Digging Deep: Denver Edition
Patrick D. Starr
With a 31-25 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Texans moved to 3-0 for the first time in their brief history. After taking a 20-point lead going into the 4th quarter, the Texans allowed 14 points, but managed to hang on to leave Denver with a six-point win. This game was also the first time the Texans have beaten Peyton Manning in his home stadium.
The number of touchdowns Matt Schaub threw in this game. He was 17-30 for 290 yards and 4 touchdowns. While the running game had some success, Schaub was really the guy who carried the Texans on Sunday, accounting for all of their touchdowns.
The number of pass plays over 40 yards the Texans had. Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter both had long touchdown catches while Lestar Jean caught a shorter pass and turned it into a big gain. It is good to see the passing game make big plays because it keeps the defense honest and opens up more room for the run game.
The number of yards per carry the Broncos averaged. The Texans’ defense played well, not allowing the Broncos to get anything going on the ground. The Broncos ran the ball 21 times compared to 52 pass attempts. While the Texans’ big lead contributed to some of this imbalance, the Broncos knew their only chance to get yards was through the air.
The Broncos’ third down efficiency. The Broncos had 17 third down opportunities and only converted 6 of them. The Texans did a good job of stopping the Broncos on third down and getting the ball back to their offense.
Matt Schaub was only sacked one time on Sunday, but it was for a safety, which led to 2 points for the Broncos. If the Broncos had scored at the end of the game, those 2 points could have been the difference between winning and losing for the Texans.
The Texans lost the turnover battle on Sunday, committing two turnovers (3 if you count the safety) while only forcing one. Matt Schaub threw his first interception of the year, which led to three points for the Broncos at the end of the first half. Ben Tate also fumbled in the fourth quarter, which led to a touchdown for the Broncos. These two turnovers were really the only reason the Broncos were in the game, but luckily the Texans had enough firepower early on to prevent the Broncos from coming back all the way.
The Texans allowed Peyton Manning to throw for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. While a lot of this yardage was because of the Broncos’ big deficit, he made some big pass plays in the fourth quarter to make the game closer than it should have been.