I don't know who is responsible for CBSSports.com's RapidReports, but I noticed some curious little nuggets on there about the Houston Texans defense and defensive coordinator Frank Bush. There are a few that make me believe they, like Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, believe in Bush.
Let's start with this little gem:
The defense has allowed an average of 281.5 yards per game since defensive coordinator Frank Bush moved to the sidelines to call plays two weeks ago. In nine previous games, the unit allowed an average of 409.7 yards per game, second-most in the league.
I think I need a jump in here since this will require a decent-sized response, and that isn't including a few other RapidReports.
This kind of update makes me cringe because it sounds vaguely familiar to those cries of "In 2009, the defense was top-five in the last 13 games." Not only is that cherry-picking for good statistics since the first three games were terrible, but it doesn't provide any context for the defense's improvement - like say, facing bad offenses.
I do think younger defenses, such as Houston's, benefit from the hands-on effect of the coordinator being on the sidelines, especially when the defensive captain is on injured reserve, but I also am afraid that this reasoning, if the improvement continues, can be used to retain Bush's services. That, combined with Bush receiving a gameball this past Sunday, is more than enough to make Texans fans nervous about the possibility of seeing Bush's brand of defense continue into 2011.
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush will likely integrate some of the complex looks that the Giants and Bears threw at Michael Vick into Thursday's gameplan. Vick leads the league with a 106.0 QB rating but has an average of 88.5 over his last two games.
I would be confused if Frank Bush's designed looks confused anyone. I'm actually confused that someone thinks Frank Bush will be complex. He uses a basic Cover-2 scheme with blitzes that can be seen a mile away.
CB Glover Quin's three-interception performance in last week's win over the Titans could be attributed to the secondary's improvement in jumping opposing routes. "They continually get better every week," defensive coordinator Frank Bush said.
So, it has nothing to do with facing a sixth-round rookie in his first career NFL start?
And for the offense...a nugget that I believe is insightful...
Matt Schaub on an Eagles defense that ranks in the top 10 against deep middle and deep right passes but is ranked 24th on short passes to the right: "They give you some of the underneath stuff because they anticipate getting home with their blitzes."
I'd expect a similar gameplan to what was seen against Tennessee on Sunday: short-passes, lots of runs, and a focus on moving the pocket with bootleg passes. With two receivers listed as questionable, I also wouldn't be surprised if Houston used more two-TE sets with Joel Dreessen and James Casey. I don't want to say it'll be conservative, but I think the offense's focus will be on ball control just as it was against Tennessee.
The Texans meet the Eagles tonight for Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network at 7:20 PM Central Time. For those without the NFL Network, the game will be broadcast on CW39 in the Houston-area.