The Texans are under construction. You’re observing two by fours being put in place. Dry wall is going up. Plumbing is being installed. Debris may fall. You don’t know what it’s all going to look like but the designer has a pretty plan and you’ll just have to wait to see it completed.
We’re in the thick of it right now. Bill O’Brien is building a new, complex offense and trying to get it up and running properly for opening day, three weeks from Sunday.
Saturday night, he hopes to show you at least some of it. He’ll want to see his quarterbacks convert third downs, extend drives and score. But that still won’t be the finished product.
Last week, the running game looked good. The passing game, not so much. And the pass defense gave up way too much through all three levels of the depth chart.
But the Texans have looked like a better team in their drills with the Falcons this week. They scored. They stopped drives with picks. They played a much closer version of the brand of ball O’Brien has been preaching.
Now they get together in a game with the team they’ve been knocking heads with this week. It’s like a series of games in other sports. The cliché of “they know each other well” applies. On both sides, you’ll see receivers who have a fresh idea of what to expect from the men who cover them. And the QBs know which corners to throw on.
You get the feeling O’Brien and Romeo Crennel don’t want to show too much. Yet they must see improvement and some proficiency this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how deep into the playbook they’re willing to go to build confidence and momentum.
A big week with Peyton Manning awaits. But Saturday’s showdown with Atlanta is an important step for this squad to show progress. Opening day is coming up fast and construction is far from finished.