A head coach prepares for every game with a specific plan in mind. As Gary Kubiak starts his eighth season as the leader of the Houston Texans, his typical approach to a game is well-known by now.
He will want to establish the rushing attack, have his quarterback throw some short passes to a variety of receivers and rely on play action to open up the deep routes. Despite what the general public believes, the order in which these take place will change from game to game.
In the Texans' 27-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Matt Schaub started the proceedings by going 5-of-5 on a six-play drive that led to a Randy Bullock field goal. The rest of the first half was mostly airborne, as the offense ran just 11 times compared to 26 pass attempts.
The second half was perfectly balanced, with the Texans evenly dividing their 36 plays between the air and the ground.
Domination by the offensive line and the defensive front seven made it possible for the visiting team to outgain its hosts by a 174-yard margin (246 yards to 72 yards).
It is certainly true that the final 30 minutes amounted to a battle between the second and third strings of each team. According the Associated Press (h/t Vikings.com), Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway all sat out for the Vikings, and Toby Gerhart started in place of NFL 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson.
Houston decided to hold back even more players, and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle accounted for 10 missing starters. The final score may have amounted to nothing more than a victory over the bottom half of the Minnesota roster.
It still offered the Texans coaching staff a means to assess where its overall personnel stands midway through the preseason. Some upcoming decisions regarding certain positions will be influenced by the lopsided outcome of this contest.