The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Broncos Edition
Patrick D. Starr
The Houston Texans invaded Mile High Stadium and dominated. The Texans' offense and defense were dominant from the start and were focused on leaving Denver with a win. The Texans came out firing long on a pass to Andre Johnson to score. Matt Schaub spread the ball around to his entire receiving corps. They had very little resistance in the passing game and were able to pound the ball on the ground. The score isn’t indicative of the dominance the Texans displayed on offense or defense, but it was truly a one sided game.
FINAL SCORE: Texans 31 Broncos 25
Texans Regular Season Record: 3-0
Texans Divisional Record: 1-0
Texans AFC Conference Record: 3-0
Texans Vs. NFC Conference Record: 0-0
Texans Total Yards: 436
Broncos Total Yards: 375
Texans Rushing Yards: 152
Broncos Rushing Yards: 59
Texans Passing Yards: 284
Broncos Passing Yards: 316
Texans TOP: 31:40
Broncos TOP: 28:20
The Texans' defense was exceptional in this game versus the Broncos. Peyton Manning was being pressured the entire game and hit often by Texans defensive end JJ Watt. The Texans' offense even matched the intensity of the defense by coming out explosive in the first quarter. Matt Schaub connected on two long passes downfield where the Texans receiver beat coverage for touchdowns. When Schaub took a vicious hit by Joe Mays, he still completed the pass to Andre Johnson but unfortunately Johnson didn’t have complete control of the ball and Champ Bailey kicked the ball out for an incompletion. I was thoroughly impressed with the balance of the team as a whole. Great win against a great team. The Texans were tested and passed convincingly.
The Texans' defense gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter which made the game seem much closer than what actually happened on the field. Brice McCain was in coverage against Brandon Stokely and let him get behind him and Peyton Manning was able to lob a pass just over the reach of McCain for a quick score. The score came on the heels of a fumbled ball by Ben Tate, who was not as effective in the game as he was the previous week versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. There also were a few plays by the Texans' defense where they could have created turnover opportunities and didn’t follow through. Johnathan Joseph (2), Brice McCain (1), and Glover Quin (1) all had opportunities to intercept the ball, and they dropped the pass. They will have to clean this up going forward especially when they go against teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions. The turnover differential can be the difference in a dominant win and a close loss.
The offensive line had a rough game against the pass rush of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. The Texans gave up a safety in the beginning drive of the game to Dumervil. The Texans also allowed Schaub to get beat up pretty badly due to the hits he took after he released the ball, and the Broncos were penalized but they shouldn’t have gotten that close. I am sure that head coach Gary Kubiak will be on the offensive line to clean up their act going into the next game because Schaub must be protected in order to finish the season. Derek Newton had a bad game and there are multiple factors that went into why he did, but it all starts with Von Miller. The overall speed of the game for the second year tackle was a bit more than he was prepared for this game. Newton eventually was taken out of the game and replaced with Ryan Harris, the free agent tackle who was released by the Broncos prior to the regular season. Ryan came into the game, filled in admirably and was an unsung hero of the game.
*Matt Schaub injured his ear when he was hit by Joe Mays and his helmet was knocked off of his head and a piece of his ear was torn. Schaub also went into the locker room for an x-ray on his shoulder, but x-rays were negative and Schaub is doing fine.
See the Game Highlights here