The Houston Texans played their third preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at the weekend and were defeated 23-31.
Talking about the pre-season and analysing what it means is always difficult, because you never know how much effort players and teams put into the game. Although results mean almost nothing, one could find out which teams are on the rise and which are not.
And it seems the Houston Texans are certainly on the rise.
They are second in total offense and fourth in total defense in the preseason, which is a good sign for eliminating a slow start. The O-line looked sharp and the run-game is fast.
Even with Arian Foster, the starting running back and rushing champ of 2010 sidelined, his backup Ben Tate made the most of his opportunities: 74 yards on just 11 carries and one touchdown.
When Foster is back to game speed this unpredictable and strong running game will help Matt Schaub, who looks shaky from time to time. Schaub has to find his rhythm like Joe Flacco did in his Superbowl run last year: A handful of great plays while also focusing on not making any mistakes will be the key.
There is even another parallel to last year’s Baltimore Ravens: A great defence, which recently has just got even better with the acquisition of Ed Reed.
Reed has playoff experience, obviously by winning the Superbowl. He also brings a new dimension to the team.
While reading opposing quarterback’s eyes and gambling on their throws he established himself as the best ball-hawking safety, still at the age of 34. His eight interceptions in 2010 by playing only 10 games was a real statement of his ability so late in his career.
Ed Reed gives the Houston Texans a better chance to be successful in the playoffs. But as he puts in an interview once, “It takes all of us.”
And that includes Matt Schaub.
What do you think? What are the Texans weak spots and how far can they go this year?
image: © eschipul