The Houston Texans are the real deal. I know the NFL season is only heading into its fifth week, but this team is not only winning games, it's dominating teams along the way.
I’m not suggesting Texans fans start booking hotel rooms in New Orleans just yet, but it might not be a bad idea to start putting your pennies away just in case. The funny thing is, the idea of a Super Bowl run makes Houston fans a little squeamish.
You see, Houstonians have suffered heartaches on the gridiron for decades dating back to the days of Bum Phillips, Earl Campbell and the “Luv Ya Blue” era. Then throw in those Run and Shoot days under Jack Pardee and Warren Moon and company and all the teams in between and you’ll see why it’s hard for some to be all in just yet.
The other thing to really like about this team is how they all seem confident without getting caught up in the hype.
Yes, if you’ve had a relationship with Houston’s NFL teams you might be waiting to make sure this Texans team is really what it seems to be.
The Texans' 4-0 start means they’ve won the first quarter of the season. Next up, the New York Jets in prime time on Monday Night Football. Come on, you have to be excited about the prospect.
OK, let me help you ease into the idea that your heart is safe with Houston’s NFL leader. This Texans team is in a word ‘balanced.
Now that may not sound like much, but it is one of the things champions have.
“It’s been a good September for our football team,” head coach Gary Kubiak says. “When you look at it from the standpoint of turnovers, getting the ball, protecting the ball, those types of things that they give you a chance to be good every week.”
The Texans are buying into their early success, but in a very healthy way. They really are taking it one game at a time, and not overlooking anyone along the way. In fact, as you leave the locker room there is a sign that reads, "One Focus" and like usual that sign was changed as soon as Sunday's game was over to reflect this week's game against the Jets. Fans might be a bit surprised at how well the hometown team is playing, but the guys on the field say they knew before camp what kind of team they had.
“We can score in every phase of the game, offense, defense, special teams,” receiver Andre Johnson says. “It’s a collective effort.”
In the 38-14 Week Four win over the Tennessee Titans the defense scored 14 points; Matt Schaub threw touchdowns to two different receivers and neither was named Johnson; Arian Foster had a rushing touchdown and Shayne Graham kicked a field goal. How’s that for balance?
“Everything we’ve been through the previous six years has kind of I think put us in the position we’re in now. We’ve been humbled a lot. We don’t take anything for granted."
The defense forced three turnovers while the offense committed none. And how’s this for discipline? The Texans were only penalized once for three yards. The other thing to really like about this team is how they all seem confident without getting caught up in the hype.
“Everything we’ve been through the previous six years has kind of I think put us in the position we’re in now,” tight end Owen Daniels says. “We’ve been humbled a lot. We don’t take anything for granted. We’re working every day.”
It is certainly paying off and it’s why NFL experts are calling the Texans the best team in the league. Of course it is much easier for experts to look at this thing objectively. They haven’t had their hearts broken like most Houston football fans.
In the meantime, this team continues collecting firsts. It is the first 4-0 start by a Houston professional football team since the USFL Houston Gamblers started 5-0 in 1985. Defensive end J.J. Watt is the first player since Carolina Panthers defensive end Kevin Greene in 1998 to have at least a sack and a half in the first four games of a season.
Not only is this team balanced, it is also focused. Watt, the early season Defensive Player of the Year leader, says he can play even better. Really? Can’t wait to see that.
Clearly the Texans need to get a better against the run and they need to run the ball more consistently themselves. There I said it . . . they do have some work to do.
However, they are still dominating teams. I’m no bandwagon fan, but go ahead and reserve me an aisle seat just in case.
Kim Davis is a seasoned journalist with nearly two decades of experience covering sports, news and politics in television, radio and print. She’s a talk show host, keynote speaker, media coach, entrepreneur and health and fitness enthusiast. If you have questions or comments for Kim or about “Chalk Talk”, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.