On September 11th, 2011, we were all witnesses to the most dominant win in Houston Texans franchise history.
Forgive the overused phrase, but this is really the only way to describe Houston's 34-7 season opening victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Statistically speaking, the 34 first-half points are a franchise record, but they also have never looked that good eye test wise. In the nine-plus seasons of Houston Texans football, I cannot remember the team being this dominant in all phases of the game.
Kudos to new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for an outstanding job to prepare the defense. This defense, the one who was among the worst historically, limited (yes, limited) a professional offense to 15 first downs, 236 total yards, one third down conversion and 23 minutes and 16 seconds of possession. With two takeaways and three sacks, two of which by the oft-criticized outside linebacker Mario Williams, it's now official: the defense is not vanilla anymore.
Offensively, the Texans came out roaring as both Ben Tate and Derrick Ward scored first quarter touchdowns in the footsteps of inactive running back Arian Foster. Tate, the third-string back on the depth chart, ended the day with 116 yards. All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson added a third touchdown in the second quarter as part of his seven reception, 95 yard day.
As a big critic of Joe Marciano's special teams unit, I have to give him and his group credit. The coverage teams looked sharp, Neil Rackers was on point, and Danieal Manning and Jacoby Jones had some great returns today. Jones' 79-yard punt return touchdown at the end of the second quarter was the cherry on top of the sundae that was the awesome Texans' Sunday.
Yes, there was some sloppiness to clean up in the form of three offensive turnovers, but that's good, in my opinion, as head coach Gary Kubiak can keep pushing this team to improve and work hard despite their domination of the AFC South's perennial champion. A dominant week one win with plenty of room to improve? Yes, please.
With a 34-7 win the books, the Texans can now look ahead to the Miami Dolphins. For more Texans news and analysis, check out Battle Red Blog - SB Nation's Texans-centric blog.