Battle in the trenches in Houston is one to watch

AP

All eyes will be on Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates Sunday in his first start, but the key battle of the game will take place when Yates hands the ball off.

Houston’s running game going up against the Falcons defensive front is a terrific battle of strength versus strength.

Houston’s offensive line is one of the best in the game. The Texans are third in the league in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns.

The Falcons front seven — especially their defensive line — has quietly made great strides this year. The team is second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. The defensive tackle rotation of Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters, and Peria Jerry is very underrated. Linebackers Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon are playing well.

Arian Foster and Ben Tate got their first taste of life with a backup quarterback last week in Jacksonville, and it wasn’t easy.  They combined for only 91 yards on 27 carries during a ultra-conservative gameplan.

The Falcons haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 straight games. This should be a great matchup of two teams trying to impose their will, because the Texans will do what they can to minimize Yates’ role.

Florio thinks the Texans will do enough; I took the Falcons. It’s one of five games we disagree on Sunday.

11 responses to “Battle in the trenches in Houston is one to watch

  1. Another great matchup is the Falcons WRs versus Houston DBs. Very interesting game even with Yates in there.

  2. I beg to differ but the game everyone will be watching is the Timmy show goes to Manya$$holsus, MN to Tebow the vikequeens who are on pace to set a record for the worse season in franchise history. GO Timmy!

  3. I still like Houston. The Falcons have had alot of success recently with their no huddle, two minute offense that they will forget to run the ball with Michael Turner. If Matt Ryan throws the ball 40 times or more, advantage Houston. Houston 28, Atlanta 17. T-E-X-A-N-S Go Texans.

  4. This is going to be a hard-hitting affair. The Texans linemen are going to be out for blood to protect Yates. Falcons are good, though, so I think we’ll see, at least once or twice, what kind of wheels Yates has. My understanding is that he’s significantly more mobile than Schaub or Leinart, who both have the mobility of a rock.

    I think the Texans will target Dunta Robinson early, see if they can get something going against him, and get him rattled. He’ll start committing stupid penalties if he gets embarrassed on his old home field and the crowd lets him have it.

    Interesting game.

    HOU 19
    ATL 16

  5. kubiaverage will coach this game not to lose. meaning baby the qb and push the run. against the falcons run d, that ain’t gonna fly. Texans may still get the w despite kube, as they have most of the season. but yates at qb playing handoff don’t count on it

  6. To add to what Gregg wrote about the Atlanta D-line, they’re pretty stacked at DE with Abraham, Edwards, and former 4th rounder Lawrence Sidbury leading the team in sacks. Bills fan here but excited about this game. Nice matchup.

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