After a one-week computer-forced hiatus, the PGB is back. For the first time ever, your Houston Texans are 3-1. Not only are they 3-1, but they are also in sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Let that sink in for a second.
Even the most ardent Texans fan, were he trying to remain objective, would have had a very hard time envisioning the Texans going 3-1 to open the 2010 season. The three wins include a collossal intradivision win over the Colts and two (2) road victories over the Redskins and Raiders. Not to diminish the unfortunate loss to Dallas, but focusing on that instead of the three wins doesn't give proper credit to what the Texans have managed to accomplish thus far. The Houston Texans are 3-1, with the return of one of their best players, two home games, and a bye week on the horizon.
Between that and the unbelievable weather, it's a mighty fine time to be Texans fans. The specifics of the victory in Oakland await you after the jump.
1. Benched for a quarter and a half for missing one team meeting last week and being late for another, Arian Foster managed to make the most of his limited time by rattling off a 74 yard TD run and a 10 yard TD reception on his way to 187 total yards (131 rushing). With that sort of output, Kubes should start benching Foster for wearing his socks too high, wearing his socks too low, not maintaining eye contact with people he talks to, making too much eye contact with people he talks to, and/or failing to begin and end every sentence with "sir." It's for the good of the team.
2. The point has been raised by a few other folks, but I think it bears repeating here: How many snaps would Matt Schaub have been forced to watch if he was late to a team meeting? I'm guessing one, or however long it took Kubes to realize that Dan Orlovsky or Matt Leinart was under center.
3. Staying on the subject of The Schaub...not a massive day statistically, but he was efficient, didn't make any royally stupid throws that I can immediately recall, and spread the ball around amongst a depleted (e.g., no Andre Johnson and then an injured Jacoby Jones) receiving corps. A very, very good day, considering he didn't have his No. 1 target to throw to and/or distract Nnamdi Asomugha.
4. The offensive line did a great job run-blocking and kept Schaub pretty clean all afternoon. Considering the Texans had to throw it far more yesterday than they did in Week One, I believe yesterday's effort was probably the OL's best and most complete performance of the season (though Rivers' tape study may find otherwise).
5. It gets lost in the Fostermania, but Steve Slaton and Derrick Ward were tremendous, as evidenced by the Texans' averaging 6.9 yards per carry yesterday. In fact, Slaton may have had his best game since 2008. I kept waiting for a fumble that never came.
6. Does anyone disagree with the statement that Joel Dreessen is the best TE on the roster right now? I don't think it's even really up for debate at this point, and that's not a knock on Owen Daniels.
7. Four (4) sacks for your Texans' defense--1.0 from Mario Williams (who returned from his self-imposed one-week sabbatical), 1.0 from a blitzing (gasp!) DeMeco Ryans, and 2.0 from Antonio Smith. Not coincidentally, the Texans secondary had their best day of the young season in terms of not giving up big play after big play. Kareem Jackson, in particular, had his least victimized afternoon of the year.
8. If you are a good receiving TE in the NFL, it's a safe bet you can be penciled in for at least 60 receiving yards against the Texans. As vulnerable as the Houston secondary has been down the field, the inability to cover the tight end has been a notable problem as well, going back to last season. While there's a valid argument to be made that you'd rather give up shorter receptions to the TE instead of WRs streaking down the field, it doesn't change the fact that it's something teams will continue to exploit.
9. Thought Adewale Ogunleye did a serviceable job at DE in the limited snaps he saw. As each week passes, I realize that the loss of Connor Barwin was far bigger than I initially thought it would be.
10. More Earl Mitchell, please.
11. I don't know that Troy Nolan is the best coverage safety on the Houston roster. I do know, however, that Eugene Wilson is not, and I don't think Dominique Barber has shown he's a better option than Nolan. While we can debate how much Nolan had to do with the two balls he picked off (regardless, the second pick was a pretty sweet one-handed grab of a deflected pass), we cannot debate that he picked off two more passes than any other Texan has throughout the first four games of the season. I just don't see any reason why Troy Nolan shouldn't be starting at free safety on Sunday.
12. A road win is a road win is a road win, so I'm not going to devote too much angst to the fact that the Texans blew 10 points of a 17 point lead in less than a quarter and had to hang on to win by 7. Or the fact that perhaps running the ball a bit more (instead of run, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, punt) on the series after the Raiders had cut the lead to 10 points early in the fourth quarter seemed to be a more sound course of action than what was employed. I'll merely mention those things in passing and move on down the road.
13. Because no matter what, your Houston Texans are 3-1. Your Houston Texans are in first place in the AFC South. Brian Cushing is back. The sun is shining, and the air is crisp. Bring on the New York Giants.Texans vs Raiders coverage