Play action works again for Schaub, Texans

Play action works again for Schaub, Texans
November 5, 2012, 11:00 am
Share This Post

Matt Schaub dropped back to his right, extended his arm and handed off the ball to Arian Foster.

Only he didn’t.

Instead, Schaub faked the handoff on the play-action bootleg and rolled to his left. Schaub stopped, turned around and hit Owen Daniels sprinting down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown pass and the first score of the game in the Texans' win.

Another play-action pass. Another huge play for the Texans. It’s something that has become normal for Houston after the last couple of years.

So, why is the Texans’ play-action game work so well?

“Because our run game is so effective and when we play our play action or our bootleg game we can get some guys open down the field,” Schaub said. “If it’s not there, we got things underneath that we can dump it down to and those guys are open and making plays. It’s just if they give us the deep play, then we’re going to take it. If not we’ll dump it down underneath.”

On this particular play, the play action fake to Foster created enough time for Daniels to start lined up on the left side of the field, cut across the middle and break free down the right sideline. It was the first touchdown of the game (coming with under a minute to go in the first quarter) and Daniels’ fifth of the season.

The fake by Schaub was so good Daniels ran right past the Bills’ defenders who bit hard.

According to ProFootballFocus, before that play, Schaub had a quarterback rating of 119 from the play action this season. That’s probably because he practices it so much. Schaub said he works on the play action every day at practice.

“It was a keeper that we use,” Daniels said. “I leaked out on the backside and was able to get out there with no one following me. “Matt made a good throw.”

According to Football Outsiders, the Texans ran the play action more than any other team in 2011 and averaged 10.2 yards per play action completion. While backup T.J. Yates used the play action more than Schaub, the Texans’ starter used it quite a bit too. Around 30 percent of Schaub’s dropbacks in 2011 were for a play action.

“I’ve run that in past years but it has never quite worked out for me,” Daniels said. “It’s worked for other people. It was good to get that going. We needed a touchdown at that time.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Johnson briefly exited Sunday's game against the Bills in the fourth quarter. He said after the game that he was "fine," but felt a "pop" in the ankle. ...
Oct 1 3:41PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Foster is likely going to miss plenty of practice reps this week before being a game-time decision against the Cowboys on Sunday. Foster said he wasn't 100 percent in Week...
Oct 1 3:38PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (meniscus) has resumed jogging, and hopes to return in a "few... Sidelined since September 7, Clowney was given a 4-6 week timetable upon going down. That makes a "few weeks" attainable, but not ahead of schedule. The Clowney...
Sep 30 3:18PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Texans coach Bill O'Brien referred to Arian Foster (hamstring) on Monday as "day to... Foster himself acknowledged he wasn't 100 percent in Sunday's win over the Bills, managing six yards on eight carries. He'll likely continue to be limited in practice all...
Sep 29 4:20PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Following Sunday's win over the Bills, Arian Foster (hamstring) admitted he "just wasn't... Foster rushed eight times for six yards while playing on just 54.1 percent of the snaps, but did salvage his box score a bit with seven catches for 55 yards. The good news...
Sep 29 8:42AM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson said the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him Sunday is "fine." "I was more scared than anything because I felt a pop, so I went in and got checked," Johnson said. We never like to hear about pops, but Johnson did come back...
Sep 28 5:37PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught three passes for 28 yards in Week 4 against the Bills. He was targeted five times. Graham is on pace for just 36 catches and 380 yards this season, but should be more involved going forward now that he's healthy. He was used in...
Sep 28 5:25PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue had nine carries for nine yards in Week 4 against the Bills. With Arian Foster playing through a hamstring injury, Blue was used in a committee and finished with more carries. He added two catches for 16 yards on three targets. Blue...
Sep 28 5:22PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Week 4 win over... Hopkins beat Corey Graham for a 35-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. He finished with just six targets despite Andre Johnson missing time with an ankle injury....
Sep 28 5:03PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster totaled 61 yards on 15 touches in Sunday's Week 4 win over Buffalo. Foster was held to six yards on eight carries, but was targeted 10 times by checkdown artist Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was clearly running at half-speed and looked sluggish...
Sep 28 4:07PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions... Fitzpatrick's only notable play was a 35-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the first half. He managed the Texans to a win without any help from Arian Foster or...
Sep 28 3:55PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson left Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills with an ankle injury. Johnson came up lame on a pass in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room. He was able to jog off under his own power and later returned to the game. Johnson...
Sep 28 3:01PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Arian Foster (hamstring) is moving with a slight limp... Per Breer, the Texans will "monitor his hamstring early in the game, determine his workload from there." It's similar to what was reported by beat writer Tania...
Sep 28 11:40AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (hamstring) is active for Week 4 against the Bills. Foster will be available for a full workload after sitting out last week. He's Rotoworld's No. 12 running back against the Bills' top-five run defense. Inactive for the...
Sep 28 10:33AM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
According to the Houston Chronicle, Arian Foster will "definitely" play in Sunday's... The chronic hamstring issue Foster has been battling for two months is good to go. "Foster would't be active if he wasn't 100 percent. That means he'll get a full...
Sep 28 10:03AM Read More