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Scouting the Texans: Week 4

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The Chargers are on the road in Week 4 against the Texans.

Kickoff is Sunday at 10 a.m. (PT). The Bolts are 1-2 while the Texans are 0-2-1.

We chatted with Jonathan Alexander, who covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle, to get a preview of the game.

The Texans have been in every game so far — with a tie and a pair of one-score losses — for an 0-2-1 record. What's the biggest focus for Houston this week as it tries for the first win?

JA: Their biggest focus on defense is to limit explosive plays. The Bears had six of them last week and it led to the Texans' downfall. The Chargers have the capability to do that. On offense, they want to finish games. They've been outscored 30-0 in the fourth quarter of games this season. To do that, they've got to convert on third downs. Last week, there were four third-and-1s that they did not convert.

Check out the best photos of the Chargers Wednesday practice at Hoag Performance Center

Who is an unknown Texans player that has surprised you in a good way so far this season?

JA: I think defensive end Jerry Hughes. He's 34 years old. He had only two sacks during the 2021 season. But he's second in the NFL with four sacks this season. Hughes is reliable. He's missed only one game since the 2012 season, and that was because the Buffalo Bills rested him after they made the playoffs. Watch out for him.

The Chargers are banged up and coming off a tough loss. What are the Texans saying about the Bolts ahead of Week 4?

JA: That despite those injuries, they are a dangerous team. They know Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and can make things happen in an instance. Despite the lack of a running game from the Chargers, they believe Austin Ekeler can gash them. And Lovie Smith knows what Khalil Mack is capable of. He wanted to draft him.

How has quarterback Davis Mills looked in Year 2?

JA: He hasn't looked good. He's struggling, particularly in the fourth quarter. He and his receivers haven't connected well. The deep ball has been absent. But Smith insists Mills is improving. Mills has thrown for 662 yards, has a 77.7 passer rating, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Finally, which Chargers player are the Texans most wary of for Sunday?

JA: That's easy. Justin Herbert. He's a top five quarterback in this league. He can carry a team on his back.

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