By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2011 TexSport Publications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 7, 2011) In their ninth game of the 2011 season, the Houston Texans (6-3) totally dominated a weak Cleveland Browns squad 30-12 in front of 71,000 fans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday
That win keeps them alone at the top of the AFC South Division.
What can I say about the Texans at this point in the season?
As by father used to say, “Opinions are like….” well you know the rest. I will not elaborate on the prose of my father.
However on some levels, he was right.
No matter what my or anyone else’s opinion out there is concerning the Texans, one thing is certain; they ARE having the best season of their short and somewhat uneventful life this season.
So far, 2011 has been a banner year for the Texans. No one can deny that.
But what is the reason?
Some may say it was the addition of Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator that made the difference.
Others may say it is the overall status of the AFC South and the Texans route to the playoffs is a direct result of the weak teams they have to play this year.
I case might also be made that the Texans have finally put together a squad of players that finally “click” together and for 60 minutes each Sunday, put together an effort that “gets the job done.”
I really do not know what real reason is.
I do think the hiring of Wade Phillips was one of the catalysts that are making an impact this year.
I have always thought he was one of the best defensive minds in professional football.
The defense is performing levels above what they have in the past and it is showing on the field.
I also think the overall attitude of the team has been conducive to success this season.
Never have I seen more players putting forth the extra effort on both sides of the ball to make sure the Texans come out of a game with a win.
It seems to me that if the offense fails on a series of downs, the defense is right there to pick up the slack and make up for the failure.
The same goes for the offense taking it up a notch when the defense has occasionally hit a bump in the road.
More players than ever have been contributing in scoring on offense and never have this team hustle more of defense than has obscured this year.
It was clear to me that the offensive line was playing above and beyond against the Browns.
When a team has two players rushing for over 100 yards (Arian Foster-124 yards and Ben Tate-115 yards) some of the credit has to be given to the offensive line.
The opened holes when there was not any; along with keeping them open for the ball carrier to get through.
The Texans defense sacked Browns quarterback Colt McCoy four times, holding him to one passing touchdown.
The absence of key players due to injury have certainly put the Texans at a disadvantage; but it seems to me they have adapted well to those loses and have filled in the holes to get the job done with what they have.
This Texans team can go along way this year. How far is the question?
Can they make the playoffs? I believe so.
How far they can go is the only question that really matters.
As in any endeavor, only time will tell.