Another nail-biter and another win. After Matt Schaub‘s pick-6 put the team down eight with a bit under five minutes left, the Texans were able to send the game to overtime, before ultimately taking home the win on a DeAndre Hopkins three-yard TD.
What I Liked
- J.J. Watt – I am totally ok if he leads the “What I Liked” section on a week-to-week basis. Two sacks and two pass deflections are stats some fans are already taking for granted. As crazy as it sounds, he may be on his way to a repeat 2012 season.
- Brian Cushing – Holy Smokes! Cushing was all over the field making plays for the defense. 11 tackles, two sacks, and a great post-game interview with his son.
- Joe Mays – How did Denver just let him go? This guy makes big plays against the run, and showed up again with a safety. Underrated addition this offseason.
- Kareem Jackson – Jackson made some plays in the passing game, but those are plays I’ve begun to expect from him. What gets him on the list is his tackling. Jackson made key open-field tackles, an important part of being a cornerback. If Jackson whiffs, Chris Johnson would have had one or two long runs.
- Shiloh Keo – I was at the game, so I had a chance to watch Keo on every play. The fact that I didn’t mention his name often is probably a good thing. Made plays when he had too, and played well replacing Ed Reed.
- Shane Lechler – A true difference maker. His value can not be stated enough. Seven total punts and five inside the 20, four inside the 10. He’s unbelievable.
- Ben Tate – Continues to earn a big payday this offseason. 93 rushing yards on just nine rushes. Love it!
- Run Blocking – 28 rushes and 172 rushing yards. Great job on the run blocking by the O-Line.
- Andre Johnson – A hell of a catch to set up a chance for a score. He left the game after the catch, but it was the best catch I’ve seen live at a stadium. Oh, and eight catches for 76 yards is nothing to sneeze at.
- DeAndre Hopkins – Sitting with my friends at the game, there was one thing I constantly told them. “Hopkins has 1-on-1 coverage every play. Schaub needs to get him the ball a lot more. The guy can make plays.” Well, Kubiak finally was forced to use Hopkins and he couldn’t have been disappointed. 117 yards on seven catches and a game-winning TD. How about that for a home-debut?!?
- The Challenge Flag – 2-2 on the day in challenges. Good day for the Texans in the booth.
What I Didn’t Like
- Greg Jones – Haven’t seen him open up too many holes last two games. However, it takes some time to build chemistry with the running backs.
- Pass Protection – Schaub got hammered left and right on multiple plays. Pass protection was inconsistent at best and needs to get better or the Seahawks and 49’ers will have a field day.
- Matt Schaub – Had a solid game, but I don’t like when he tries to make plays across the field. I don’t feel he has the arm strength to make precise throws on long out routes or comebacks. Also, the pick-6 was said to be on him. A terrible read late in the game can’t happen against the elite teams.
- Pass Rush – Another inconsistent aspect of the Texans. At times they looked fearsome and at other times non-existent. No pass rush was a huge problem in the 99-yard Titans scoring drive.
- Randy Bullock – A good field good kicker is expected to make around 70% of his kicks from 50+ yards out. He’s 0-3 on the year from 50+ and just 1-5 on FG attempts this year.
- Special Teams Return Team – I don’t even bother hoping to see a big return anymore. The problem may be Keshawn Martin, but it probably has just as much to do with the other 10 men on the field as well.
- Reliant Stadium Internet – I was at the game yesterday and it’s really frustrating not being able to be connected to the internet. They do the best they can with other NFL game updates, but everyone wants to see/react on twitter about the game or check their fantasy teams. Reception is terrible in the stadium
- Texans Fans – I know I can’t expect everyone to be perfect, but how could you leave a Texans game with the Texans down eight with five minutes remaining? It’s a one score game of a team that just came off a huge comeback victory. Really pathetic watching around 1/4th of the stadium leave with five minutes to go. Terrible.
Interesting Notes Via Twitter
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaro) September 16, 2013
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 15, 2013
#Texans want to get Foster and Tate even work. 2 games. Foster 44 touches (37 rush, 7 rec.) Tate 23 touches (18 rush, 5 rec.) Same as before
— PDS (@PatDStat) September 16, 2013
The #Texans defense was unstoppable at times on Sunday: 179 of 248 Titans’ yards came on two TD drives.
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaro) September 16, 2013
I think Andre Johnson will have no problem playing against Ravens. 2 of his teammates told me he’ll b fine. He must pass the protocol tests
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 15, 2013
Texans are the first team since the merger in 1970 to win their first 2 games on the last play.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 16, 2013
The Turning Point
When you make a comeback late in the game, there are lots of plays you can point too and say the Texans wouldn’t have won if that play is not made. For me, the turning point was Andre Johnson‘s catch just before the two minute warning. The 22-yard completion was all sorts of amazing. Johnson had the presence in mind to get his two feet down, while Pollard came in and (some think purposely) nail Johnson and knock him out of bounds. The catch was originally called incomplete but Kubiak challenged the call and it was reversed. A few plays later the Texans scored a touchdown, went for two, and the game was all tied up.
Some people like to say the Texans are lucky to be 2-0. Sure they could easily be 0-2, but I have been very impressed with this Texans team. There are many improvements from this team this year compared to last year, and some things have gotten worse. The one thing I love is this team’s resilience. Two great comebacks that took a full team effort. Both the offense and defense stepped up when they needed to and got the job done. Some things need to be improved, but that’s expected just two weeks into the season. There is a lot of promise with this Texans squad and it will hopefully all come together this season.
One of the best games I have ever seen from Brian Cushing!