Houston Texans: Reaction to First Quarter of Regular Season


One thing to take away from the first four games of the 2014 season is that the Houston Texans are a solid football team. The defense has been the main reason; nevertheless, this team is tough.

So far this year, Houston’s defense forced nine turnovers compared to only having 11 all of last year. J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing are the guys to lead the front seven in games, but one of the most important developments emerging in the Texans’ defense is the growth of second year safety, D.J. Swearinger.

The defensive backs are getting physical with wide receivers and are doing a remarkable job stripping the ball from the carrier. Houston has yearned for the secondary to develop some type of swagger in the past few years and Swearinger brings that to the table.

Sep 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive back Darryl Morris (26) and strong safety D.J. Swearinger (36) react during the game against the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Although he only started one game, cornerback Darryl Morris is another bright spot on the defensive end. The second-year DB was cut by the 49ers in the preseason and was instantly picked up off waivers by Houston. Due to A.J. Bouye’s groin injury, Morris was plugged in the starting position on Sunday against the Bills and was stride for stride with his man every time the ball came his way. The kid also reeled in a late interception in the fourth quarter to seal the game. I’m not sure the Texans ever had any form of depth at the cornerback position, but Houston just might this year under Romeo Crennel, with Bouye and Morris behind the starters.

As for the offense, there is a lot of work to be done. Aside from the Oakland game, Houston has had no rhythm. Arian Foster was able to get going in the first two games, but there is no way he can carry the load for the entire season. Alfred Blue is an exceptional backup and will fill in well, but O’Brien has to keep using him.

As most of us expected, Ryan Fitzpatrick has quickly reverted back his old ways by turning the ball over abundantly. The 10th year vet has to take better care of the ball if this team wants to make the playoffs.

The offensive line has done a decent job with protecting Fitzpatrick. The Texans are ranked 10th in the league by surrendering a total of 5 sacks on the year. Some of the credit should go to Fitzpatrick for leaving the pocket after it collapses and making his decision to run absolute. I couldn’t be happier to finally see a quarterback make a play with his legs after watching Schaub succumb to pressure the past eight years. 

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The Texans are also utilizing the hard count effectively. Although the O-line had a couple of false starts, Fitzpatrick was able to get the Bills to jump offsides a few times. I don’t recall seeing Schaub and Kubiak have much success in that area.

The brightest spot on the offense has been no other than DeAndre Hopkins. The kid leads the team with 291 receiving yards and three touchdowns. I was skeptical in how effective Hopkins would be when he came in to the league; nonetheless, he is a legit No. 2 wide receiver and possibly a No. 1 in the near future.

All in all, it isn’t easy to win in the NFL and right now there’s little to complain about with our Texans being 3-1. These next few games against the Cowboys, Colts, and Steelers will be legitimate tests to see what we have here in Houston and how far we could make it this year.