Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Top 3 Defenses for NFL Week 2

Houston Texans

On the back of a 17 point 4th quarter rally which included a Randy Bullock 41 yard game-winning field goal as time expired, the Texans secured a season opening 31-28 win versus the Chargers on Monday Night Football. The final score in this one was definitely closer than most had envisioned as very few thought that San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers would toss four touchdown passes. However, Houston did manage to limit their opponents offense to just 263 total yards while picking up a couple of sacks and returning an interception for a score.

With the Titans up next, the Texans' defense should be in top form. Tennessee was able to grab a         surprising 16-9 victory against the banged up Steelers in Week 1, but it was not due to their offense which managed a meager 229 yards and crossed the goal-line just once. In addition, third year QB Jake Locker did little to provide evidence of any off-season maturation completing just 11 of 20 attempts for 125 yards and doing very little with his legs. Look for J.J. Watt and company to take care of business in this one.


Cincinnati Bengals

This week, the Bengals will be licking their wounds from a disappointing 24-21 loss at Soldier Field. Even though the run defense was solid in holding the Bears running backs to 65 yards on 25 carries, Cincinnati's secondary was fairly pedestrian allowing Jay Cutler to throw for 242 while completing north of 63% of his passes. Much of that could be attributed to their inability to come up with a consistent pass rush from their front seven.

After finishing with the third highest sack total in the entire NFL last season, the Bengals failed to come up with a single one this past weekend. Look for that to change this upcoming Monday night. As alluded to earlier, the Steelers' offense was woeful last Sunday. Their struggles can be blamed somewhat on the lack of a legitimate threat at running back and even more so on a banged up offensive line that will now be without all-pro center Maurkice Pouncey. Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins, former Pittsburgh standout James Harrison and the rest of the crew may simply run roughshod over Ben Roethlisberger.

Oakland Raiders

This is a complete shot in the dark here. Keep in mind though, the Raiders defense held down a much better offense in the Andrew Luck led Colts than the one they will face when Jacksonville comes to town for a Week 2 match-up. In a near upset, Oakland showed a tenacity on the defensive side of the ball that limited Indianapolis to just 21 points on a lackluster 274 yards of offense.

The Jaguars managed zero offensive points against the Chiefs last week. Surely that will improve, but it is definitely not a given. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert is injured and will be on the sideline during his team's visit to the Bay Area so Chad Henne will take his place under center, which may actually make the day a little more difficult for the Raiders' defense. No matter who is under center, the aggressiveness that delivered four sacks versus Indy should remain in full force and dominate the Jags.

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