610SPOR2 35h_CBSSportsRad_Houston

Sports

Andre Johnson Must Carry Leinart To The Playoffs

By JOB TENNANT, SportsRadio 610
View Comments
(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Featured Items

77820352_8Hot Cheerleader - Funny Faces 2014

Small-Wtt6-10s Go Tailgating

136535896All Updated Adrian Peterson Information

From Our CBS Music Sites

77820352_8Are You Still Single?...Maybe It's You!

77820352_8JJ Watt Becomes 'Simpsonized'

77820352_810 Worst Ways To Breakup With A Woman

77820352_8PHOTOS: Maxim's List Of The 50 Hottest Celebs

Sports Fan Insider

Keep up with your favorite teams and athletes with daily updates.
Sign Up
Texans Central
Buy Texans Tickets
Sun Sep.21
Away vs New York Giants
findticketsbtn Andre Johnson Must Carry Leinart To The Playoffs
Sun Sep.28
Home vs Buffalo Bills
findticketsbtn Andre Johnson Must Carry Leinart To The Playoffs
Sun Oct.5
Away vs Dallas Cowboys
findticketsbtn Andre Johnson Must Carry Leinart To The Playoffs
Thu Oct.9
Home vs Indianapolis Colts
findticketsbtn Andre Johnson Must Carry Leinart To The Playoffs
 
Shop for Texans Gear NFL Scoreboard NFL Standings Team STATS Team Schedule Team Roster Team Injuries

There are very few teams that can lose their starting quarterback and still expect to make the playoffs.  There are even fewer teams that have Andre Johnson. 

Matt Leinart is stepping into the best situation possible.  Of every single other team out there, this one fits Leinart (or any other quality back up) the best.  The offensive line has done a very good job, the running game is great and the defense is the best in the NFL.  However, it may be even more important that Leinart will have Johnson as the best receiver in the game on his side.

There is a two-part advantage for Leinart with Johnson coming back into the fold this week.  The first is obvious: Johnson can take a five-yard slant and take it to the house for an 80-yard touchdown.  He will demand safety help because the Jaguars will be without their best cornerback and the only person that would stand any chance on his own against Johnson. Rashean Mathis is out for the season and will be having an ACL replacement surgery later this month. 

With Mathis out, Johnson will demand a lot of extra attention from the Jaguars, with either a safety over the top of him, brackets on either side of him or some sort of combination zone. That should mean that Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter or even Jacoby Jones will be locked up in man-to-man coverage.  If Leinart can’t hit any of them in man coverage with a good play-action fake, then he doesn’t deserve to be in the league.

The obvious on-field advantages of having Johnson back may not outweigh the fact that the Texans as a team have adapted to not having Johnson out on the field.  They have not been used to having No. 80 on the field, and because of that, the expectations for the passing game have dropped significantly.  Since Johnson was injured, the Texans are averaging 253 yards per game, and even that average is bolstered by a 416-yard game against Oakland

Because the passing game has taken a step back without Johnson, the team has created an identity as a running team.  While that will take a lot of the pressure off of Leinart, there will still be times in the game when he needs to come up with a big-time play, and when he does, all he needs to do is look towards No. 80.

By: TwitterButtons.com
By TwitterButtons.com

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,023 other followers