TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At San Francisco 49ers

Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers v St Louis Rams
Quarterback
Matt Schaub is struggling this season and he has already thrown three interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns. Schaub has been making key mistakes at big moments. While he has a quick release, excellent vision and reads defenses well, something is missing from his game and if he doesn’t find it, the Texans could lose their way this season.
Winner While the 49ers got on the right track in their win over the St. Louis Rams, Colin Kaepernick is struggling quite a bit. Instead of the wide open game that marked his play last year, Kaepernick appears to be concerned about mistakes. He has also toned down his running quite a bit and he needs to get back to the way he was playing.
Offense
Winner The Texans have sensational balance on paper and should be nearly unstoppable. Few teams can match the running game they get with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, while Andre Johnson is still capable of dominating a game. However, the Texans simply are not finishing drives and they are not playing the way they can.
With the 49ers’ attack struggling, Jim Harbaugh decided to go back to the basics and Frank Gore rewarded him with a sensational effort. Gore rushed for 153 yards and punished the Rams with his hard-charging style. Anquan Boldin can get open and he is coming off a five-catch, 90-yard effort against St. Louis. Jim Harbaugh would like to see Vernon Davis do a bit more.
Defense
J.J. Watt was the defensive player of the year in 2012, but he is starting to get frustrated with the way his team is playing. Watt had eight tackles vs. the Seahawks, while Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus had six tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brian Cushing is coming off a nine-tackle effort and he also forced a fumble, but he suffered a concussion and may not play vs. the 49ers.
Winner The 49ers are going through a period of adjustment without Aldon Smith, who is going through rehab for his off-the-field problems. Glenn Dorsey stepped into the breach and recorded four tackles and 1.0 sack. NaVorro Bowman continues to play dominating football as he overpowered the rams with six tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
Special Teams
Special teams have been a big problem for the Texans. They struggle in coverage and rarely make big returns, which has hurt them in big games in the past. Former Raider Shane Lechler is punting the ball well, and he averaged 45.3 yards per attempt vs. the Seahawks.
Winner The 49ers are struggling on special teams once again. They rarely break big returns and that costs them in the field position battle. Phil Dawson was supposed to solidify the Niners’ placekicking, but he missed both of his attempts vs. the Rams. Andy Lee averaged 54.7 yards per punt in that game.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v St Louis Rams
Winner San Francisco 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers are not where they want to be at this point in the season, but they have the tools to improve and get back on track. The Texans are simply not playing with the effort and confidence that they need to and this game could turn out to be a big problem for them.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Houston

6-10s Calendar
Watch Now: Live Video & Video Highlights
Play.it

Listen Live