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Big Play Breakdown | Texans vs. Broncos, Week 13


I should've known.

We all should've known.

We ALL should've known that our hearts were going to get tested…AGAIN! But, this time, the good guys came up with all the inches and plays needed to win on Sunday. The Texans beat the Broncos 22-17 in another heart attack inducing finish. Here are a few Big Plays from the much needed win over Denver.

1st Quarter - Texans Ball

8:11 remaining

1st & 10

-22 yard line

Texas ahead 3-0

Texans WR Nico Collinswas absolutely superb on Sunday with nine catches for 191 yards and a touchdown. On this first down play, the first play of the third drive of the game. It was time to go DEEP. The Texans brought in 12 personnel (one RB, two TE) and put those TE and Tank Dellto the right side of the formation. Collins faced Bronco CB Fabian Moreau who was in press coverage. QB C.J. Stroudput the ball in the belly of RB Dameon Pierce on play action and stepped back behind solid protection. That play fake drew the LBs close to the line of scrimmage. On his release, Nico beat Moreau inside, stacked him (got him on his back hip) and took off running like a bullet train down the field. C.J. reached back for his fastball and launched downfield as Moreau had no help behind him. Nico had Moreau by three steps and snatched the deep throw from Stroud for 52 HUGE yards on the BOMB! The Texans scored their first TD nine plays later.

4th Quarter - Broncos Ball

9:40 remaining

2nd & six

-36 yard line

Texans ahead 22-17

The Broncos hadn't come out in empty much in the first half, but they went to it a bit more in the second half. So, they had 01 personnel in the game - four wide receivers and one tight end, no running backs. Two receivers and the tight end lined up to the left of the formation. Two receivers were in a near stack alignment, in a condensed split to the right of the formation. The Texans looked to be in quarters coverage as WR Courtland Sutton, one of the stack receivers to the right side, ran a beautiful slant and go. He got Texans S Jalen Pitre to bite on the slant and OH MY GOD HE'S WIDE OPEN. That was my exact thought from my view behind the play. I thought it was going to be a walk in touchdown for Sutton. The Broncos had brilliant protection in front of QB Russell Wilson, which gave him all kinds of time to find Sutton, seemingly, wide open. Wilson let fly and bad words came out of my mouth because I saw Sutton running right up the seam. Then, out of NOWHERE, Derek Stingley Jr. came flying in to save the day!! He read the throw perfectly in the air and leapt over the top of Sutton to pick off his second pass of the day. I mean, that's one of the best INTs that I've seen in NRG Stadium. Stingley Jr. shouldn't have even been in the area, given the coverage, but he just went and made one heck of a play. I saw it happen live and watched it at least ten times since and it's so beautiful! It's an incredibly athletic play. It's a BRILLIANT football IQ play. It's just a WONDERFUL football play all around by Sting!

4th Quarter - Broncos Ball

0:16 remaining

3rd & Goal

+8 yard line

Texans still ahead 22-17

Oh boy! By this point, I could feel my heart beating through my chest…AGAIN. Here we go AGAIN, I thought. The Texans defense had strapped the Broncos receivers on the first two plays of this final set of downs and needed to do it again. Quite frankly, the secondary needed help from the pass rush and the pass rush needed help from the secondary. They would help each other on this final play. The Broncos came out in 11-personnel, RB Samaje Perine to the right of Wilson and a 3x1 set with a loose bunch to the left side of the formation. One thing that I didn't see at the time, but the point man in the bunch was TE Lucas Krull. Right before the snap, he started gesturing as if he was unsure what to do and I don't think he was alone. Either way, Krull ran vertically up the field, ran to the corner and then turned back toward the middle of the field near the back of the end zone. It looked like the Texans matched up to the routes by "boxing the bunch" with the four defenders in that direction. So, when Krull went to the back of the end zone, S Jimmie Ward was right there. What Ward may not have realized was that Wilson was harassed heavily by DE Jon Greenard. The Texans pass rusher bull rushed into LT Garrett Bolles and then immediately disengaged up the field. When he did, Wilson had no recourse but to spin away from JG. His rush just discombobulated Wilson, who hurriedly threw to Krull in the end zone. Unfortunately for Wilson, Ward was standing right in front of Krull. The Texans safety leapt to pick off the pass, ending the game and setting off NRG Stadium in hysterics

There's so much about this play that's great. Greenard's rush. Ward not biting on Jerry Jeudy's route to the inside. LB Blake Cashman taking Jeudy across the field so Ward could stay in coverage near Krull.

MAN, I'm still buzzin'! What a WIN!!

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