The Houston Texans have completed the first quarter of the season and have not yet lost a game. This result comes as somewhat of a surprise to Texans fans. Not because the team is incapable of making big plays and winning games, but because this is uncharted territory for the Texans.
In this state, football is king. That fact alone makes some think the Texans deserve more play in the headlines. However, in the NFL the Texans are overshadowed by the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Steelers, Ravens, etc. These are teams having enough star power, winning seasons, championships, and nationwide appeal to spare. Indeed the Texans are virtual newcomers to the proverbial “contender list”, and have only had a winning record in recent seasons. So the team finds itself here – on the Monday morning grey list – with no losses but a serious air of skepticism surrounding that record.
Eyebrows are certainly raised. This is especially so after the Texans’ convincing wins against the Broncos in week 3 and Titans in week 4. But it still begs the question – is this success merely a fluke or the fruits of hard work? Some say definitely a fluke because the Texans have not played any team worth its weight in footballs. Others say a win is a win and the Texans have played hard enough to earn an undefeated record.
While there will always be naysayers, none of the Texans’ first games were “gimme” games. Teams like the Broncos and Titans were poised to give Houston significant competition. The Broncos did that, the Titans, not so much. Even the Dolphins season opener was not without missteps or without opportunities for the other team to take the shot and turn the game around. But none of those things happened. And so here are the Texans – undefeated.
Regardless of the record, there are still those that say the Texans have not received their just due. However, it seems the Texans are content to remain under the radar for now. Some teams come into the season with Super Bowl talk surrounding them. Consider the Packers, for instance. Even if they are a 2 – 2 team, Super Bowl talk is anything but abnormal in Green Bay. For the Texans, no one is really talking. Led by head coach Gary Kubiak’s understated optimism, no one on the team is talking fast and loose about February 2013. Instead, the team has adopted the “business as usual” attitude to winning week after week. Instead of making the wins bigger than they are, the players and staff consider the wins just a part of coming to the office every day – an expected, if not required, part of being a pro football player.
Despite the often poor showings of the Texans’ opponents, and regardless of how the record came to be, Houston is playing quality, confident, and convincing football. QB Matt Schaub looks as good as ever and finds a way to connect to anyone willing to catch the ball. And then there is Wade Phillips’ defense . Not only is DE J.J. Watt playing Pro-Bowl caliber ball, but the entire group is so formidable that even they contributed two touchdowns to the team’s efforts against the Titans on Sunday. No one can take that away from the Texans.
In the end, the Texans may not be discussed in the primetime lineup on ESPN. But one thing they are today is 4 – 0 and contenders at the very least.