Texans Are Different 2-0 Team This Time
I can understand the impatience by Texans fan, I can totally wrap my mind around the pessimistic thoughts that fans have had and some of the concerns that fans currently do have about this team.
I am however trying to figure out when Texans fans became like Patriot/Steeler/Packer fan, in the sense that 2-0 and how they’ve arrived at that point isn’t good enough. I consider myself a bit of a perfectionist, yet understand that I’ll never be perfect. The Texans, strive every week to be as close to perfect as they possibly can, every NFL team does. Yet, after a defense which lost them games last year, their defense finally turned up and won them one against the Dolphins yesterday, and still for some fans, 2-0 isn’t good enough?
I’m not saying you should be satisfied, not by any stretch. I am saying that it’s time to realize that while the defense which isn’t close to being where they want to be, have made strides and guys like Kareem Jackson, Antonio Smith and Mario Williams have stepped up and made plays when they absolutely had to. Jackson putting his helmet on Thomas to force the fumble yesterday after the Texans allowed the Dolphins great field position, was a play that this team wouldn’t have made last season. It was HUGE because the previous Dolphins possession, they marched down the field on a defense that couldn’t adjust to the no huddle offense the Dolphins were running. Miami, which was destroyed by the Patriots week 1 by the no huddle, used it against the Texans, and looked like they might be primed to do it again if not for Jackson stepping up and making a play. Mario Williams made a play when he got just enough of the ball and Chad Henne’s arm to affect a pass that ultimately was picked off by Johnathan Joseph, that was a big momentum shift in the game.
Antonio Smith and JJ Watt continued to swat balls out of the air and put opposing offenses in situations where they have to force the issue, the Texans playing beneficiary, because they have the confidence to finally know, they can get off the field after making plays on 3rd downs.
I thought Matt Schaub made enough plays to win the game, and he did so without an offensive line yesterday for the most part. The run blocking was fantastic again, allowing Ben Tate to put up his 2nd straight 100-plus yard rushing game (23 carries for 103 yards), but the offensive line for the Texans clearly was getting blown up on pass protection, and Matt Schaub, through all that, was able to make some nice plays under pressure, namely the play he found Jacoby Jones on to get them within FG range on their first scoring drive of the game, they settled for a FG, but Schaub found Jacoby on the run and got him the ball when he needed to. Schaub again found Owen Daniels, on the run in the 2nd quarter to pit the Texans up 13-3.
Schaub made a tough play after protection broke down and got points on the board. Finally, albeit, early in the 4th and the Texans waisted some opportunities later in the game to make plays, Schaub marched the offense down the field coupled with a good running attack by Tate to set up the final TD of the day, a very business like drive that ended with Schaub finding Andre Johnson in the end zone, to give the Texans the breathing room they needed, and a 23-13 victory.
The offense struggled in the red zone, but they got there. When they didn’t make plays, special teams came up large i.e Brett Hartmann, and the defense held their own to shift the momentum back in the Texans favor. It’s called an ultimate team victory. You don’t know what they look like because unfortunately the Texans haven’t been competent enough over the last 10 years to do it consistently.
Consider yourself lucky at this point Texan fans, enjoy it while it lasts. They’ll get their first true test this next Sunday opposite the Saints. They need a marquee win on the road this season, and if they don’t get it Sunday, they’ll have opportunities against the Ravens and Buc’s to do it then, but for right now, this looks like a football “team” and if they play like one again on Sunday, you can take the air quotes away from TEAM for maybe the first time in franchise history.