All eyes were on quarterback Brock Osweiler when the Texans opened the season on Sunday.
And if you are a Texans fan, you had to like what you saw. Osweiler was 22 of 35 for 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception with a QB rating of 89.1 as the Texans beat the Chicago Bears 23-14. Osweiler was efficient, in charge of the offense, and could have had a much bigger day if his receivers could hold the ball. We won’t know if the Texans have the right guy for quite some time. But for one game, it sure looks good.
But it was not just Osweiler. The Texans used a blueprint they hope will be a big part of their season. They ran the ball effectively, with Lamar Miller grinding out over 106 yards on 28 carries. The defense, gashed by Jay Cutler in the first half, came up big in the second half, shutting out the Bears. They got little pressure on Cutler in the first half, but bedeviled him in the second. The Texans finished the game with five sacks.
Rookie receiver Will Fuller had 107 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Whitney Mercilus had two sacks. Andre Hal had a clutch interception that helped swing momentum. The Texans dominated time of possession and yardage.
In short, the Texans did what good teams are supposed to do — take care of their home field and beat teams they are supposed to beat. If Osweiler can produce at this level moving forward, this could be a very interesting season on Kirby.
There were some negatives. J.J. Watt looked nothing like himself; he clearly is not recovered from back surgery. He will need to be much more effective moving forward. Jadeveon Clowney continues to be an “almost” guy. He almost gets sacks. He almost makes plays. But he never quite gets there. He was credited with a sack when Cutler ran out of bounds. But he could have done a lot more.
Fuller dropped what would have been a certain touchdown pass in the first half. Osweiler threw a bad pick on the Texans first drive. The Texans defense gave up a big play before the half that led to a Bears touchdown. The receivers dropped too many balls. The offensive line had some breakdowns. There were too many unnecessary penalties. Brian Cushing left with an early injury that does not looks good.
But that’s nitpicking. In the end, the Texans got a much-needed win to start the season.
And they might finally have a quarterback.