The Houston Texans had another good game after they defeated the Denver Broncos 18-17, capped by a Ryan Griffin touchdown until Travis Labhart caught a two-point conversion pass from rookie Tom Savage to win the game.
In what was a game full of highs and lows, the Texans pulled it off against the AFC’s top team.
Griffin led the Texans with five receptions for 71 yards. His biggest play of the game was when he caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tom Savage with a minute to go, and then the Texans successfully completed a two-point conversion which was the difference maker in the victory.
LVP-The Rushing Game
Although the Texans offense had a strong outing in this one, the rushing game didn’t do its job. Six different guys attempted to run with the ball, and they only picked up 79 yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. Rookie Alfred Blue led the team in rushing, but he only picked up 27 yards on nine carries.
Obviously, the team will be better with Arian Foster (who was absent today,) but the other guys behind him will need to pick it up. Foster is coming off of back surgery and won’t be able to do this alone.
X-Factor -Whitney Mercilus
Mercilus is being counted on to be one of the Texans top defensive players this year, especially in the pass-rushing situations. In this game, he delivered big time.
He finished with seven tackles, one sack, and a tackle for a loss, and managed one quarterback hit. Mercilus was frustrating Denver’s offensive line all game, and it was a big factor in slowing down their heavy passing attack during crucial situations.
Key Stat- 0 Turnovers
This killed the Texans last season, who turned the ball over 30 times. Going up against one of the best defenses in the league, they managed to avoid turning the ball over all game long.
It’s a huge situation they won, and they even forced two turnovers today. If the Texans can avoid doing this constantly during the regular season, it will strongly help their chances of making the playoffs. Bill O’Brien is looking like he did a fine job helping this team in the turnover department.
What This Win Means-
Unfortunately for the Texans, this win doesn’t count towards the regular season, because they played some of their best football in a long time. But they definitely should feel more confident after how they’ve played the last two games, taking down the Atlanta Falcons and the reigning AFC champions.
They also can take away things from this game, such as more work needed on the running game, but to also open up the passing game, which worked well today.
Thursday, August 28th
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers