O’Brien, Texans Not Buying Into “Statement Game” Talk

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON)The Texans second road game of the season – 12:00 CT Sunday against the 4-0 Vikings – feels a little more important than most Texans games. But don’t tell Texans head coach Bill O’Brien about that.

“Those are kind of for your guys to label games,” said O’Brien. “I think every game is important. It’s not like baseball where you play 162 games, or basketball where you play 82 . . . It’s 16 one game seasons and this is going to be a tough game in a difficult environment. It’ll be a big challenge.”

But no matter what O’Brien says, this game will be much more challenging that Houston’s date with the Titans Sunday. The Vikings are one of the league’s better teams, which has been a problem for the Bill O’Brien era of Texans football. After all, that Thursday night blowout loss to the Patriots was just a couple of weeks ago. Then take a look at O’Brien’s track record:

Interestingly enough, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t done so well in these kind of games either.

After being told a win in Minnesota would be “a huge thing to pull off, a statement game possibly”, Brian Cushing paused for a second.

“Yeah, it would be,” said Cushing. “Obviously it’s the next game, it’s the most important game on our schedule because of that. We’re playing a playoff football team on the road. Yeah it would be a statement. I don’t know if I’d call it ‘pulling off’, but it’s one of those things where it’s going to be a big game for us. It’s the next big game and our intention is to win.”

Make no mistake about it, this will be a tougher than normal road test for the Texans. As someone who has been to tons of Patriots games, I can tell you that Houston’s first road game of the year wasn’t that loud. It rarely is at Gilette Stadium. On the other hand, if you watched the Vikings take down the Giants Monday night, you probably noticed how deafening U.S. Bank Stadium was.

“Whether it’s this new stadium or whether it was the dome, the Metrodome, back in the day, this is a very loud crowd,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. “This is a very difficult environment and communication on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense is going to be very, very important. That’s why you have to play with all that crowd noise during practice.”

“This is why you play the game,” continued Brian Cushing. “This are two good football teams going at it at their place. Which will be difficult. But you it’s a challenge we’re willing to accept, and obviously the intention is to win the game.”

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.

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