That was simply an exhilarating first half of football. Wow.
This game couldn’t have gone much better for the Texans. The defense was dominant, and would have been more dominant if not for a couple of Texans’ turnovers. Sure, the secondary looked a little shaky at times, but actually having a pass rush helped to fill in the blanks when the Colts actually got into Houston territory.
Early turnovers put Houston in a position to score, and score they did. While Houston had a top offense in 2010, their first half performances often left a lot to be desired. Sunday, they certainly flipped the script. Houston moved the ball almost at will in the first half, but let their foot off the gas in the second. The disappointment of settling for a Neil Rackers field goal late in the first was soon replaced by an explosion of noise as Jacoby Jones unleashed a 79-yard punt return. I imagine that had to be the loudest moment of the game, even if many had left their seats for halftime.
Without departed fullback Vonta Leach, and without the injured NFL rushing leader Arian Foster, the Texans rolled up 167 rushing yards on 41 carries. Even Steve Slaton got dusted off and had a nice run as the Texans weren’t exactly aggressive on offense in the second half.
But hey, about that defense!
I don’t know what kind of serious, dangerous hard drugs the Indianapolis Colts are on, but no matter what the matchups are on the field, if the result is that DALLAS CLARK is left to block Mario Williams, someone screwed up. Mario – probably feeling disrespected, as well he should, rag-dolled Clark the HELL out of the way a couple of times to notch his first two sacks of the season. I believe once he was standing, and once he started in a three-point stance. So far, so good for the Mario-to-OLB saga.
Rookie JJ Watt was disruptive, and had a nice fumble recovery to go along with his five tackles. Antonio Smith helped set the tone early with a sack and forced fumble of Kerry Collins. Brian Cushing made a couple of nice stops, even if he still doesn’t look as good as he did in his rookie season. Shaun Cody even found himself in the right place at the right time once.
It was just a great day. Sure, I still see things to be concerned about – and as I said before, the Colts are just a BAD TEAM without Peyton Manning. But beating bad teams badly is what GOOD teams do, and oh man did the Texans ever do that.
Before you dwell on the fact that Kerry Collins isn’t very good (and not a good fit in Indy, as I touched on in my last blog entry) think of this. Last year, it didn’t matter how bad the QB was. They ALL looked like Hall of Famers. In one game in 2011, the Texans did what they should do. They took out an inferior opponent. No reason to find things to whine about on this one, my friends. We’re off and running.
Bonus for my dumb self – all day long I somehow had it in my head that the Texans were playing the Steelers next week. I’m not sure where that came from – but instead Houston will have a tough road test in the Miami Dolphins, who the Texans have absolutely OWNED in their short franchise history. Still, road wins in the NFL are tough, and year to year – I just have no idea about the Dolphins.
Good win today. As an adult, the first regular season Texans’ game is my Christmas morning. Well, if that’s the case today’s win was like getting a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle – and I’ll shoot my eye out ALL DAY LONG.