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Texans at Panthers, Week 8 | Big Play Breakdown


That road trip was even tougher than the one to Atlanta. The Texans defense struggled in the second half at Atlanta, but was STRONG all day in Carolina until a final drive that led to Eddy Pineiro's game winning field goal. Let's break down a few big plays from this loss to the Panthers.

2nd Quarter - Panthers Ball

7:46 remaining

4th and goal

+2 yard line

Texans ahead 7-0

The Panthers spread the Texans out with 11 personnel, but TE Stephen Sullivan is just a big WR, so it was essentially 10 personnel with RB Miles Sanders in the game. QB Bryce Young started in empty and then brought Sanders back into the backfield. Every Texan, every fan, everyone in the world knew that the Panthers were going to WR Adam Thielen. He was lined up as the number three receiver (the closest to the offensive line). On Friday at practice, I saw the Texans work on goal line routes for what seemed about a year and the Panthers ran something straight off those play cards. Thielen had run a stick nod route earlier, where he fakes the quick stick route and then spins around him behind the defender as the QB lofts the ball to him in the back of the end zone. Young didn't throw that one. So, on fourth down, Thielen faked the stick nod and just ran the stick route one yard inside the end zone, pivoting away from Denzel Perryman. Tavierre Thomas and Perryman converged at the same time and Thomas knocked the ball away, ending a sure Panthers' touchdown threat. HUGE stop!

3rd Quarter - Texans ball

5:20 remaining

2nd and 11

-35 yard line

Panthers ahead 12-7

The Texans ran a one back power play, a same side power play and the key block on this play is from the left guard pulling across. The right side blocked down and mowed down that side of the field, but, unfortunately, Panthers OLB Brian Burns avoided the block, sliding up underneath it. Oh man, I thought that play was dead on arrival. But, as Burns tried to make the tackle on Texans RB Dameon Pierce spun out of the attempt and then realized that the blocking was solid in front of him. He just had to get back on his path and hit the gas. I thought that he was going to  run all the way to the end zone after Panthers S Sam Franklin Jr. missed the tackle. He didn't get that far, but Pierce still ran all the way to the Panthers' logo at midfield. GREAT run for Pierce, one of his best of the season.

4th Quarter - Panthers ball

10:36 remaining

1st and ten

-21 yard line

Texans P Cam Johnston put on a punting exhibition all day long and he pinned the Panthers back at their own 21 yard line early in the fourth quarter So, on first down, they came out in 11 personnel with Bryce Young in the pistol. WR Jonathan Mingo went in motion, while Young play faked to his RB. Young whipped back around and as he did, Denzel Perryman was blitzing from depth and DE Jerry Hughes dropped into coverage - a sweet little fire zone call from DeMeco Ryans and Matt Burke. No one accounted for Perryman as he blew through the right side B gap. Maliek Collins looped behind DT Kurt Hinish and came free in the left side B gap. Young saw Perryman and tried to escape but he ran right into Collins, avoiding Perryman. SACK! Huge drop on a key first down.

Then…same drive

9:24 remaining

3rd and 13

-18 yard line

Maliek Collins went solo to sack Young. He lined up on the right side, overloading that side next to Will Anderson Jr. and Jon Greenard. Collins looped back to the left side and went toe-to-toe with Austin Corbett. Collins hit him with a wicked long arm move and rocked Corbett back on his heels. Young, again, couldn't escape as Collins disengaged off of Corbett and sacked Young again. 

Jon Greenard had 2.5

Maliek Collins had 2

Perryman had a half

The team had six!

It should've been enough.

It wasn't on this day, unfortunately.

View the best photos from the Week 8 matchup between the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.

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