With a loss to the Minnesota Vikings the San Francisco 49ers are sure to fall from the top spot in the power rankings and the Houston Texans proved today that they should be the team that takes it.
Matt Schaub looked better today than he has all year. He was decisive in his reads and wasn’t afraid to throw the ball down the field. He threw four touchdowns versus the Broncos on Sunday which brought his season total to five.
Unfortunately, he threw an interception which along with a Ben Tate fumble represent the first turnovers on the year for the Texans. In an offense that looks for balance, no fan could possibly scoff at a 5:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Schaub found Andre Johnson deep down the field off of play action for a 60-yard touchdown, and Kevin Walter for a 52-yard score later in the game. While the deep ball was obviously there throughout the game, Schaub found his tight ends regularly on check downs and save for the interception was as good as you could hope for against a defense as talented as Denver’s.
Most impressive, however, was Schaub standing strong and showing his toughness throughout the game as he was constantly under pressure and ended up on his back often. He managed to miss only a single play after he lost a chunk of his ear on the second of back to back roughing the passer penalties. If Schaub can manage to stay healthy this season the sky is the limit for this team.
Arian Foster was his regular self and ran his way to 105 yards on 25 carries. Foster is one of the more consistent backs in the NFL and that doesn’t look to change this year. Ben Tate on the other hand has been extremely hot and cold and this week was a cold one.
While neither back had a touchdown Foster ran for over 100 yards which is a bright spot for any offense. Unfortunately for a stable of backs like the Texans it becomes a rough day when one of them puts the ball on the ground and allows the other team to get the recovery.
Ben Tate was completely irrelevant. His long was only nine yards which is more than likely why he didn’t get his average number of carries. It ended up not mattering much in the long run because the passing game was so dominant, but in the future the success of the the Texans will largely fall on the shoulders of Foster and Tate to perform better than they did this week.
Andre Johnson was great today. He had the long touchdown catch at the beginning and dropped another long touchdown pass in the endzone as Champ Bailey managed to dislodge it at the last second. However, most important to the Texans cause was the fact that Matt Schaub trusts Andre Johnson to make the play when he needs one and with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter on 3rd and 5 he needed one. Johnson managed to separate from Bailey and make the catch for a 12-yard gain.
That catch solidified a Texans win but there were plenty of other big plays as well. Whether It was Walter’s 52-yard touchdown catch or Lestar Jeans huge catch down the sideline in the fourth quarter or Keyshawn Martin’s big 20-yard run on the end around the receivers obviously came to play today.
The tight ends were also targeted early and often accumulating 7 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown between the three of them.