By Maxwell Morgan
For the first time in franchise history, the Texans are 3-0. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, you really should. These Texans are starting to feel like a special team. I’ve certainly never seen this complete of a team in the ten year history of our franchise.
It looked like the Texans were going to cruise to another commanding road victory midway through the third quarter, when suddenly, Ben Tate fumbled on what was looking like the game sealing drive. The mistake was costly as Peyton Manning pounced on the opportunity to cut our twenty point 31-11 lead down to 31-18. Our offense sputtered with a three and out, and all of a sudden it was clear Peyton had smelled blood in the water.
As a Texans fan, (who has endured countless Peyton Manning come from behind victories) I was having trouble comprehending the déjà vu I was seemingly experiencing as the ref’s and Peyton Manning battled downfield for yet another touchdown. All of sudden our comfortable twenty point lead had vanished to a meager 31-25, six point lead.
We’ve seen it all before, Peyton gets the ball back and marches down field for the game winning touchdown.
No sir! The Texans manage to run down the clock enough to leave Manning with too little time to rain on the Houston win parade. Andre Johnson made a crucial third down catch that allowed us to run the clock down to :33 seconds. With no timeouts, the Broncos were only able to run two plays before time expired. While the victory wasn’t as silky smooth as our previous games, the Texans still gutted out a win on the road against a hungry Denver Broncos team.
The defense was dominant for much of the game. JJ Watt made his presence felt again this week, as he scratched another thing off of his “bucket list”: Sacking Peyton Manning. Speaking of the future hall of fame quarterback, Peyton looked exceptionally pink today. Literally, the guy looked like a giant pink finger puppet. So did Denver head coach John Fox, for that matter. A bunch a pink-O’s. Does Manning wear green make-up in all of his commercials? I’m not going to go so far as to call him an alien, but he sure as hell looked like one today.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had a “warrior-style” epic performance today throwing four touchdown passes to four different people. He got crushed a number of times. At one point he was hit so hard by the Denver pass rush his helmet was blasted clean off his head. He looked dazed as the helmet ripped the flesh off some of his ear and surrounding area leaving him with an Elton John-esque “blood earring” of sorts. Even still, he stood tall in the pocket launching two gorgeous deep touchdown throws. One for Andre. (Schaub’s first pass of the game) And another for Kevin Walter. YES! Kevin Walter! He’s ol’ reliable I suppose.
Ol Schaub-knob gets my player of the game award. I just hope the offensive line can protect him better in the weeks to come, because Texans fans collectively held their breath after every hit he took this week. Thems were some hard hits.
On a side note, the first points of the game came on possibly the weirdest play in football with the Texans allowing Matt Schaub to be sacked in his own end-zone for a safety. The safety gives the team on defense two points, AND they get the ball back. Moreover, the kickoff after the safety is a punt that inevitably leads to good field position for the receiving team. Usually the safety can be a pretty humiliating play, but it ended up having little effect on the momentum.
Enough is enough with these replacement officials. Reports are that officials and the league met all day Sunday, and the two sides are still miles apart with no immediate plans of meeting. They made some pretty awful calls down the stretch in Denver and are excruciatingly slow. They look as if they are in way over their heads every time the camera finds them.
UP NEXT: vs. Tennessee Titans Sunday, September 30th, at 12:00pm @ Reliant Stadium.
The second home game of the season! Against the Titans, another division rival, and traitors formerly known as the Houston Oilers. We should beat them thoroughly and leave them shamed. I smell a blowout, but these division games can be tricky. I’ll be there, I can’t wait!