Houston Texans Need Not Panic; Losing Andre Johnson Doesn't Spell End of Season

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIOctober 4, 2011

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 02:  Eric Winston #73, Mike Brisiel #65 and Duane Brown #76 of the Houston Texans stand over wide reciever Andre Johnson #80 as was helpled by the training staff after going down with an injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Reliant Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

After Andre Johnson left the game with an apparent leg injury, clouds of uncertainty and doubt loomed over what was a nice day of output for the Houston Texans.

After pounding the Steelers, Houston looked stronger than ever as a contender, but one key piece looked to be missing.

With Andre Johnson out for at least three weeks, the Texans may not look as legitimate as they once did.

Fear not though, Houston fans, for the team can survive and thrive without their best player on the field.

Another AFC South team showed that losing a star-caliber player can have devastating effects on the season, but the Texans didn't lose Peyton Manning.

The team lost Andre Johnson, a wide receiver, who can be serviceably replaced with players like Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and others.

Matt Schaub is a prolific enough passer to overcome some of the obstacles that he will face without Johnson.

Though talented beyond belief, Johnson no longer defines the Texans.

Rather, I'd be excited as a Texan fan to see just how good Schaub really is.

Don't forget, either, that the Texans have a healthy, two-headed running back tandem that can cause fits for defenses as Arian Foster picks up tough yards and Ben Tate gashes defenses.

Without Johnson, the Texans may be a bit more limited offensively, but the team has other weapons with which to rely on.

As such, look for Houston to continue an above-average (though slightly and understandably hindered) offensive output.

On the other side of the ball, the Texans have had a stout defense that bullies other teams out of the game.

With an exception for a hiccup against New Orleans, the Texans have run an attacking, successful defense and are stopping teams dead in their offensive tracks.

Just last week, Houston played like a bounty was placed on Ben Roethlisberger's head, trashing the Steeler quarterback enough times to injure him.

With new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Texans should continue to slow down other teams' offensive attacks.

Now that the team has a reliable defense, as well as a good group of players on the offensive side of the ball, losing Andre Johnson isn't the end of the world, or the season, or the Super Bowl mission.

Houston, we don't have a problem.