Three days after the demoralizing loss to the New York Jets, the Houston Texans organization seems to be in the right mind to rebound and bounce back in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. The shock that the team, staff and fans all felt on Sunday as the Jets punched the Texans in the mouth seems to have dissipated some and alas there is hope.
Interviews on Houston’s Sportsradio 610 with Coach Gary Kubiak, Matt Schaub, Eric Winston and Duane Brown all showed promise of the Texans realizing what malfunctioned against the Jets, accepting it and being focused on correcting what needed to be corrected for the team to get back on track. Matt Schaub seemed confident in the team going forward despite their loss, noting that they know exactly what steps and adjustments they need to make to turn things around. ‘Understanding what happened’, ‘coming out all week with a sense of urgency to get better’, and ‘being fully prepared’ were some of the key factors that Schaub stated were needed to right the ship.
He’s got that “urgency” part right. If there is one thing that was missing against the Jets, it was that.
“We have to live 6 days with the bad taste in our mouth until the next game to get a better taste in our mouth,” stated Schaub admitting the team’s extreme disappointment with their performance and loss. It’s comforting that it isn’t just the fans who were left with a bad taste in their mouth after that game.
Getting rid of the bad tastes of a loss and having urgency to get better is only part of the remedy. The Team is also facing the difficult task of diagnosing problems and fixing them.
Offensive Tackle Duane Brown pointed out that one of the problems was how difficult it was for them to adjust to the 3-4 Defense and constant Blitzing that the Jets were throwing at them from all different directions. It’s a problem that they are aware of and are correcting this week to give Schaub more time no matter who they’re facing. Jokingly yet with confidence Brown said, “I got Vandenbosch.”
The Titans Defense is no joke, so I certainly hope he does.
Jaques Reeves and Kevin Walter, who were missing elements against the Jets, should be making their return to the starting line-ups. Reeves will offer some much needed experience to the Texans Secondary, while Kevin Walter should be able to take some pressure off of Andre Johnson giving Schaub a legitimate number 2 Receiver and giving the Titans Secondary another challenge to account for. Safety Eugene Wilson may also be ready for action for the first time since Brett Favre’s cheap-shot gave him a knee injury in the third week of the Pre-season. Wilson is a strong hitter who offers decent run-support from the Safety position, so having him back could really help the Texans Defense put the kibosh on the Titans running game. Trust me…they need it.
First round draft pick, Brian Cushing saw quite a bit of action in the first game of his career. He missed all of Pre-Season and sucked up the 1st game butterflies to be a solid presence at Linebacker. Cushing should improve upon that this week and really aide to the resistance against the Titans running game.
Titans Quarterback Kerry Collins is nowhere near as mobile as Mark Sanchez was, so Mario Williams and Connor Barwin should be able to really get some legitimate pressure to break up the passing game. Let’s hope Frank Bush has a good plan in place to get this done.
All in all, the Texans Defense should have a very good game.
On offense, from the statements of Winston and Brown in their interviews, expect the Texans Offensive Line to take the steps needed to give both the Passing game and the Running game a boost. In his Rookie season, Steve Slaton was able to run all over the Titans Defense and we shouldn’t expect any less this week even with his slow start. Once Slaton get’s his motor running, Schaub will be able to go over top and hit Andre Johnson on a few long shots. Fear not, Texans fans, the Offense will return this week.
Halfway through Week 1 and Week 2, things are looking like they may turn around for the Texans. We’ll just have to wait and see. Inevitably, the Tennessee Titans are always a physical team who put up quite a fight. Expect this week to be no different, but I expect the Texans to bounce back with a close win. This week better not be bookended by disgusting Texans losses.
Here’s to optimism. Prove me right, boys. Prove me right.
PS – Dunta- You can redeem yourself this week.