O'Brien: Five things that need to happen at Denver

O'Brien: Five things that need to happen at Denver
Following the Texans 26-23 overtime win over Indianapolis, the Texans have a list of objectives heading into their Monday night game at Denver.
1. Stop the run. Frank Gore rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries on Sunday night against the Texans defense.
"Obviously, we're going to have to stop the run better than we did last night on defense," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Denver is a really good running football team."  
2. Protect Brock Osweiler, who has been sacked 12 times this year for a loss of 103 yards. The Colts defense sacked Osweiler just once but did record five quarterback hits. 
"We're going to have to be more consistent in our offensive execution, just overall," O'Brien said. 
"We're going to have to protect the passer. Obviously, they have great edge rushers – Von Miller – really tough secondary – Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward – good interior linemen. We're going to have to really have a good week of practice and go in there with the mindset that we're going to play very aggressively and we're going to play as consistent as we possibly can."
3. Feed Lamar Miller. The Texans starting running back scored the first rushing touchdown of the 2016 season. Miller racked up 149 yards rushing on 24 carries and the touchdown. He also caught three passes for 29 yards and added a receiving touchdown.
"I think the more we get Lamar the ball, probably the better," O'Brien said. "Because I think when he touches the ball usually good things happen. Whether it's in the run or the passing game or screens or however we get him the ball, I think it's probably going to be good for the Houston Texans."
4. Improve kick coverage. The Colts average drive start was at the Indianapolis 32-yard line with the first three series starting near mid-field at the 46, 50, and the Colts 40-yard lines, respectively. The Colts final possession of regulation began at the Indianapolis 32-yard line following a 10-yard kickoff return.
"Special teams-wise, I thought there were some decent things," O'Brien said. "Overall, we just have to continue to cover kicks more consistently. We can't give up returns to the 30-yard line in the kickoff game, for example. We have to do more of tackling inside the 20, which we did. We have to continue to kick the ball and punt the ball as well as we can. There's a lot to improve upon and we'll work hard to do that this week."
5. Eliminate penalties. The Texans were flagged seven times for 59 yards, including two holding calls on their first possession of the fourth quarter. On their final two touchdown drives, the Texans were penalty-free.
"Regardless if it's the first quarter or the fourth quarter, when we start drives with a positive play we usually end up having a decent drive," O'Brien said. "What happened last night was we either didn't start the drive with a positive play or we did and then we would get a penalty or some type of sack or TFL (tackle for loss) that would set us back in the drive. We have to eliminate those. We have to eliminate penalties, eliminate the things that make us an inconsistent offense and kind of try to bottle some of the things we did late in the game to be more consistent. That's what we're always trying to do."
The (4-2) Texans will travel to Denver to face the (4-2) Broncos on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and SportsRadio 610. 

Following the Texans 26-23 overtime win over Indianapolis, the Texans have a list of objectives heading into their Monday night game at Denver.
 
1. Stop the run
Frank Gore rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries on Sunday night against the Texans defense.

"Obviously, we're going to have to stop the run better than we did last night on defense," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Denver is a really good running football team."  


  1. Protect Brock Osweiler**
    *Osweiler has been sacked 12 times this year for a loss of 103 yards. The Colts defense sacked Osweiler just once but did record five quarterback hits. 
     
    "We're going to have to be more consistent in our offensive execution, just overall," O'Brien said. "We're going to have to protect the passer. Obviously, they have great edge rushers – Von Miller – really tough secondary – Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward – good interior linemen. We're going to have to really have a good week of practice and go in there with the mindset that we're going to play very aggressively and we're going to play as consistent as we possibly can."

3. Feed Lamar Miller
The Texans starting running back scored the first rushing touchdown of the 2016 season. Miller racked up 149 yards rushing on 24 carries and the touchdown. He also caught three passes for 29 yards and added a receiving touchdown.

"I think the more we get Lamar the ball, probably the better," O'Brien said. "Because I think when he touches the ball usually good things happen. Whether it's in the run or the passing game or screens or however we get him the ball, I think it's probably going to be good for the Houston Texans."

4. Improve kick coverage
The Colts average drive start was at the Indianapolis 32-yard line with the first three series starting near mid-field at the 46, 50, and the Colts 40-yard lines, respectively. The Colts final possession of regulation began at the Indianapolis 32-yard line following a 10-yard kickoff return.

"Special teams-wise, I thought there were some decent things," O'Brien said. "Overall, we just have to continue to cover kicks more consistently. We can't give up returns to the 30-yard line in the kickoff game, for example. We have to do more of tackling inside the 20, which we did. We have to continue to kick the ball and punt the ball as well as we can. There's a lot to improve upon and we'll work hard to do that this week."

5. Eliminate penalties
Houston was flagged seven times for 59 yards, including two holding calls on the first offensive series of the fourth quarter. On their final two touchdown drives, the Texans were penalty-free.

"Regardless if it's the first quarter or the fourth quarter, when we start drives with a positive play we usually end up having a decent drive," O'Brien said. "What happened last night was we either didn't start the drive with a positive play or we did and then we would get a penalty or some type of sack or TFL (tackle for loss) that would set us back in the drive. We have to eliminate those. We have to eliminate penalties, eliminate the things that make us an inconsistent offense and kind of try to bottle some of the things we did late in the game to be more consistent. That's what we're always trying to do."

The (4-2) Texans will travel to Denver to face the (4-2) Broncos on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and SportsRadio 610. 

Check out the best photos from the Texans vs. Colts game.

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