It wasn’t pretty. Actually, by any metric, it was downright ugly. But the Texans checked off an important box by beating the Kansas City Chiefs 19-12.
The same Chiefs team that embarrassed them at NRG in the opener last season. The same Chiefs team that humiliated them in the playoffs 30-0 at NRG last season. The same Chiefs team that had won 11 straight regular season games.
This time, the Texans grinded out an important win. But it wasn’t easy.
The Texans’ offense struggled against a very good defense. Brock Osweiler threw two picks and Lamar Miller could not find running room. After the first quarter, they had trouble moving the ball. Too often, they settled for field goal attempts. But both Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins went over 100 yards receiving. Miller grinded out 83 yards but averaged just 3.3 per carry. Osweiler was 19 of 33 for 268 yards, a TD and the two picks.
But the defense played at a Super Bowl level. J.J. Watt, who looked out of sorts against the Bears, had a fumble recovery and 1.5 sacks. Jadeveon Clowney was a beast. Bernardrick McKinney and Whitney Mercilus were monsters. The group forced three turnovers and had four sacks of Alex Smith.
And the Texans did what they needed to do to get to 2-0. They now have a chance to check off another box at New England on Thursday. They won’t have to face Tom Brady or even Jimmy Garappolo. They will have to beat Jacoby Brissett. And if they play defense like they have the last six quarters, they should be able to do it. Even if it wasn’t pretty.
Still, the Texans once again did what good teams do. They won when they weren’t at their best. We may not know what they are just yet. But so far, so good. A 2-0 record is a great start.
Now we will see what they do from here.