The Leftovers: Keys, Trades, O-line & tight ends

Via Facebook, fans submitted questions to Drew Dougherty of Texans TV. He answered a few in the video above, and many more in the article below.

Safiya Hill: Dear Drew, What are a couple of keys to a win this weekend in Indy? Thank you!

DD: Hi Safiya. I think the Texans need to get a pair of takeaways, and they need to keep running the ball successfully. They did both of those things last weekend, and won. Now, they also turned the ball over three times themselves, so they need to clean that up. But the offense has rolled the last two weeks. They've punted once in the last two games, and they're finding the end zone pretty regularly. If Houston can steal a couple possessions from the Colts, it's more time on the field for Watson and the offense to put points on the board.

Alejandro Mazal: Dear Drew, How awesome did it feel to watch the Texans play such a great game vs KC?
DD: Totally awesome, that's how. Every time this team steps on the field with Deshaun Watson under center, you know they have a chance to win. The defense played a phenomenal game and held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to 10 points below what they normally average. Sunday was a lot of fun.

Ryan Riffel: Dear Drew, With Jalen Ramsey traded out of the division do you believe the Texans have a chance to get him once his contract up?
DD: After what we saw in the month of August with regards to trades, anything is possible. Houston was aggressive in going after Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Carlos Hyde. If the Texans think Ramsey is a good fit, if and when he's a free agent, then I think they'll look into having him join the team. Ramsey's always praised Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, and he's had good battles with them over the last few years.

Aaron Givens: Dear Drew, It seems like some of the missed pats/ field goals are not just Ka’imi Fairbairn's fault, right?
DD: Head coach Bill O'Brien was asked about the struggles in the kicking game, and he said "we've got to look at the whole operation, technique-wise. We have to make those kicks." Sometimes, it's not just the kicker's fault when the ball doesn't sail through the uprights. Fairbairn led the NFL in scoring last season, and was pretty accurate. He drilled game-winning field goals in overtime in 2018 in back-to-back weeks.

Armando Gallardo: Dear Drew, Will the Texans be offering Laremy Tunsil an extension?
DD: Don't know when, but it's safe to say the Texans want Tunsil around, and around for a long time. He's been an excellent addition to the team, and he's been a big reason pass protection and production in the run game has been better.

Rodd Lang: Dear Drew, will the offense start using the TE position more?

DD: They have. Darren Fells is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with three, and he led the squad in receiving yards last Sunday with 69. Fells and Jordan Akins combined to catch nine passes for 108 yards in the win over the Chiefs. Last week against Atlanta, Fells caught two touchdowns. In the win at Los Angeles, Akins caught a pair of scores. The Texans definitely like what the tight ends do, and are capable of doing, in this offense.

Brandon McLaughlin: Dear Drew, Since teams have begun trading players do you see the Texans picking up anyone before the trade deadline or trading anyone for some draft picks?

DD: Sure. They did so last year around the deadline when they sent a draft pick to Denver for receiver Demaryius Thomas. I could certainly see Houston making deals again over the next few weeks.

Jason Smith: Dear Drew, Colts fan here. Great job on your KC win, I know it feels good. My question: can you discuss the QB situation around the AFC South?

DD: It's pretty darn good, isn't it? We're obviously partial to Watson, and think he's just scratching the surface of what's possible. He was able to guide Houston to 11 wins last year, and he's been pretty careful with the football. While I haven't watched every snap of Jacoby Brissett's career, the ones I have left me mightily impressed. He reminds me a bit of Ben Roethlisberger, but I think Brissett's a little more judicious with the ball. With the talent around him, I expect good things to keep happening there. Gardner Minshew sure heated up against the Texans in the game he played here in Houston earlier this season. The present, and future, is certainly bright at the quarterback spot in the division.

Ross Lange: Dear Drew, With the other sports teams in Houston thriving, do you think that fuels the team to win also?

DD: While I don't think it hurts, I'm not sure there's much carryover. The coaches and players, for the most part, are Astros and Rockets fans. I'm a Houstonian, so I'm loving what the Astros are doing, and the Rockets sure are promising with the talent they've assembled. It's a great time to be a Houston sports fan.

Debbie Bobo Kunkel Kerschen: Dear Drew, Do you think since we’ve had a lot of success with Carlos Hyde and the running game, that O'Brien will continue this?

DD: I sure do, but the Texans won't force it. I think if Watson see something at the line of scrimmage that presents a better option, he'll take that route. That was the beauty of what the Texans did at Kansas City: they ran the ball effectively, and gained nearly 200 yards on the ground, while passing for 280 yards. A lot of those passing yards, 239 to be exact, came on short throws that went 10 yards or less through the air. Those were almost like runs.

Dan Flores: Dear Drew, What's your favorite hot spot in downtown Indy?
DD: I love traveling there. I don't know if it qualifies as a 'hot spot', but we always get a great dinner at Prime 47 when we're there for the game against the Colts, and for the Combine.

Shannon Budaus: Dear Drew, I was quite surprised to see Coach O'Brien go for it on a couple of 4th downs. Do you think we will start to see him do this more often knowing that our offense was successful on converting against the Chiefs?
DD: Yes. Trusting in Watson is something we've seen pay dividends. On 3rd-and-short, late against the Falcons, instead of running into the line, Watson found Will Fuller, V for a touchdown up the left sideline. Last week against the Chiefs, Watson and the offense rolled. Good things happen, typically, when you let Watson and the offense do their thing.

Joel Rodriguez: Dear Drew, Has Deshaun bought lunch for his linemen these past two games? Better protection in the pocket. Which is awesome!
DD: Haha, I don't know. I'm certain he's liked what they've done up front. He's also been great at taking what the defense is giving him, and he's gotten rid of the ball a lot quicker. Everybody offensively has stepped up their game in terms of pass protection the last two weeks.

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