“This is the year!” a saying that seems to always ring out from Reliant Stadium as faithful, die-hard fans are cheering and rooting for their hometown Texans, but what do the skeptics say? What do the ones who have had their hearts broken one too many times by this team last year say? What does this team have to do to prove that they are indeed worthy of their hype and can live up to their expectations?
Should the die-hards lower their expectations? Do they raise them? The 2011 season is a bench mark season for this Texans team, a make or break year for this young and up and coming team to prove themselves to a very harsh, demanding, yet very loyal and loving fan base. This team has a chip on their shoulder after falling from grace to a 6-10 season, with a new defensive coordinator in Wade Philips, the Texans’ defense is on center stage and the fulcrum between success and failure for this team. After a dominating performance of the Colts, Texan fans have a very bright, and joyous season ahead and here is why…
In what was set to be an amazing rematch of last years’ week one Texans’ blow out win, Indianapolis was missing one crucial thing that they had last year, and that one thing just so happened to be a huge key of their offense. Peyton Manning, the Colts’ captain and leader, unwilling to trust their back ups, Indianapolis went and signed veteran
Kerry Collins, hoping his experience in the league would at least fill a minimal percentage of the vital role Manning played. Also being bitten by the injury bug, Houston was to be without leading rusher Arian Foster who was out with hamstring troubles, so both teams were indeed lacking in their own respective ways, the game was going to be difficult and challenging for both teams, without key components to their explosive offensive scheme
Coming out very hot, new addition to the Texans, Daniel Manning bursts out of the endzone and looking ready to score, but kicker Pat McAfee and Justin Tryon made the stop giving the offense great field position. Matt Shaub seemed to be poised to march the offense down the field for an early score, but a tip drill interception on the second play halted Matt Shaub and the offense, draining the momentum, but did not allow this miniscule error to hinder them! Scoring a field goal on the next drive, and capitalizing on two Kerry Collins’ fumbles for touchdowns, piling up a 17 point lead in the first quarter.
Derrick Ward, Ben Tate, and Andre Johnson all scored touchdowns, and Jacoby Jones input his own on an astonishing 79 yard punt return. Ben Tate getting plenty of carries despite a fumble early in the fourth quarter, rushing for well over 100 yards. Obviously this offense came out with something to prove, and made a statement to all teams in the league, a statement that this team is not going to be the easy push overs they once were.
The Texan offense only punted twice against this outstanding, yet worn out defense, but gave up three turnovers total, two interceptions from Matt Shaub and the fumble from Ben Tate, which is an amazing feat especially against a great defense such as the Colts’
As for Wade Philips’ defense, coming off of last season with the worst pass defense, the defensive line pressured Kerry Collins, forcing bad throws, sacking him three times, and causing him to only complete fifty percent of his passes, but the real kicker of this game is that the defense pitched a solid shutout until Collins connected with Reggie Wayne for a late fourth quarter touchdown, capitalizing on the turnover and spoiling the shutout.
Wade Philips has indeed shown that this defense has improved, but there is plenty of room for more improvement as Joseph Addai and Delone Carter managed to bust a run every now and then, but i cannot harp on this, I just simply take the win and look to see what improvements will be made for the following game versus Miami.
The secondary seemed to have made drastic improvements, they played excellent coverage, when Kerry Collins had the chance to throw it, and played close towards the end, hopefully we do not find ourselves in a bind where a goal line stand must be made, but it will happen eventually. The first goal line stand was a success, so we at least gained confidence from that as we stopped them forcing a field goal, which they missed.
Overall, i could not be happier with the success of this team and my standards and expectations have certainly been raised for this Texans team, Miami will not be an easy task, so I am looking forward to seeing what the defense can do against an in sync offense, unlike the Colts who only had less than two weeks to prepare Kerry Collins for this game. The time has come for the Texans and opportunity is knocking yet again, let’s capitalize on it…