This will be a stiff test for the revamped secondary. The Texans were one of the top five passing offenses in the league last season in terms of yardage. Matt Schaub hit 66% of his passes, threw for over 3,000 yards, and 15 touchdowns in just 11 starts. While Houston had major red zone problems, this team can present problems for any defense.
Houston has a game breaking player around whom defenses have to game plan, Andre Johnson. Until Larry Fitzgerald's explosion in the Playoffs a year ago, there was a big debate over which player of the two was the game's best receiver. For my money, it's neither. That title goes to Randy Moss, but Johnson is the complete package. The way the Jets scheme against the 1,575 yard man is probably going to be much simpler than most teams. Mr. Revis, stay with number 80 all game. This is going to be a heavyweight matchup. Lito Sheppard will probably spend most of the game with Kevin Walter, who had 899 yards in 2008.
Houston's second leading receiver last season was tight end Owen Daniels. The way the Jets play against him will show us early whether they can defend tight ends any better than they did in 2008. It was an issue from Anthony Fasano's 8 catch Week 1 through the rest of the year. It was definitely a factor in the Jets targeting Bart Scott instead of Ray Lewis.
The Jets will unveil their attack style defense. This might not be the best offense to do it against. After spending the first half decade of franchise history with instability up front, the Texans finally appear to have an adequate offensive line. All five linemen started sixteen games. On the other side, 15 of the 41 sacks the Jets had in 2008 are suspended in the form of Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace.
Matt Schaub had the highest quarterback rating against the blitz last year, probably a reason he faced less blitzes than any starter in the league. If the Jets' schemes are good enough, though, (and perhaps Vernon Gholston shows up) they could cause the Texans real headaches. The Texans do not want to have to put Schaub into the shotgun. His numbers went down in a big way once he stepped back.
Open field tackling will also be key. Steve Slaton is a weapon as a receiver for Houston. I expect to see plenty of screens to try and get the pass rush caught up field and get the ball into the hands of the speedy and elusive back.