TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 3: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

Texans
Broncos
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Quarterback Peyton Manning (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Quarterback Peyton Manning (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Matt Schaub is a solid quarterback who is a lot more interested in the Texans winning than in accumulating explosive stats. That kind of attitude may get the Texans to the Super Bowl. Schaub is an accurate passer with poise. He knows how to escape pressure and find the open receiver.
Winner Peyton Manning had a brilliant opening game against the Steelers, but he threw three first-quarter interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons. While Manning led a comeback, he could not bring them all the way back. Manning’s arm strength has been diminished and he can’t always escape pressure.
Offense
Winner The Texans have one of the most complete offensive teams in the league. Arian Foster rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars while backup Ben Tate scored twice. Wideout Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniel are solid receivers.
The Broncos like to establish the run with veteran Willis McGahee. He no longer has blazing speed but he finishes his runs and punishes tacklers. Wide receiver DeMaryius Thomas is a big-play threat with blazing speed.
Defense
Winner The Texans are going to come after Manning with a defense that obliterated the Jaguars in Week Two. While playing in Denver will be more challenging than playing in Jacksonville, the Texans can put relentless pressure on the quarterback. Defensive end J.J. Watt is a big-play maker.
The Broncos need the defense to play at a high level since Manning can no longer dominate the way he did when he was with the Colts. Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson is a solid run stuffer and linebacker Von Miller had three tackles and 1.0 sack against the Falcons.
Special Teams
The Texans are pleased with placekicker Shayne Graham and punter Donnie Jones. Graham made both of his FG attempts against Jacksonville, while Jones averaged 49.8 yards per punt.
Winner The Broncos brought in Jim Leonhard to play safety and handle punt return chores, but he is not going to break many big plays at this point. Placekicker Matt Prater excels at booming kickoffs out of the endzone.

The Winner Is

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Winner Texans
3 out of 4

The Texans appear to be one of the strongest teams in the AFC and they should have the weapons to remain in contention throughout the season. However, there will be several tough games for them and going on the road to Denver will be one of the more challenging moments.

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