greenard, who had a sack on the day. Burrow ran away from Greenard to his right side. He then threw into heavy zone coverage and Griffin was waiting. He smartly took a knee in the end zone and gave the Texans the ball and a massive opportunity to end the game.

4th quarter

0:43 remaining - Texans ball

3rd and six

-29 yard line

Tied game

The Texans came out in a GOTTA have it situation and came out in a 2x2 situation. TE Dalton Schultz was in the slot to the left side. Schultz ran a GREAT route - a basic route or about 20 yards or so up the field. Stroud threw a laser and Schultz made the great grab to keep the drive alive. 

4th quarter

0:15 remaining - Texans ball

2nd and five

+42-yard line

Still tied…for now.

Stroud had just hit RB Mike Boone for five yards and Boone was able to get out of bounds. So, with fifteen seconds left, Stroud had Boone to his left and Robert Woods to his right in the backfield. He had Noah Brown and Dalton Schultz in a stack alignment to his left. Remember the famous Rams-Titans Super Bowl back in 2000? The Titans ran a play in which the stacked WR drafted off of the receiver in front of him, caught the ball and nearly got in the end zone. The Texans went to that exact play as Brown drafted off of Schultz. Brown's defender was pinned inside and a step behind Brown. Stroud put the ball right on Brown and he sped up the field. He refused to go down and eventually got tackled at the 20-yard line. WHAT A DRIVE!!

Then, it was Matt Ammendola time.

Ball game. 30-27. What a freakin' game!! I know I missed a ton of plays here, but these stood out in a major way

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