The New York Giants may have been an easy out in years past, but if the Houston Texans intend on getting their second win of the season on Sunday, they’ll need to have an excellent week of preparation. New York has turned a corner in 2022 and has developed into a highly competitive football team, particularly on defense where they have become known for their aggressive blitz schemes under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.
Texans wide receiver Chris Moore pointed out the challenge facing the team in the team’s Tuesday press conference after practice. When asked if the Giants’ aggressive defensive playcalling might open up opportunities for Houston’s receivers, Moore gave a thoughtful answer that may have provided insight to the Texans’ strategy heading into the matchup.
“Definitely. We’ve just got to execute what Pep [Hamilton] calls out there,” He explained. “I played with Wink [Don Martindale] back in Baltimore, so I’m familiar with the system a little bit. It’s a very exotic system. He’s got a lot of different blitzes, lot of different coverages. It’s really about us recognizing it, picking it up the best we can and Davis [Mills] getting the ball out on a good read.”
While the play of Mills will ultimately affect the game more than any individual receiver relative to how Houston copes with New York’s pressure on the pocket, Moore’s explanation of the importance of recognizing key situations in the game will prove to be crucial in the Texans’ offensive success. If they cannot accurately identify what Martindale intends to throw at them on a given down, mistakes will likely be made that could prove to be fatal to the team’s chances of picking up their second win of the season.
Given their 1-6-1 record, Houston isn’t playing for a spot in the playoffs, but they are making every effort to improve their approach to the game ahead of the quickly approaching rebuild that will begin in earnest during the offseason. Fine details like the ones Moore described as being emphasized in preparation for the Giants are what will make or break the Texas’ chances of winning in years to come, and may be the difference between a blowout or a competitive showing from the team in Week 10.