Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans: 5 Things We Learned from Houston's 41-7 Win
It's hard to believe after a one-sided game such as this that Houston was an underdog headed into the opening kickoff.
The game was pretty lopsided, but there are several things we learned about the team today. Let's take a look at a few of them now.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate Is the Best Running Back Duo in the NFL
For the first time in a long time, the Texans had all of their running backs healthy and performing well in the same game. And to say they performed well today would be a huge understatement.
For the first time in team history, a player had more than 100 yards both in rushing and receiving (Foster) as well as two backs with more than 100 yards rushing.
The duo combined for 338 yards of total offense as well as three touchdowns.
With the big lead in the third quarter, the Texans continued to pound the ball, and Tennessee just couldn't stop them.
If you want to contest that Arian Foster isn't the best running back in football, you can make a case. But I will defend to the death my argument that there isn't a better one-two punch in the league than Foster and Tate.
Matt Schaub Is Pretty Great When the Running Game Is Working
For weeks, Matt Schaub has been getting hammered by the local media and fans. But today, he succeeded in silencing a few of them for at least a week.
His performance, 18-of-23 passing for 296 yards and a pair of touchdowns, was as solid as one can have in a big game. He didn't even throw an incomplete pass in the second half, but that might be watered down since Houston was run-heavy by that point.
It just proves my argument the past two weeks that if the running game is actually working, then Matt Schaub is as good, as this team needs to win and win big.
Just imagine what he'll be able to do when Andre Johnson gets back.
Brian Cushing Is the Defensive MVP Thus Far
All of the steroid and urinalysis jokes aside, Brian Cushing is playing up to his 2009 All-Pro level right now. He is in on every single play and he never misses a tackle.
An honorable mention to Johnathan Joseph, who really brought the wood a couple of times today, but Cushing is leading this defense right now.
There's a reason he is wearing the headset in his helmet this year over DeMeco Ryans.
Safety Is a Big Concern Going Forward
For the entire run of this franchise, the Texans have never had a playmaking NFL-caliber safety. $20 million later, they finally have one in Danieal Manning. Unfortunately for Houston, Manning came up holding his hamstring after his second interception of the season to bust up a potential big play.
I noticed it before a lot of others on Twitter, but sure enough, after a commercial, we see Manning being loaded onto a cart and taken to the locker room.
Later in the game, he's on the sideline in street clothes and resting on crutches. I can't begin to explain how big of a loss this is. If rookie Shiloh Keo has to play meaningful snaps against teams with better quarterback play, the defense could be in big trouble.
There's still no official work on Manning, but it obviously doesn't look good.
Houston Is Clearly the Best Team in This Division
Like I said in all of my articles last week, there was no reason to panic at the 3-3 start for Houston. The remainder of their schedule is pretty fluffy, and their competition in the AFC South is mediocre to terrible.
If the Texans don't go 6-0 in the division this year, then there is something very wrong. Nine wins should win this division without a doubt. And Houston could be there a few weeks before Christmas.