The Texans beat down the Titans from the first series of the game, never giving up their lead and winning 38-14. Obviously after a win its easy to find positives but its also nice when you can have a lot of negative things to say after a 24-point victory.
We’ll start with the positive, which on the offensive side of the ball was tough to find.
September 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) and Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) shake hands after the Texans defeat the Titans 38-14 at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Schaub continues to prove that he should be mentioned as an elite quarterback. When the Texans found out that they couldn’t expect Arian Foster to pick up the tough short yards they put the ball in Schaub’s hand and let him make a play.
While he only passed for a little more than 200 yards, the Texans would not have won this game with someone other than Schaub at quarterback. Last year when he went down and Yates took over, if the running game wasn’t there the offense would stagnate because the entire gameplan was predicated off of running and play-action. The run was stuffed early and often thus the play-action didn’t serve the Texans very well.
As many predicted, Andre Johnson was open early and had the first two catches of the game for over 50 yards. Unfortunately, Schaub didn’t find him much later in the game as he only racked up one more catch, and Schaub missed him on a wide open double move which would have stretched the Texans lead to 35-7.
That being said, the Texans defense played well enough today that if Schaub plays that well for the remainder of the season they will be tough to beat.
The Texans have the best runningback tandem in the NFL. They were playing against one of the worst run defenses in the league. Foster and Tate combined for 97 yards on 29 carries which is less than a yard per rush average.
Foster was stuffed on back to back 3rd and 1’s. It may be time recognize that Foster shouldn’t be the short yardage back. It certainly doesn’t mean that he is incapable, it just means that he is a patient back which is something that short yardage guys can’t afford to be. They have to be decisive and we have one of the most decisive backs in the NFL sitting on the bench in Tate.
The running game was not good enough today to bet teams at the top of the AFC let alone the NFL. If they had played like that against anyone other than the Titans, the outcome would not have been the same.
Foster and Tate have been one of the bright spots on this offense and the Texans need them to be in order to be one of the top teams in the league.
Sep 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (81) dives over Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner (20) for a touchdown in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Titans 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
Andre was found early but otherwise was ineffective. The tightends had a big day combining for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches.
Unfortunately Foster continued to be a complete nonfactor in the passing game. In an offense that saw Foster as one of its leading receivers last season it’s disheartening to see such ineptitude from him this year, but it’s unlikely that it’s all on him as it doesn’t appear to be as much of a part of the gameplan as it was last year with an inexperienced quarterback.
The biggest problem from the receivers came from Kevin Walter who led the team in penalties. With one. The team was only penalized one time for three yards today, both of which are franchise records. The one call that was made was questionable at best as Walter was called for a crackback block on what looked to be a clean play.