The Texans (6-3) hit the road this week for a Sunday matchup with Washington (6-3). Both teams are atop their respective divisions, and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and some players shared their thoughts on the Houston.
Washington head coach Jay Gruden on Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney and DE J.J. Watt: "They're both, obviously, very talented, very big, very physical, quick-twitch. They cause of a lot of problems. They move Clowney around quite a bit and they move J.J. around a little bit. You never really can get a beat on them and say, 'OK, he's over the right tackle every time' or 'he's over the left tackle every time.' Sometimes they're over a guard, sometimes they stand up and get over centers and stunt them, pick them and he does a great job, Coach (Romeo) Crennel, does a great job moving those guys around. They're obviously great players – unbelievable talents. I have not seen any effect on J.J. Watt's body, his ability to rush the passer, get off on the snap count, finish plays, disrupt the game at all. He's everything as advertised."
Gruden on Texans QB Deshaun Watson: "He's a guy that gives you problems because he can sit back in the pocket and throw accurately, but also, if you try to double team everybody, backs are to the quarterback, he can take it down and run it forever. He's a major problem. He's a next generation-type quarterback that can run and throw and a very effective guy. Coach (Bill) O'Brien is doing an excellent job with him."
Gruden on Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins: "Hopkins is up there with the best. You can rank them however you want to, it doesn't matter – 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1F – whatever it is, he's No. 1 as far as guys that I've seen. His route-running ability sets him apart. He's got great hands, great route-runner, physical, can play physical, tracks the ball as good as anybody. He is everything you want in a wide receiver."
Washington QB Alex Smith on the Texans defensive front: "Certainly one of the most disruptive fronts in football, when you talk about creating problems. Penetration. They're all over the place. They're obviously really, really talented. They get up the field. They're well-coached.
Washington RB Adrian Peterson on the Texans defensive front: "The defense has been leading the way. Offensively, we have a tough challenge to go against. It's going to be fun. I always look forward to playing stellar defenses."
Peterson on pass-pro vs. Watt and Clowney: "Just really knowing where they are at all times. And doing some extra work. Chipping those guys. Those guys are so talented, you never know: they might be coming off free. You gotta bite down and hit them in their mouth and just let them know that we're here."
Washington safety D.J. Swearinger on the Texans offensive style: "They're going to try to find the best matchup. Get you in big personnel and get wide receivers on linebackers. So we've gotta do a good job of matching it up.
Washington LB Zach Brown on Watson: "We just have to make sure we contain #4 back there. He's having a great season. The first couple games, if you watch, he wasn't really trusting his knee. But now he's trusting that knee so he's picking up where he left off. We gotta make sure play disciplined football.
Brown on Hopkins: There are very few that can deal with him. Josh (Norman), I think he's always up for the challenge. Can't wait to watch it.
Washington LB Josh Harvey-Clemons on Watson: He's more of like an Aaron Rodgers. He's going to scramble, but he's still looking to get the ball downfield, and he has great receivers that make spectacular catches. We just basically have to try to keep him bottled up.
Check out the best Week 9 images from Texans team photographer Zach Tarrant. Presented by Houston Methodist.