Sep 7, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts after a play as Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) lays on the ground during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
In the home opener, kicking off the season the Texans had a lot of questions fans needed to see answered. Would the offense be able to score, will Watt be wasted in a 2 gap defense, can the secondary make big plays and has the special teams play that looked in the preseason to be good… actually be good? Rightfully so, Texan fans had doubts coming into this game about what Bill O’Brien had done to the home team, and we finally got some of the answers that lingered through the preseason. What did we learn about the Texans? Hope is alive and well in Houston.
The first question is the most painful to answer for fans. The offense looked, frankly it looked slow. The tempo was off, the plays uninspired. While the offense did put up 10 points, those ten points were more thanks to great defensive play then anything the offense managed to string together. If all they can manage is a touch and a score it’s going to be a bad year.
J. J. Watt never wants to be that guy who gets the big payday then coasts to irrelevance. He said that when he signed for the big money, he proved it with his outstanding play Sunday. 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 blocked field goal, 1 swatted pass and a bunch of hurries and hits on Robert Griffin III. Teams will be watching the Redskins film, studying it, trying to figure out what Washington did wrong so they don’t have to see Watt mistreat their star quarterback. J. J. Watt earns his pay, he’s the face of the Texans and really represents the best of the NFL on and off the field.
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The secondary did get burned, Swearinger got beat badly on a pass to the Redskins tight end Niles Paul. He then chased him down and forced a fumble which Kendrick Lewis recovered. Swearinger also sacked RGIII for a big loss, recording his first NFL sack. Not a shabby day for the secondary that helped hold the Redskins to a sum total of six points.
The play that got all Texans fans attention was that of the special teams unit. For the last few years, punts or kick offs would cause fans to reach for the anti-acid pills. Blown coverages, poor decisions when fielding the ball, it was not fun to watch. The Texans swarmed to the ball carrier on kick off and on punts and even managed to scoop up a blocked punt for a score. It was, fun to be a Texans fan this Sunday watching the special teams unit.
Now, if the team can just click on offense, with the ease of schedule ahead we might actually have a shot at breaking .500 and getting in to the play off mix. This might be post win euphoria pent up from nearly a year of winless Texans football, I can admit that, but holding the Redskins to just, just a single touchdown was pretty impressive and gives one hope that 2014 really will be magical.
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