In week 10 of the 2017 NFL season the battered Houston Texans traveled out west to the coliseum to face the 6-2 Los Angeles Rams. A matchup that, on paper, seemed like it should’ve been a walk in the park for the Rams turned out to be a competitive game, only in the first half. How was Tom Savage after his first full week of practice as a starter since the beginning of the season? What was the, “Aaron Donald against the Houston offensive line,” battle ? How did the Texans defense play against the offensive juggernaut led by Jared Goff? Does Bill O’Brien blame himself yet again? All those questions are answered with the week 10 Houston Texans takeaways.

Atrocious Offense

Yes, sadly it’s the same offense that Deshaun Watson had to work with that looks this bad. Savage will never be “The Man,” unfortunately. With the handicap that is Savage at quarterback the Houston offensive staff has to be better calling plays that work for him. In addition to calling plays that don’t reveal Savage’s weaknesses there must be more of an effort to help this offensive line unit. Nearly every time the protection was just the five offensive linemen, the pocket collapsed. However, the line does get a little bit more leeway this week because of who lined up in front of them.

Five on One, Right?

The Texans offensive protection plan failed today. When the team’s quarterback throws two bad interceptions, pride in the players performance ought not be had. Overall Aaron Donald didn’t wreck this offense, his teammates did. There were, however, a few terrifying plays in which the only player responsible for stopping Donald was Xavier Su’a-Filo. Savage was fleeing for his life. Other than those few, heart-stopping, plays Houston had at least two linemen on Donald which usually freed up another Rams defender to make a play in the backfield.

Second Half Stumbles

To begin the game, Houston’s defensive unit held a high-powered Los Angeles offense to just nine points. What transpired after that was hard to watch. 24 unanswered points evolving from double-reverses to deep posts, pretty much everything was clicking for that Rams offense.

The two bright spots were the play of Kevin Johnson and Jadeveon Clowney. Johnson played like his hair was on fire. Multiple big hits, important tackles, and some fine coverage here and there. Clowney had a J.J. Watt-esque performance. He, of course, had his signature weekly backfield blowup, as well as a sack registered on Goff in the first half. Although his play for most of the game was stellar, it was obvious that he ran out energy towards the end of the game.

Looking Ahead

Next week, the Texans come back home to play the 4-5 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals might not seem like a menacing opponent but if the coaching does not improve or drastically change, the Houston Texans will be looking at 3-7. The Cardinals have a formidable pass rush, and less the protection shores up, Savage could be running for his life once again.

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