So, we rewatched the game last night, and I had some thoughts to add.
There’s a lot of lamenting and moaning on comment boards and local talk radio about how the Texans didn’t play very well but still won. Upon review, I thought they played a lot better than people give us credit for. Breaking the game into chunks:
First quarter and a half—
No, we didn’t dominate. We were still feeling some things out. On defense we were adjusting to a running scheme that hadn’t been shown by the Dolphins or against our defense before. We adjusted by putting Manning up close to help with the run and settled down from there. On offense, we moved the ball okay, Foster was actually at that point getting about 4 yards a carry, but we had some jittery drops that stalled drives. Not great, but nothing to panic about. The Dolphins are actually pretty decent in the trenches.
Last half of the second quarter—
Of course, beautiful. What’s lost in all the Dolphins are terrible talk is that all four turnovers were caused by outstanding plays, not Dolphins mishaps.
Third quarter and into the fourth—
We gave up the punt return, but that’s not a long term concern. On offense, we had two long, clock eating drives, which is exactly what was needed. Arian again was doing decent on the ground. We got inside the five both times and just couldn’t punch it in. But, the important thing was eating the clock. Lost in the boredom of the game at that point was when Schaub on third and goal from the one very smartly threw the ball away rather than trying to force it to OD, which could have resulted in a pick 6 and renewed Dolphins hope.
On defense we let them move the ball, but it was good to see we were attacking and not playing soft zone or prevent. We also didn’t let them put the ball in the endzone. On offense, we only really had one real possession (went we weren’t in basic kneel down mode), in which we were backed up on our own five and chose to not tempt the fates.
So, why all the consternation. We felt them out early, the Dolphins played solid in the trenches, we made game changing plays, and then kept them off the field and then out of the endzone. I’ll take it all year.