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What We Learned: Week 4

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Here at Sports Radio 610 we are always looking to grow as fans of the NFL. We take every week in stride and try to learn more about the game we love. So, each week we present to you ‘What We Learned’, where we tell you the most important things from the last week of games in the NFL. At least to us.

Ted Johnson:

What I learned week 4….

1.  “Aint foolin’ nobody”….Matt Schaub threw his “pick 6″ to Richard Sherman off Boot Action to the right but the edge rusher to that side NEVER bit on the play fake and Sherman “squatted” on the rout to make the play.  Point is the Seahawks knew the play was coming because the Texans run different variations of the same play all the time.  A well prepared/coached team will exploit the Texans offensive predictability.

2.  “Stay close to home”….When Schaub leaves the pocket nothing good ever happens.  He is most productive when he stays in the pocket.  When he does leave the pocket more times than not it becomes a wasted play.

3.  The most important position group with the most pressure on it is the offensive line.  If a defender breaks free through the line particularly early in the play than most likely Schaub has to either take a sack or throw it away or worst case throw an INT.   The O-Line will have to play close to perfect every week for this team to win.

4.  “Sooner rather than later”…..DeAndre Hopkins through 4 games has 3 catches for 32 yards and no TD’s in the first half of games.  In the second half of the first 4 game he has 17 catches for 238 yards and 1TD.  Getting D-Hop more involved in the first half of games will make the Texans less predictable on offense as well.

5.  “Turn up the heat”……football is not for the timid or the weak.  If a player isn’t getting the job done it’s time to put someone else in who can.  Willie Jefferson get ready….

6.  “Why wait for Tate?” ….So Ben Tate averages 6.8 yards per carry….fumbles the ball and never gets another chance?  Not sure why he has the shortest leash of anyone on the team.  I realize Arian Foster had 102 yards but it took him 27 carries to get them.  Tate is playing for that big house high on the hill……it’s time he’s more of a focal point.

7.  What’s going on at halftime?  In the last two games (losses) the Texans have been outscored 33-0 in the second half of games.  Championship teams don’t relax with a 17 point halftime lead….they make adjustments and look to pour it on in the second half.

Seth Payne:

I didn’t learn this, but it was reaffirmed that this defense just isn’t the same without Brian Cushing in it.  Russell Wilson was able to hurt the Texans with his feet only after Cushing went down, and it wasn’t a coincidence.  I like to think that J.J. bloodied his own face as a tribute Cushing after he went down.  I don’t think the timeline is right for that, but feel free to run with my version.

The Monday Night Football game was a brilliant example of what an athletic tight end like Jimmy Graham can do to a defense, especially with the rule changes that have made them even more lethal.  These power forwards playing football can be downright unstoppable at times.  I hate them.

There isn’t as much buzz about the read option this year, but the Texans got a taste of what it can still do to you when Russell Wilson beat the Texans to the outside for some easy yardage when he kept it.

Vince Wilfork is out for the season, which is a big deal for the Patriots.  For all that Wilfork is lauded, I still don’t feel he gets enough credit for his motor.  Few big men are as relentless as him for as many snaps as he plays.

Fred Davis:

What I learned this weekend….

The 49ers secondary is licking its chops to see which one of its guys is taking a pick back to this house Sunday night…

The Colts are the best team in the AFC South…. That Luck kid is pretty dadgum-good quarterback in this league. His future = Bright.

Russell Wilson is incredible. Bottled up for most of the game, unlike a quarterback in Houston, he took the game over in key moments, made huge plays down the stretch and his team is now 4-0…

How good are the Saints….? And what a difference a coach makes… That’s what a real QB-Coach dynamic is supposed to look like as the Saints put a clown suit on the previously unbeaten Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football… That defense, as beleaguered as it is injury-wise, those guys find a way to get it done, they’re turning the ball over like they did during their SB run…. If they get even a semblance of a running game going, it’s more than likely going to come down between them and Seattle for NFC supremacy…

The NFC East is bad. Real bad.

The Jaguars are also real bad.

The Chiefs are not. 4-0. See ya in Arrowhead Week 7 baby…

The Falcons are the NFC version of the Texans. But I’m sure you already knew that.

I Know the Broncos look like something out of Madden right now and Peyton is playing out of his mind, but I’ll still take Tom Brady over Peyton seven days out of seven.

Who’s ready for Sunday night…..?!?! I know I am.

John Lopez:

The Texans have reached the abyss. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for quarterback Matt Schaub, his third interception return for a touchdown in as many games.

What I learned: if there is a positive for Schaub skeptics it is that the Texans WILL draft a quarterback with a premium pick. Whether it’s next year or soon thereafter, the Schaub era will be transitioned out.

With a defense that remains young, the next generation of quarterbacking is upon us.

Mike Meltser:

-The Giants and Steelers are 0-4 in large part due to their inability to block upfront. You can analyze the NFL a thousand ways, but if you can’t protect your QB to any extent, you’re dead. The NYG combo of Will Beatty and Justin Pugh at the bookend tackles has been a disaster so far. Pittsburgh is going to bench LT Mike Adams. You can’t win with that kind of line play in the NFL.

-Nice job by the Browns to grab a nice win (17-6) over the Bengals. Brian Hoyer is the story, but I like what they have going on defensively. Barkevious Mingo notched a sack and added 2 TFL against Cincinnati, and they have a pretty solid collection of talent on D: Mingo, Joe Haden, Phil Taylor, Paul Kruger, TJ Ward, etc. Also, Jordan Cameron has to be the most underrated tight end in the NFL.

-I had no idea Reggie Bush would be this good for the Lions. Ten years later, it’s like he is the same player he was at USC. Check out the production against the Bears: 18 carries, 139 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 receptions, 34 yards. He has made that offense into a force. You always have to worry about health, but he has been brilliant this year.

-I’m still not sure exactly what to make of the Colts. They did their job and hammered the tanking Jaguars 37-3, but the big road win at the 49ers is the only real “big-time” game they’ve played that didn’t require some miracle 4th quarter comeback. Let’s see what they do hosting the Seahawks this Sunday.

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