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Redskins-Texans matchups: Haslett's 3-4 defense vs. Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub, the Houston quarterback, led the NFL in passing yards last season and has had success against the 3-4 defense, winning 4 out of the last 4 games. I think it's safe to say Schaub won't be intimidated by this defense on Sunday afternoon.

In this matchup Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will have to do much of what he did in last Sunday night's game, which is as follows:

-- Stop the run and force Houston to to pass the ball.

-- Mix up pass defense coverages to try and confuse Schaub in his reads.

-- Blitz Schaub from different places on the field to keep him off balance.

-- Blanket cover Andre Johnson, roll the coverage over the top of him, limit his catches and yards, and therefore force the other Houston receivers to have to win their individual battles.The Redskins executed this to perfection against the Cowboys. Miles Austin got his yards but was not enough of a factor to win the game by himself.

As for Schaub, he will need to have a running game to help keep the defense from blitzing him. It will also help if the Texans use play action.

He will need for his other targets to step up to keep the coverages honest, and give Johnson more of an opportunity to break free for the big play.

Schaub will need to identify the coverages and where the pressures may be coming from before the ball is snapped. If the Houston coaches or Schaub are able to get a fix on what Haslett is scheming it could be a very long day for the Skins.

After the Cowboys game I have no reason to think that this Redskins defense won't be able to accomplish the same thing it did last week. The edge goes to Redskins defense.

By LaVar Arrington  |  September 16, 2010; 7:11 PM ET
 
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Comments

We won the game in large part by dallas' offensive mistakes. Do we have the DL/LB talent to force Houston into holding penalties, false starts and missed assignments? Don't know enough about Houston to have that answer.

I did look at 2009 and their great passing numbers. They did it against some good defenses, only the Jets in week 1 of 2009 kept them under 16 points. 16 is a number we'll struggle to get to.

Texans were among the best in sack %, avg in INT %, and avg in fumbles (despite Steve Slaton and his problems).

This suggests to me that Schaub might try to get rid of the ball a bit early -- not wanting to risk the sack and perhaps throwing a more dangerous pass than needed. Quicker throws also can avoid holding penalties -- which were a big factor vs dallas.

We'll see if Haslett can create confusion in the initial read for Schaub. If not, it will be a long day for the Skins defense.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 17, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

These comments are something I would expect from a know nothing hack writer. The Post really has gone down hill lately.

Posted by: hughesbob19 | September 17, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

As a Redskins fan I can't wait for kickoff, if we can control Houston's run game and win the time of possession we can win this game! GO SKINS.

Posted by: bittnera | September 17, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Hughesbob19 are you bashing Lavar here? I think his blog has been a welcoming and refreshing addition to the Post coverage. He's thorough and gives specific insight into strategy and match-ups week to week. Nothing he has said here is off base. From coaching, position and unit match-ups, what more do you need for good coverage?

Posted by: LaLa12 | September 17, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Lavar,

I am a lifelong Redskins fan, but I think the edge goes to Houston.

The Redskins did not stop the Dallas running game. Dallas stopped the Dallas running game. If they had continued the ground attack, they would have won running away.

Houston has shown they can run the ball. Unless the defensive line changes and begins executing the '3' in the 3-4 correctly (Squaring up on lineman instead of trying to hit gaps to get upfield), the Texans will have no issues running the ball again this week. I doubt the Texans will stop their own running game in the same fashion the Cowboys did last week.

Posted by: De_Koning | September 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Lavar,

I am a lifelong Redskins fan, but I think the edge goes to Houston.

The Redskins did not stop the Dallas running game. Dallas stopped the Dallas running game. If they had continued the ground attack, they would have won running away.

Houston has shown they can run the ball. Unless the defensive line changes and begins executing the '3' in the 3-4 correctly (Squaring up on lineman instead of trying to hit gaps to get upfield), the Texans will have no issues running the ball again this week. I doubt the Texans will stop their own running game in the same fashion the Cowboys did last week.

Posted by: De_Koning | September 17, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It will be refreshing to see UVA grad Schaub beat the NFL team that still has no downfield passer of his stature.

Hey, Brandon Lloyd might be lured back with the right offer!

Posted by: kinkysr | September 17, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I hope Doughty can improve his performance since he really looked lost at times playing free safety. He really does not have the speed or cover skills needed so if Moore can play next week our pass defense should improve. The other question mark in my mind is Cariker. Does he really execute the defense? He appears to make no big plays and no tackles at all against Dallas. I would like to see Philip Daniels , Jarmon or maybe Lorenzo Alexander at the left end spot.

Posted by: puttforever | September 18, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

So in essence what you're saying is that Schaub will need to do what every NFL quarterback needs to do in order to win?

Posted by: kemp13 | September 18, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Another great set of thoughts, LaVar, nice column so far. I sure hope that you're right, but I would feel a lot Moore comfortable with K. Moore back in the lineup. We can do this, but it might be another nailbiter! Go 'Skins!

Posted by: Corvis777 | September 18, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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