5 Texans players the Vikings should worry about in Week 4

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 27: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 27: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /

J.J. Watt – DL

The Vikings have done fairly well against pass rushers this season. The strongest aspect of their offensive line has been their tackles as both Brian O’Neill and Riley Reiff have played well.

Reiff’s play is especially encouraging and it is fair to wonder how much worse Minnesota’s line would have been if he didn’t agree to a restructured contract right before the start of the season.

While the Vikings offensive tackles have played well, J.J. Watt is a Hall of Fame-caliber pass rusher who will give them fits. This guy, like Lex Luger, is the total package. He is very quick off the ball, he is extremely powerful, he uses his hands well, and he possesses a motor that doesn’t stop.

The good news for Minnesota is that he lines up on the left side at times and that puts him in a matchup with O’Neill, who is the best blocker on the Vikings roster.

No matter how well O’Neill does though, Watt will win his fair share of battles. Kirk Cousins has to be aware of this and have a quick internal clock on Sunday. He needs to get the ball out quickly and hopefully, Gary Kubiak helps him by calling plays that feature more three-step drops and plenty of snaps taken out of the shotgun.

While Cousins and O’Neill will have their hands full, it is also entirely possible that the Texans get creative with Watt. They could move him inside to line up over struggling Minnesota guard Dru Samia this week, assuming he gets the start again.

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If this happens it will be a blood bath and neither Cousins nor Dalvin Cook will stand a chance as Watt will immediately be all over them (or Samia will go rolling well into the backfield after getting knocked on his backside by the future Hall-of-Fame defender).