H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Monday, October 02, 2006

Texans Win! Texans Win!

Your eyes do not deceive you. Houston Texans 17, Miami Dolphins 15. Man, that was sweet to type. A few quick thoughts on yesterday's triumph:

1. DeMeco Ryans is a force of nature. He was all over the field again, and his play was at least partially responsible for Super Mario's sacks (more on this in a second). A few informed pundits opined that we might look back at him as the best defensive player taken in the 2006 NFL Draft, and that's looking more and more likely each Sunday.

2. To say I was excited by Mario Williams' play would be a bit of an understatement. I actually leaped out of my seat and cheered like I haven't in a long time when he got that first sack. I can only imagine how great it must have felt to have gotten that monkey off his back. What's more, the crowd's frenzied reaction seemed to flip a switch on No. 90. He began manhandling the opposition afterward. I'll be the first to admit that it shouldn't take the crowd to light a fire under him, but it was still a sight to behold. And his tip of Ronnie Brown's pass on the two-point conversion to preserve the win...wow. I think the Dolphins may have unwittingly unleashed an animal on the rest of the NFL.

3. I hate repeating myself, but this point bears repeating: David Carr is not the problem. Once again, he managed the game well and made the throws that needed to be made. Although the stat line shows he was intercepted once, he wasn't; Andre Johnson actually caught the pass and had it ripped away afterward. Carr's passer rating after a quarter of the season? 108.9, second in the league behind Charlie Batch (who started one game a few weeks ago). 'Nuff said.

4. Andre Johnson was simply amazing yesterday. Some of the catches he made were the stuff of highlight reels. The guy is on his way to becoming a perennial Pro Bowler, and his success this season only magnifies the shortcomings of the previous regime last year.

5. As good as he is, I think Andre's success can be summed up in two words: Eric Moulds. He gives the Texans the first legitimate second receiver they've ever had, and he forces defenses to pick their poision. That's something that Jabar Gaffney and Corey Bradford could never do on their best days. Moulds' four catches yesterday were huge, and none was bigger than the 28-yarder he reeled in to keep the Texans' drive alive in the fourth quarter.

6. The running game has a loooooooooong way to go. Dayne had a couple of nice carries, but he and Gado were stuffed at the line far too many times.

7. The secondary looked better, but I fear that is more a function of Miami's terrible offense than any substantive improvement. Dunta Robinson got burned. A lot. And Lewis Sanders, while probably a genuinely good human being, should not be starting at CB in the NFL. The secondary should replace the numbers on the back of their jerseys with bullseyes.

8. I really liked the blitz-heavy calls on defense. Someone commented after the game that the secondary should be spending as little time in coverage as possible, and I agree. It seems obvious that the more time the defensive backs have in space, the more likely they are to get exposed. As such, it makes sense to throw the kitchen sink at the QB as much as humanly possible to minimize the time Robinson, Sanders, Earl, and Brown can get smoked. With the statue that is Drew Bledsoe awaiting the Texans on 10/15/06, I hope this increased aggression becomes a habit.

9. Gotta love that Kubiak got his first win. While the Dolphins appear to be far worse than anyone thought they'd be, a win is a win. Now it's on to Dallas to face the hated Cokeboys in two weeks. I can't wait.


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