Well, it certainly wasn’t the result that I predicted, but the Houston Texans defeated the Tennessee Titans this Sunday to improve to 2-0 on the season. Let’s review a few important developments from this game.
DeAndre Hopkins had his breakout game Sunday, as predicted by Mike Kerns. Hopkins snagged seven catches for 117 yards and one touchdown (the game-winning touchdown catch in overtime). He performed extremely well, especially considering that only he and Andre Johnson were worth anything in the passing game on Sunday.
Speaking of Johnson, he got a concussion on Sunday and left the game after a rather rough hit by Titans safety Bernard Pollard with just a little over two minutes left in the game. Before the hit, Johnson was having a pretty good day with eight receptions for 76 yards. The concussion Johnson received apparently isn’t too severe, as he is projected to return to the starting lineup for the Sunday game in Maryland against the Baltimore Ravens.
Arian Foster was a lot closer to 2012 Foster on Sunday, putting up a 4.2 yards-per-carry average on 19 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown. He also had the game-tying two-point conversion. Ben Tate also impressed, especially his season-long rush of 60 yards that really bumped up his season average YPC.
The Texans’ defense was a little inconsistent throughout, shutting down the Titans for one drive and then allowing a 99-yard touchdown drive just a few series later. But Brian Cushing was an absolute beast, putting up career highs in sacks (two) and in unassisted tackles (11). In short, he was all over the field on Sunday.
The team’s kicking wasn’t very good at all on Sunday as Randy Bullock missed all three of his attempted field goals. For the season, that’s one make for five tries (a 20 percent accuracy rating), but Bullock did hit both of his extra point attempts, so that’s something.
The punting game went extremely well, and if I was to award a game ball to anyone, it would be a close race between Hopkins and Shane Lechler. The veteran punter had seven punts against the Titans. He finished with a 48.3-yard average and a 42.0 average net gain, with five of his punts landing inside the 20.
Lechler is so good that he’s already earning nicknames like Yellow Jacket from Foster, referring to the suit worn by Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees.
This certainly wasn’t the game I was expecting, but the Texans won again, so the rest doesn’t really matter. Hopefully Johnson will return and the kicking game will be figured out before the Texans face the Ravens in Baltimore this coming Sunday.