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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Commentary

Schaub, Hopkins set offense up for future success


After two weeks, the Houston Texans are 2-0, and even though the team was favored in both games, they were both last-second wins.

It has been a roller coaster ride, but it should feel good to be Texans fans, especially after Sunday’s 30-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans.

Linebacker Brian Cushing and the defense played much better against the Titans than they did in week one against the San Diego Chargers. Some could say that is because Titans quarterback Jake Locker is not on the same level as Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Texans did what they needed to win.

They held Titans running back Chris Johnson under four yards per carry and they also put pressure on the quarterback early and often. Locker did complete 17 passes, but for only 148 yards. The Titans also only rushed the ball for 119 yards. For the Titans to win, it would have had to come from Locker, and he just has not shown that quality yet in his young career.

Texans signal caller Matt Schaub, however, is the opposite, and in more ways than one. Schaub was a guy not many people looked at closely coming out of college. He was a back up in Atlanta before the Texans decided to sign him. Late in the game against Tennessee, Schaub showed why the Texans decided he is the guy to play quarterback in Houston.

Yes, Schaub did make a crucial mistake on a pick-six that put the Texans down eight points – but then he responded. He took the Texans all the way down the field to tie the game. Then, after a defensive stand, Schaub put the team in position for a game-winning field goal.

Even after the kick was missed, Schaub took the team down the field and hit rookie receiver Deandre Hopkins twice on the final drive, including the deciding touchdown, for the win.

The big thing to take away from the game is not Schaub’s ability to bounce back – we have seen that before. What Hopkins did in the second half of the game was huge. He not only secured the win for Houston, but also set the team up for many more options in the long run.

Other teams’ defensive coordinators now must respect Hopkins’ abilities opposite wide receiver Andre Johnson. If Johnson can come back healthy next week from his apparent head injury, this offense could begin to take off.

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