It feels good to be a Texan fan this week. Not only did they win, every other team in the AFC South lost. Great start to the 2016 season, but before getting ahead of ourselves and looking forward, we need to take a quick look back. How did the Texans do in their first game against the Chicago Bears?
Houston we have tight ends
The tight end position for the Texans has been nonexistent in the past couple seasons. That was not the case today. All three tight ends had receptions and undrafted rookie Stephen Anderson had himself a great game. The tight ends combined for a total of 6 receptions and 48 yards.
Perhaps the most important things is that there were no drops. Drops plagued the tight end position last year and I am glad to see them making plays in the first game of the season.
Rushing attack and the offensive line better than expected.
The major criticism of the Texans in the preseason was the rushing attack and the offensive line. With one game under their belt, that was not really is an issue. Lamar Miller was the leading rusher in the NFL on Sunday with 106 yards and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.
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The numbers do not fully explain the story though. The Texans were moving the ball on the ground with little to no problem. Many of the shorter carries came when they were trying to run down the clock.
The offensive line allowed only two sacks, giving Brock Osweiler time to work in the pocket and opening up good running lanes for Miller. As a unit that is currently experiencing losses due to injuries, they did a great job in the season opener.
Rookie wide receivers don’t look like rookies
Going into this game I still expected the Texans to depend heavily on DeAndre Hopkins. That was not necessarily the case. Hopkins did have 5 receptions for 54 yards and made a couple critical plays, including a touchdown, however rookie Will Fuller was the star of the game.
Fuller dropped a ball early on, which should have been a touchdown, but after that he caught everything thrown his way. He finished the day with 5 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. Not bad for a rookie working with a quarterback who now only has 8 starts.
Slow Start but Strong Finish for the Defense
The defense gave up some big plays early on and the Bears took a lead into halftime. After that, the defense pitched a shutout. Not sure what Romeo Crennel said to them at halftime, but it worked.
Play makers were coming from everywhere during this game. The defense tallied a total of 5 sacks from 4 different players. Mercilus picked right back up where he left off with two and A.J. Bouye got his first NFL career sack.
The other two sacks came from John Simon and Jadeveon Clowney, which leaves many people questioning JJ Watt’s health. The fact is, JJ Watt was in the backfield a lot. He also started off slow but with so much talent on the defense, it will be a tea party at the quarterback much more often than one guy breaking through.
In the secondary, Andre Hal got the only defensive takeaway of the game. He is a ball hawk and I expect that to be a regular occurrence. He nearly had another pick earlier in the game, but just missed it.Brian Cushing left with an injury, but the defense still performed very well. It was great seeing Vince Wilfork nearly get a pick after disrupting a play. The guy has moves.
Outstanding special teams play
Well…outstanding might be a little excessive to describe the Texans’ special teams group, but they were really good and compared to last year, that is outstanding. They did a great job tackling and avoiding penalties.
Tyler Ervin did a good job on punt/kickoff returns. It is just nice to have some consistency there and not worry about miscues or dropping the ball. It is still early, but I am excited to see what Ervin brings.
The Texans came out with a W while everyone else it the division lost. There are some things they have to clean up, but Texans fans should be excited at what they saw. The rookie wide receivers performed well. Brock Osweiler was putting the ball in the right place and he is not scared to sling it.
Next week we face off against the Chiefs who pulled off a 21 point come back and overtime upset. That won’t happen against this Texans D. Texans, it’s time to get our playoff revenge.