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Incompletions: Texans v. Jaguars (Your First Place Houston Texans)

With so much to write and talk about after every game, one person isn’t enough to write about it all. The Masthead joins together and writes about David Culley’s first win.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

L4BLITZER:

Well, most of us I think were of a couple of minds. 1) The Texans will lose more than they will win this year and 2) The Texans might be able to beat Jacksonville…maybe. I’ll confess that kinda wanted to pick Houston, but I have had bad luck historically picking against Urban Meyer, who is tied with Jack Easterby for figures in the NFL I most dislike. Consider today a day when for one game, the Texans validated all of their off-season moves and told the critics to take the Book of off-season Lamentations and shove it.

To me, this game turned not so much on what the Texans did as much as what the Jags didn’t. In particular, the Jags appeared unprepared and disorganized, far more than they should have for an NFL team. Yes, it was Meyer’s first NFL game, but the team make mistakes that a decent coach wouldn’t allow. Burning two timeouts early in the first half due to miscommunication, not having the right number of personnel on the field, committing stupid penalties and dropping easy passes. The Jags were not ready, and that is squarely on Meyer.

As for the Texans, they used their veteran skills to their advantage. They saw the Jags digging their own grave and the Texans allowed the Jags to keep doing that. They had a solid offensive game plan with Jacksonville doing little to stop it. Taylor had a quality game. The defense took advantage, scrounging up three picks and the offense did not cough it up once. Yes, the team left points on the field, and made some of their own mistakes, but today, the Texans were better prepared and made the Jags look like the most likely team to go 0-17.

Every win means something, but it is ultimately only one win. How many teams surprise with a massive week one effort only for that to be the high point of the year? This game showed how the Texans can achieve victory. Yet, this was arguably the easiest chance for a win. They get a far tougher test against Cleveland next week. Can the Texans continue to replicate that formula of timely defense and controlling the offensive game tempo? Or will they wilt in the face of better talent and far better coaching?

Until next week, let the team celebrate the win, and the embarrassing of Urban Meyer. Whether today was the start of a trend or a fluke will be borne out in the weeks ahead.

NOBODY BELIEVES IN US:

BFD:

There are four truly winnable games on the Texans’ schedule: the two against the Glitter Kitties, then there are the Panthers and the Jets. That’s really about it. Anything else would truly be an upset.

The Texans won one of these! Hooray! Bully for them.

I could go into the details about how this was an unsustainable win, but I’m going to let y’all have a good time with this victory. We aren’t going to see many this year.

I just hope victories like this don’t mess up our chances for the #1 overall. Though, I guess, it’s already fated that we will take Malik Willis, regardless.

CULLEY POSTING:

EVAN WILLSMORE:

So, the Texans surprised everybody. The win itself was predictable by some fans who had enough faith, but I don’t think anybody expected the team to put up 37 points.

While the Texans currently sit at the top of the AFC South, they’re unlikely to hold that position for long. The Jaguars have talent, but they too still have many questions to answer, the most important of which is how head coach Urban Meyer will adapt to the NFL environment. The two other teams in the division, the Colts and the Titans, have a lot less to worry about.

This is one of the few games in the 2021 season that, on paper, the Texans could really compete in. Fortunately for the fans, Houston took advantage of that opportunity and ran with it. Should it be the expectation for the next 16 games? Probably not. Regardless, it’s a nice start for a franchise with little to smile about.

EMBRACE THE FUTURE:

MIKE BULLOCK:

I predicted this game would go 42-17, which was pretty close to the final score of 37-21. But, thankfully, I was totally backwards on which team scored the most. Being wrong feels oh so good right about now.

So far 2021 has given us virtually nothing to rally around as a Texans fan, but watching Tyrod Taylor seize the day, seeing Brandin Cooks light up Jacksonvile’s secondary, and watching our defense take advantage of a rookie quarterback is just about everything a Texans fan could hope for right now.

Taylor threw for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay ran in 2 more. Cooks, Pharoah Brown and Danny Amendola looked like they were in mid-season form.

And, best of all the coaching staff didn’t make any Bill O’Brien level stupid calls.

While this doesn’t suddenly make me believe the Texans are super bowl bound this year, they did just tune up on the Jaguars of all teams, it’s finally something to hang our hats on. Finally, 2021 delivers some goods for Texans fans.

And, best of all, the Tennessee Titans got whooped by J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals while the Indianapolis Colts lost to the Seattle Seahawks. So, right now, the Texans are the best team in the AFC South.

Yes, that likely won’t last, but we should take what we can get and right now, we got a DUB!

THERE IS FINALLY AN ADULT IN THE ROOM:

DIEHARD CHRIS:

I had the Texans winning a boring, ugly game. Thankfully, this did not come to pass. Unlike with Bill O’Brien, the Texans severely out-coached their opponent. Unlike with Bill O’Brien, the Texans were ready to play in week one. Even WITH Deshaun Watson, if Bill O’Brien was still coaching this team, it’s a boring, dull 24-20 win.

The Texans won with a superior gameplan on both sides of the ball. On defense, they kept it relatively simple but were able to confuse Jacksonville’s future franchise QB Trevor Lawrence with disguised looks and, even without much of a pass rush, were able to force as many interceptions in one game as they had all last season. On offense, Houston was able to execute the gameplan without forcing QB Tyrod Taylor to be something he’s not. They also (gasp!) appear to understand which RB is their best one and which one does not look like he belongs on an NFL field unless he is catching balls out of the backfield.

That was a lot of fun to watch. With their lack of pass rush, Houston will struggle against offenses with good offensive line and QB play, but I will give them all the credit in the world for Sunday’s win. They played a bad team, they pummeled that bad team, and they had more cohesion and WAY better fundamentals than they did under Bill O’Brien, despite the fact that the roster had an incredible amount of turnover and the team has only had this offseason to build chemistry and get in lockstep. Well done, Texans.

BIG PLAY VERNON HARGREAVES III?

RETURN ON RYBERG:

I predicted the Texans beating the Jaguars solely on special teams and defense. I did this because as general rule of thumb, you always bet on experience in the NFL. I went with the rookie head coach with almost a quarter of a century of NFL exposure and the defense of coordinator who has been to multiple Super Bowls, against a college head coach who has never sniffed the NFL. And to be honest, I don’t think Urban Meyer is a good NFL coach. I think he is a used-car sales-men, who won only on recruiting the best talent in college. I think that showed Sunday.

You can tell what team is more prepared in an NFL game in the first five minutes. Just watch the special teams and if the team makes any stupid penalties that kill drives. The Jaguars had their first two procession stalled by holding and false start penalties, killing any momentum their offense might’ve been building. On the other sideline, the Texans came out swinging, playing aggressive and mistake free football. And that’s what good teams and good coaches do in the NFL. They wait for the other team to make the first mistake, and they take advantage.

Coaching aside, you need players to execute and the Texans players look good out there. On defense the secondary and linebackers were swarming to the ball on every play, finishing fast. On offense the stable of running backs were forcing Jacksonville to keep players in the box. Man, is it fun to get a Mark Ingram in the backfield. Not only is he a great running-back but he just seems to elevate the play of all the other backs around him. He set the tone earlier for this team’s success and it was just fun to watch.

You can see the blueprint for how Casserio wants to build a roster and it matches perfectly with how David Culley wants to play. Run the ball, don’t make early mistakes, play conservative defense and wait for the other team to make a mistake. You can win a lot of games in the NFL just by simply doing that. Looking forward to seeing this team match up against the second-best team in the AFC. Vegas is giving the Browns 12.5 points. That feels a bit disrespectful.

TYGOD TAYLOR: