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Unsung Heroes: Gary Kubiak and the Coaching Staff

Is everyone still basking in the goodness that is a season-opening win? It's definitely a different feeling around here compared to this time last year. The hope is these "different feelings" continue to happen over the course of the 2010 season among the Houston fanbase.

This season is supposed to be different. No more original Texans on the team. No more embarrassing losses. No more shooting yourself in the foot. No more slow starts. No more talk of "no playoffs." This season is supposed to mark a new era in Houston Texans football.

Yesterday's win, the first season-opening win since 20073 if you can believe it, was a good start to back up these claims. No one here will know if this season is different until we look back in February at what transpires over the next few months. However, the changes may already be beginning to show themselves.

A mere 24 hours ago, this Superior Aerial Onslaught became a Steamrolling Juggernaut that could not be stopped. The finesse Texans played a physical brand of football. As I read through the post-game thread, one key fact remains somewhat under-appreciated. It's a key fact that could be another sign that this year truly is different. Yesterday, Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, and even Frank Bush were able to make adjustments to stay ahead of the game.

During the game threads, the feeling was of growing worry. The Texans had settled for two field goals, Matt Schaub had thrown an interception, Peyton Manning had led a touchdown drive, and the Colts had begun their comeback early as they headed to the locker room with 10 unanswered points to cut the Houston lead down to 3.

Last season, or rather any previous Texans season, the Texans would've continued this loss of momentum after the half. You know that story, right? The one-half wonders. The Peyton Manning comeback. Houston can't finish a game. Matt Schaub is overrated. All of this was re-visited in the thread, but the coaching staff made sure that talk stopped real soon.

The offensive game plan went from balanced (14 passes, 10 rushes in the first half) to run heavy (three passes, 29 rushes in the second half). As opposed to forcing passes, the Texans buckled down and came out with a dominant 15 play drive. This opening second half drive included 10 straight runs where the Texans simply overpowered and wore down the Indianapolis defense.

The Frank Bush defense also got in on the party and avoided being out-adjusted by the always brilliant Indianapolis offense. Peyton's offense is known to out-adjust you. That's what they do:  Analyze and dissect with surgical precision. Imagine my surprise when their first two second half drives resulted in a punt and turnover. While the Colts managed 118 yards on these two drives, Frank and the defense were able to make the right calls and plays to get the Colts off the field.

On a post-game day where the praise is flying, the coaching staff shouldn't be forgotten by the fan base. In years past where they would've completely lost the game in the locker room, Kubiak & Co. came out with an adjusted plan and re-took the momentum.

In a few months, we'll know if the Texans have truly changed or have found a new way to hook fans with false hope. In either case, the Texans are off to a different start as Gary Kubiak and staff made the necessary adjustments and held on to win their first season opener in a few years.

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