Texans’ Tight Ends Could Cause Matchup Problems
Other than Hopkins, no Texans wide receiver has stepped up to the plate to give their offense an added weapon outside the hashes, leaving the batter’s box open for their tight ends to hit line-drive singles all season.
Third-year tight end C. J. Fiedorowicz and fourth-year tight end Ryan Griffin have combined for 56 receptions for 526 yards and four touchdowns in nine games, and 34 of their 56 receptions have resulted in first downs.
Fiedorowicz (6’5”) and Griffin (6’6”) entered the league as dominant blockers for the position due to their elite size, but in an effort to make names for themselves in NFL, they have expanded their respective roles to the passing game. Both tight ends have already eclipsed their career-highs for receptions in a season in just nine games.
In comparison to their 2015 campaign, the Raiders have dramatically improved when it comes to covering the tight end position due in large part to the improvements they have made at safety and linebacker.
Rookie safety Karl Joseph has held his own since earning his first career start in Week 3, earning the 14th overall grade among safeties, per PFF.com.
Additionally, former Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley Jr. has quickly acclimated himself to the Silver and Black, as he now has earned the 6th best overall grade from PFF.com among all inside linebackers in just five games.
Both Joseph and Riley will play a key role in limiting the Texans’ tight ends, and if Osweiler is without either of his security blankets, his arm will turn cold, early.