It finally happened. The Texans finally played an entire game of football. Instead of letting up and allowing a crappy team to get back into it and turn an answered phone call into a horror film, or utilizing insane red zone plays to limit point totals for an impossible-to-stop offense, or turning the ball over and resuscitating the worst offense in football, or playing off-man, hanging out, and giving Cody Kessler a chance, the Texans turned Thursday Night Football into an evisceration.
Kenyan Drake caught a touchdown pass from Danny Amendola. Will Fuller V caught a 73 yard touchdown pass. [NAME REDACTED] created a field goal thanks to some DeVante Parker zig-zagging. It was 28-20. A failed onside kick became a Texans touchdown two plays later. Another Miami field goal was followed by another Texans’ touchdown, this one again to DeAndre Hopkins. 42-23. Not 28-23, or 28-26, or or 31-23, but 42-23.
Up until this game, Houston’s talent level didn’t match its performance. Gushing with top talent, the scheme limited both the offense and the defense. Then the offensive line obliterated Deshaun Watson, forcing the unit to play cowardly, fearful football. A run defense carried the first four games of a five game win streak.
But now, 42-23. A game that was filled with downfield throwing, play action, and a continuation of using Deshaun Watson as a spectre in the run game. Things are almost as good as they can be. Once Watson is fully healthy and can run again, everything will coalesce into its best form. Hopefully by then, it will be 50 degrees and gray, and the Texans will be ready to be something more than second round fodder and the best team in a bad division.
Sure, the Dolphins are horrendous. They’re a fin propped up by beating three bad teams by one score. [NAME REDACTED] is a quarterbacking atrocity. The Dolphins’ run heavy, short pass offense is the exact offense you don’t want to run against Houston as the Cowboys and Jaguars learned before. Miami’s defense has three capable players, with the rest of the roster rounded out by slow defenders, shoddy veterans, and young men who haven’t performed yet. Holes were consistently available behind the linebackers and under the safeties. Incompetent cornerback play was in abundance—just throw away from Xavien Howard; that’s all you have to do.
But man, 42-23. 42-23. The Texans are now playing football like they always should have.
I’d DVR It And Never Get Around To Watching It.
This is what I expected to see in Week One and every week thereafter - including the game in New England. Now, let’s all hope Will Fuller V didn’t tear his ACL (ed. note: He did) and he can be back after the bye (ed. note: He won’t).
Vince Carter Slam Dunk Contest Catches.
THAT was the offense we have been looking for out of Houston all season after being teased with it in six games last year! THAT is fun to watch, and it’s hard to beat a team that puts up that many points in the NFL. Keep doing THAT, O’Brien.
Officiating in the NFL continues to decline in quality. There were no less than a dozen WTF calls and no-calls last night. One that won’t make the highlight reel is late in the game when Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt were lined up on the same side; the Miami OL literally wrapped them up, tackled them ,and then laid on them both throughout the play. No call? Meanwhile, there were plenty of egregiously bad calls that even had the FOX broadcast crew openly decrying the abysmal refs in this game. It is ruining the integrity of the game and is NOT fun to watch.
The good guys overcame the refs and the Dolphins for their 5th-consecutive win. Now they get some time to recover and prepare for Denver.
DEATH TO COVER FOUR.
This game gave us a lot of what we have been dying to see in 2018. The Texans’ offense has sputtered for the better part of seven weeks, but on Thursday night we saw the big plays, the red zone efficiency, the better offensive line play, the tight end involvement, and so on. We also saw some extremely important names go down to injury, the ramifications of which we don’t know as of this posting. Will Fuller V would be a HUGE loss, as would Zach Cunningham, Johnathan Joseph, and JD Clowney. Here’s to hoping they get back quickly.
So what happens now? The Texans don’t exactly have a murderer’s row of an NFL schedule. Who is this team? How will we really know what they are? All we can really ask for is what happened last night. If it’s a game the Texans should win on paper, then they go out and win it rather handily. Last night’s game wasn’t a huge blowout, but the combo of defensive injuries suffered by the Texans and some very questionable calls (that led DIRECTLY to points or losing points) really made it closer than it actually was.
Honestly, I still have no clue who they are. I need to see more of last night’s events play out against other upcoming inferior opponents. We shall see. The biggest takeaway, though, is this. The 2018 Texans season is fun again. It’s exciting and hopeful again. Deshaun Watson is back, baby.