Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
By: Mitch Light | 9/16/10, 2:50 PM EDT
After both teams won home openers against their respective division’s favorites, this interconference matchup is a family reunion of sorts. The connections between the teams are as extensive as you’ll find. Texans coach Gary Kubiak once played for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, and he was Shanahan's offensive coordinator in Denver for a decade. Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was Houston’s playcaller last season. Both staffs know the other’s tendencies, so expect a chess match.
Keys for the Redskins
• The Redskins must find some punch on offense after that unit failed to score a touchdown against Dallas. Their three receivers not named Santana Moss combined for one reception for 11 yards. There are questions about whether Joey Galloway, Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams can have a positive impact — and those questiosn intensified last Sunday. Getting better separation is crucial to Washington’s chances of keeping up with Houston’s offense.
• Washington’s defense held Dallas to seven points, but it still surrendered 4.7 yards per carry. Stopping the run is a major concern with Houston’s Arian Foster coming off a 231-yard Week 1 performance. The Redskins were vulnerable on the edges, and Foster will try to exploit that with his one-cut running style.
Keys for the Texans
• The Texans had the league’s top-ranked passing attack last season. Now they have a running back capable of 231 yards and three touchdowns in one game. That will drive defensive coordinators insane. If Houston’s offense can counter the Redskins’ attempt to take away the run by going to the air, it will force the Redskins to back off the line of scrimmage.
• Not only did Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan call the plays for Houston last season, he also went against the Texans’ defense in practice each day. Shanahan’s intimate knowledge of Houston’s players and schemes will help Washington. Houston must add some wrinkles to keep the Redskins off balance.
The Texans appeared to take a big step forward in Week 1 with a victory over Indianapolis, their longtime nemesis. Winning on the road against Mike and Kyle Shanahan will be difficult, but Houston has the offensive firepower to challenge a Redskins defense that is still honing its new 3-4 alignment. Washington’s offense, meanwhile, will struggle to keep upon the scoreboard. Texans 24–20