Chiefs v. Texans--Starting It Off With A Bang!

I think I've sufficiently recovered to a point that I can write with some semblance of rationality about yesterday afternoon's season opener.  Or as I like to call it, "The Beginning of a New Era."  If you haven't already perused it, here is the official NFL box score on the 20-3 victory over the Chiefs.  In short, the Texans offense was above average to good (particularly in the fourth quater, absolutely KILLING the clock and picking up tough yards), and the defense was ridiculous, limiting the opposition to a mere 219 yards and forcing four (4) turnovers.  I realize that Larry Johnson wasn't in mid-season form, and that K.C. may not have a lot of other options on offense.  Still, that's awfully impressive and bodes well for a defense that looked positively stingy throughout the second half of last season.  My thoughts:

  1.  These are not your grandfather's Texans.  Indeed, these Texans don't even bear a resemblance to David Carr's Texans.  The intensity, team speed, aggression, and overall mojo of the team is unlike any other Texans team.  Perhaps that's why nearly every Houston fan is brimming with optimism today, and why Reliant was consistently louder than it has been in quite some time.
  2.  A big reason for said optimism was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.  After having to deal with a second offseason of pundits calling him every synonym for "bust" in Roget's Thesaurus, Mario Williams' stat line from the game read as follows:  5 TKL (1 AST), 2.0 SCK, 1 FUM REC, 1 TD (38 yard run).  Those numbers are so good that I don't even need to say anything else.  It's one game.  But mark my words--there are going to be a whole lot less Mario haters come January than there were on Saturday.
  3.  The Schaub delivered.  That INT in the endzone was ugly, but I'll chalk it up to simply pressing too hard on the first drive.  Nevertheless, The Schaub showed presence and poise in the pocket throughout the game.  Although the last five (5) years blurred my memory, I think that's what a QB is supposed to look like.  And nothing was prettier than that bomb to Andre Johnson.  Speaking of...
  4.  7 catches for 142 yards and 1 TD.  Please, someone tell me how 'Dre is not one of the top five (5) receivers in the NFL.
  5.  Although he only finished with two (2) catches and was completely neutralized in the return game, Jacoby Jones' 26-yard reception was HUGE.  Call me a homer on this, but there is a palpable electricity in the crowd every time he's about to touch the ball.  The Texans have never had that kind of player before.
  6.  Ahman Green may not have found the endzone in his Texans debut, but I'll take 4.56 YPC from my RB.  Throw in his 23 yards receiving, and he had a very nice, albeit underrated, day.
  7.  Anyone else a bit concerned (not panicked) by the offensive line's play?  Kansas City was able to get some pretty decent pressure, even with their best defensive lineman serving a four-game suspension.
  8.  If I had my way, DeMeco Ryans would win the Defensive Rookie of the Year this season as well.  He's that special.
  9.  N.D. Kalu broke his hand.  And then notched a sack.  Hoss.
  10.  Can't believe I'm saying this...but Travis Johnson played really, really well.  Cats will soon be living with dogs.
  11.  Losing Jason Simmons is a blow, no doubt about it.  Von Hutchins played admirably, and Michael Boulware should be ready to contribute more and more as he digests the playbook.  Still--arguably the weakest position of the team has now been weakened even further.  I have to think that Rick Smith is burning up the phone lines looking for a street free agent or two.
  12.  Dunta Robinson truly looks as if he's raised his game in the coverage department.  If he plays like he did yesterday throughout the season, he's going to be in Honolulu in February.  And that's not the screwdrivers talking.
  13.  Jamar Fletcher terrifies me.  Burned one minute, forcing a fumble the next.  It's like riding the Texas Cyclone.
  14.  Charlie Anderson may have lost out on the starting SAM gig, but his contributions on special teams should not go without mention.  The guy is a demon.  
  15.  Matt Turk punted a football fifty-nine (59) yards and finished with the highest average in team history.  A history, I might add, that has only featured one other punter who was not named Matt Turk.
So there it is, BRB.  It's only one game, and it may have been against an opponent that doesn't have a lot of success this year.  But it's a start, and it sure beats the alternative.  Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
   
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