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Houston Texans

The Leftovers: Power rankings, respect, pass rush

Joshua McCarty: Dear Drew, What can the Texans do to improve the secondary?
DD: The secondary, like the rest of the team, can always play better. But let's remember something: on the road, against a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, with a Pro Bowl receiver at his disposal, the Texans secondary and the defense gave up just 20 points. In the second half, they surrendered only 3 points. Now, the main thing that can improve the secondary is continuing to see the work of the pass rush we saw last Sunday in Los Angeles. But let's also give some credit where it's due, because multiple guys in the front seven say they can't affect the quarterback if the secondary isn't covering and giving them a chance.

Lauren Gomez: Hi Drew.
DD: Hi Lauren.

Aaron Givens: Dear Drew, How do you see us slowing down Christian McCaffrey?
DD: Boy he's good, isn't he Aaron? In Weeks 1 and 3 he had over 100 yards on the ground. He's already scored three touchdowns this season. He's always a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. The front seven will need a repeat of what they did last week. They were able to hold the Chargers running backs to 61 yards on 15 carries. McCaffrey can do some damage catching the ball, so it'll be fascinating to see who defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel matches him up with in situations where he lines up outside of the backfield.

Kevin Arnold: Dear Drew, Is Justin Reid ok?
DD: I think so. He left the game Sunday, but returned quickly. Reid spoke on Monday in the locker room to reporters, and he discussed how excited he is to square off against his brother Eric's team in Carolina.

Chris Royal: Dear Drew, Do you think if we keep winning the NFL will ever respect Deshaun Watson and the Texans enough to add Watson to the MVP talk?
DD: I've not read or heard of a single player or coach who doesn't respect him. Every week, every Texans opponent has great things to say about Watson in the lead up to the game, and they echo that in the postgame, too. As far as the media goes, I think most hold him in high regard as well. To get MVP consideration, the Texans have to win their prime time games, and take care of business in the AFC. All of those things are possible with Watson under center.

Derwin Jordan: Dear Drew, Do you think we are settled on the offensive line?
DD: As long as they stay healthy, I think it's likely the lineup you saw Sunday in Los Angeles will be the one you see the rest of the way. The Texans added three new faces to the mix up front in Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard and Max Scharping. That trio, along with Zach Fulton and Nick Martin looked pretty solid against a Chargers pass rush featuring Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Michael Carroll: Dear Drew, For week 4, ESPN NFL power rankings was put out and has Texans at #10. What's you thought on are standings there?
DD: Who cares? It's a great bit of content for ESPN, because it gets people talking, but it's meaningless. The Texans need to keep winning, then win in January and February, when the real power rankings are decided on the field.

James Luke: Dear Drew, Do you think the rest of the NFL is sleeping on the Texans? Also looking forward to finally seeing my Texans in the UK.
DD: I don't think so, James. Like I mentioned above, Watson is a highly-respected quarterback. The rest of the League knows he can do a whole lot.

Carlos Lamus: Dear Drew, We have led the league since Week 1 of 2018 in opponents converting 3rd and 8+ yards. The Chargers converted 4 or 5 of those. What are the Texans doing to correct this problem?
DD: Interesting stat. The Texans want to be better on third down on the whole. Crennel and company did a pretty solid job of that in the second half on Sunday. After Philip Rivers and the Chargers converted 4-of-7 third down opportunities in the first half, the Texans locked them up. The Chargers were 1-of-8 on third down after the break, and 1-of-6 in those 3rd-and-long situations you brought up. As far as correcting the stat you pointed out, you saw Crennel and the Texans stick with a pass-rushing quartet mainly of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, with combinations of Jacob Martin, Charles Omenihu and D.J. Reader mixed in. Getting after the quarterback will go a long way toward getting better in 3rd-and-long situations.

Shannon Budaus: Dear Drew, We always ask questions about the players and coaches. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be part of the Texans?
DD: Sure. I'm from Houston, went to college at SMU, and worked as a producer at a TV station after graduation. Spent four years there, and by the end of my time, I was filling in as a sports anchor. Did a quick stop as a magazine editor, then spent four years in Lubbock as the sports anchor at the FOX affiliate, and the sports anchor in Spanish at the Telemundo affiliate. Applied for the Texans job and got it in the summer of 2009. A few more details are HERE.

Roman McPeake: Dear Drew, Charles Omenihu has been a good addition to the defensive line. Do you see him getting more snaps with every game?
DD: If he keeps playing the way he has, yes. He was a key contributor on Sunday, and drew a bigtime holding call on the final defensive drive. Instead of having a 1st-and-goal at the Texans' 7-yard line, with 0:24 left, the Chargers were pushed back to a 3rd-and-14 at their own 34. Omenihu was causing some problems for Los Angeles on Sunday.

Emmanuel Cuevas: Dear Drew, Is there any other position the Texans are willing to put Greg Mancz on the O-line?
DD: He's a valuable guy, who's able to play center and both guard positions. He's been in the offense for awhile now, and was active last Sunday at Los Angeles as the swing guy on the inside. I'm not sure you'll see him start, unless there's an injury up front.

Houston Texans Fans travel to Los Angeles for the third game of the 2019 NFL season against the Chargers.

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