WHEN THEY PASS

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - TEXANS EXTRA -

WHEN THE TI­TANS PASS

On Fri­day, coach Mike Vra­bel said he ex­pects to play both quar­ter­backs. Since new of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Matt LaFleur took over, Mar­cus Mar­i­ota has strug­gled to adapt to the new sys­tem in pre­sea­son and the first game at Mi­ami. He threw two in­ter­cep­tions be­fore leav­ing with an in­jury to his right el­bow and was re­placed by Blaine Gab­bert. The Ti­tans lost their best re­ceiver in tight end De­lanie Walker, who’s out for the sea­son. They’ll have to rely on wide re­ceivers Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews. The Tex­ans al­lowed Tom Brady to throw three touch­down passes in the first half be­fore shut­ting him down in the sec­ond. Mar­i­ota is a threat to run when the pro­tec­tion breaks down, un­like Brady, a pure pocket passer. The Tex­ans are play­ing with­out cor­ner­back Kevin John­son (in­jured re­serve with a con­cus­sion), but they’re still five deep in the sec­ondary.

WHEN THE TEX­ANS PASS

De­shaun Wat­son was un­com­fort­able in the first half at New Eng­land. He couldn’t lo­cate re­ceivers and held the ball too long. He was un­der tremen­pres­sure dous at times. In the sec­ond dent. He half, got Wat­son rid the looked ball quicker. more con­fiof The Ti­tans have a fierce pass rush led by Jur­rell Casey, Der­rick Mor­gan and Brian Orakpo. They have a lot of tal­ent on the back end, led by safety Kevin Byard. In free agency, they added cor­ner­back Mal­colm But­ler and safety Kenny Vac­caro. They have more ter­rific cor­ners in Lo­gan Ryan and Adoree Jack­son. Ex­pect them to mix their cov­er­con­fuse ages to try to Wat­son. Un­like the Pa­tri­ots, they must con­tend with Will Fuller and his deep speed. They’ll have to dou­ble DeAn­dre Hop­kins and shade a safety to Fuller’s side, which should leave open the mid­dle of the field for slot re­ceiver Bruce Elling­ton and tight end Ryan Grif­fin.

Fuller

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