Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Grant's Slant: Containing Watt key to Redskins beating Texans

November 18, 2018 - 12:20 pm

By Grant Paulsen

The Redskins are 6-3 and returning home after a week of players and fans blaming each other for the lackluster environment at FedEx Field.

Washington is coming off an improbable win in an unprecedented performance, having held Tampa Bay to just three points despite allowing over 500 yards of offense. Beating the superior Texans will take a much cleaner defensive output than the Redskins have turned in over the last two weeks while giving up over 990 yards to a pair of prolific NFC South offenses.

Here are my slants for Sunday.

Redskin To Watch: DJ Swearinger 

Swearinger was drafted by the Texans and had success in Houston on his rookie contract before falling out of favor with the organization. He clearly holds a grudge against current Texans coach Bill O'Brien, something that was clear based on the safety's weekly Grant and Danny appearance and social media posts this week.

Swearinger is an influential member of Washington's secondary and the heartbeat of the club's defense. He has been playing inspired football all season – he's got four interceptions and two forced fumbles – but Sunday is far from 'just another game' for the potential Pro Bowler.

Texan To Watch: JJ Watt

One of the most dominant defensive forces of his era, Watt has fully recovered from the back injury that nearly derailed his career. After playing in just eight games over the last two years, Watt has returned to his pre-injury form to return as one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.

He has nine sacks through nine games, all of them having come in Houston's last seven contests. With the Redskins offensive line still littered with backups, Watt could have a field day. The less disruptive he is the better the chance Washington can avoid catastrophic plays.

Stat of the Week: The Redskins have turned the ball over just seven times this season and lead the NFL with a plus-11 turnover margin.

Prediction: Texans 23, Redskins 20

Follow Grant Paulsen on Twitter