March 21, 2018

The Rundown: Broncos Edition

One of the more entertaining games of Sunday, the Houston Texans went into Denver and beat the Broncos 31-25, and beat their old nemesis in Peyton Manning. The Texans once again put points on the board and played opportune defense to push their record to 3-0 for the season.

Considered a big test for the Texans, they had flashes of greatness where they had the Broncos all but defeated until a Ben Tate fumble gave the home team some life. Either way, the Texans accomplished their goal for the week going 3-0 for the first time in franchise history.



The Rundown

– This will have zero to do with stats when talking about Matt Schaub, but what he did on Sunday as a leader is what Texans’ fans should be most impressed with. The hits that Schaub took, on consecutive plays, were about as violent as NFL hits can be for an NFL quarterback. Von Miller and Joe Mays both unloaded on Schaub in different ways and, now missing a part of his ear, Schaub only missed one snap. Some call it crazy that he even went back into the game, but after what he went through the 2011 season he showed that this team is better with him on the field. There is a reason that his teammates voted him the captain of their offense once again, and why he is considered a leader. Also, he threw four touchdown passes in the win.

– J.J. Watt has been a one man wrecking ball in the first three games of the season. The level of play Watt has been playing at is something Texans’ fans have never seen from a defensive player in the 10 years at Reliant. If it is not batting balls, it is making impact plays either sacking the quarterback or a tackle for loss. On Sunday, he had 7 tackles and 2.5 sacks in a dominate performance where he is clearly a top five defender in the NFL right now. The scary thing it seems like Watt is getting better as the weeks go by and it is only coming up on week four of the NFL season.




– Quintin Demps’ right hand was fitted for a cast sometime during the beginning of the first half of the game. You could tell his right hand was an issue because at times it looked like he was protecting it from further injury. Seven tackles and one pass deflection later, Demps put together an impressive all around game. He was caught in no man’s land on the touchdown pass to Brandon Stokely in the 3rd quarter, but no game is perfect. Demps has showed to be more reliable in tackling which was a weak point for him coming into this season. Being the 3rd safety in dime personnel has helped Demps confidence wise and look like the player he was supposed to be in Philadelphia as a rookie.

– Brice McCain had a day he would like to soon forget with a dropped interception, penalties and giving up a touchdown pass up the seam.  It was just a bad day. McCain was consistent as the slot corner in 2011, but he has gotten off to a slow start in 2012. He has struggled in his overall game and making some mistakes that we haven’t seen from him before. Opposing teams seem to be targeting him more in the passing game to see if last season’s success was a fluke or not.  Knowing McCain, he will do everything he can to get back on track.

– Musical right side of the offensive line has started and Antoine Caldwell and Derek Newton are being pushed by their backups. Both Ben Jones and Ryan Harris are more than capable to handle the starting duties and it looks like Gary Kubiak and John Benton (offensive line coach) are going to stick with the rotation. When continuity between the offensive line is important, it is times like these where one group would stick for the entire game. This situation has the feeling that Jones will be starting sooner than expected and Harris will be brought in a pinch if Newton is struggling with speed rushers. This is an interesting story line developing during the season.

– Keshawn Martin came to life and showed what he can do when he touches the football, and it looks like he is gaining his confidence back once again. With three touches and 41 total yards, he showed another dimension of the Texans offense. His ability to get north and south on the football field makes him a big play possibility, which is something the Texans offense needs. Look for Martin to get more touches as the season progresses.

Trindon Holliday has been very disappointing to say the least when it comes to his performance on the field. Poor decisions when he needs to return the football and no real big returns in the first three weeks have cast a dark cloud on Holliday’s status with the team. He was put in on special teams and played the gunner position on punt team. Where Holliday goes from here is a question mark, but it is obvious Kubiak is not pleased with what he has gotten out of Holliday in the first two weeks.

– The special teams coverage was much better and punter Donnie Jones was flipping the field with his punts. He averaged 54.2 yards a punt (5 punts) and looks like he is a good fit for the Texans special teams. Things on the special teams side seemed better with Bryan Braman returning from a hamstring issue and Whitney Mercilus playing some good special teams. If the Texans can get their return game figured out, they could be one of the top units in the NFL.

– If you didn’t notice, the inside linebacker play of Brian Cushing and Bradie James has improved since week one. Both triggered down hill multiple times and played the run better, especially on the backside of the play. James made a big play on the goal line which we have not seen from him as a player since his arrival in Houston. If the linebacker play can get consistent enough to be stout against the run, this Texans defense will only get better.


You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: