• Brian L. Barefield

Back-to-Work: Texans Take On the Redskins to Try and Extend the Winning Streak to 7 Games

Back in the 80’s there was a famous Dunkin Donuts commercial that was very popular. Fred the Baker (played by actor Michael Vale) would wake up every morning and utter a phrase that is still relevant to this day.

“Time to make the donuts,” Fred would say as he would leave his house before the crack of dawn to go make sure customers had hot, fresh donuts.

Fred taught the average American that every day you have to wake up before everyone else with the mindset that hard work pays off. I can imagine that the Houston Texans are echoing Fred’s statement as they come off of their bye week and prepare for the NFC East division leading Washington Redskins at FedEx field on Sunday. Houston will also be looking to extend their six- game winning streak and hold off division foe Tennessee Titans who are looking to make a strong push for the AFC South title.

The Texans will use their newly acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, even more than they did in the 19 – 17 victory over the Denver Broncos in week 9. After playing 79 percent of the offensive snaps, the Pro-Bowler will have extra time to learn more of the playbook.

"We have to take a step back and really go back into what we call the basic information, teach him the formations, teach him the routes. He's a really good pro and he's going to do a great job of learning," said coach Bill O'Brien speaking on what the Texans have to do to help Thomas get better.

The bye week could not have come sooner for the Texans as they have been dealing with a host of injuries leading up to the bye week. Players like LB Zach Cunningham, LB Duke Ejofor, and WR KeKe Coutee needed the extra time to get healthy and will see some action in this week’s game. Two players that Houston will be glad to have back is CB Aaron Colvin who went down with an ankle injury in the victory over the Colts in week 4 and CB Jonathan Joseph who suffered a high ankle sprain against the Dolphins. Joseph also received some good news this week as he was nominated by the league for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

“You want to respect your peers, your teammates, coaches, referees, and everybody that’s involved in this game. We put a lot of time into it and I think, for me, that’s a big honor to be nominated,” said Joseph upon learning of being nominated for such a prestigious honor.

One of the key factors in this week’s game will be the play of the defense who is allowing a mere 15.2 points per game over the last five games and combined with the special teams has 15 takeaways this season. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden knows that the Texans have a lethal combination in DE J.J. Watt and DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney.

“They’re both, obviously, very talented, very big, very physical, quick-twitch. They cause a lot of problems,” Gruden said.

If Houston wins this week and extends the winning streak to seven games. I am sure they will celebrate on Sunday but come Monday they will wake up and say the same thing they have been saying since the streak began.

“Time to go make the donuts.”

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