In order to get some insight into the Texans ahead of this week’s matchup, we talked with James Mastrucci. (Managing editor of cover32.com/Texans)

1) Obviously the loss of Watson hurts this Texans team a lot in terms of quarterback play, but how does it effect them in terms of leadership and locker room chemistry?

“There is a distinct difference in the what the team is able to do with Deshaun Watson compared to Tom Savage. This was further evident during former Texan Duane Brown’s holdout. College concepts were brought in to negate the fact that the former All-Pro was absent. Utilizing these concepts made the decision to trade Brown a no-brainer. Without Watson, a traditional left tackle is needed. Unfortunately that traditional left tackle is in Seattle now. In week one without Brown, Savage was sacked six times. He was only sacked twice this past Sunday but it is hard to imagine that it stays at this low of a number.”

“Watson’s leadership is not able to be replicated by Savage. This could be in part due to Savage being benched during week one’s loss to Jacksonville. Not that Savage has a damaged ego (honestly he probably does), but There is a reason why Watson was drafted by the team in the first place. In addition to his playmaking ability, it was his leadership. His head coach at Clemson Dabo Swinney compared him to Michael Jordan before the draft, right now it seems like he was right.”

2) What is one area that the Texans will have to perform surprisingly well in in order to win this game?

“Offensively the Texans will probably be a mess but if they truly want a chance in this game they have to perform well defensively. Their defense has been hit with multiple season-ending injuries. Injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost in the same game. Brian Cushing was hit with a 10-game suspension and is yet to see the field.”

“With the absence of these three players one thing has become abundantly clear, the pass rush of the Texans covered up for their lackluster secondary. Without the presence of Watt and Mercilus, there is no pressure on the opposing quarterback which is making the defensive backs have to cover receivers and tight ends longer which inevitably ends up with a player being wide open for an easy completion. The problem is that a defensive back can only cover for so long and unfortunately they have to cover longer without a pass rush to help their cause.”

3) What makes you most nervous about the way the Texans match up with this Rams team?

“Can I say everything? The Rams are completely different team than last year. Replacing Jeff Fisher with Sean McVay was the best thing they could have done. Jared Goff is living up to his potential, Todd Gurley is a viable running back again and that defense can shut down any opposing offense. This is not an optimal matchup for the Texans at this time in the season.”

4) What is your prediction for how this game goes?

“This should be an easy win for the Los Angeles Rams. Houston simply has too many injuries to complete at a high enough level to make this a legitimate contest on Sunday. Their best bet is to bring in a limited playbook with basic plays they can execute in their sleep. Even with that they still will have a tough time winning, but they will at least be more efficient. It would take quite the performance of an injury plagued team to come out victorious.”

Well Rams fans, James’ expertise bodes well for the Rams ahead of Sunday’s game. The Texans expert here at cover32 believes the Rams will win, a solid sign that this is a game the Rams SHOULD win. Thanks to James for his time spent on this interview.

– Andrew Kelly is the Managing Editor for cover32.com/Rams and covers the Los Angeles Rams. He also writes national and fantasy content for cover32. Like and follow on


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