A true test

Last season Gary Kubiak's Denver offense scored 49 points on Philadelphia in the Mile High City. Two backs had over 100 yards and Jake Plummer threw four touchdown passes. If the Texans match those totals, I'm having everyone over to my house for a champagne party. If they get half of that, I'll still be happy.

Philly got defensive end Darren Howard through free agency to help them on the edge. Jevon Kearse is no longer dominant, but still 'freakish' enough to get to the QB with alarming regularity. Brian Dawkins has lost a step at safety but plays with pride and poise and will have plenty in the tank on opening day. The bottom line is the Texans' offense will have its hands full and I'm starting to wish we could petition the league to open with the Jets instead of the Eagles.

The Eagles' offense has a healthy Donovan McNabb back in action and just enough weapons to define this team as a playoff contender. Brian Westbrook is an absolute killer as a receiver out of the backfield. L.J. Smith is a receiving TE who you can't forget about. The Eagles only have 22 players from the team that played in the Super Bowl 20 months ago, but it's a good 22. This is an organization that knows what it's doing, the T.O. mini-era notwithstanding.

McNabb and Mario Williams have something in common as first-round picks that were booed by some of their fans on draft day. Here's hoping that things work out just as well for Williams as they have for McNabb. If Mario finds his way into the Chunky Soup campaign, we're golden.

I MC'd the Kemah Boardwalk event to kick off Texans week and realized it's my fifth time doing these events. It still feels so brand new, but we're really building a tradition with these events. Kemah was a blast with Barry Badon and the Bayou Boys, The Bullpen Pep Band, Cheerleaders, Toro and last but not least, a bunch of marquee players (DeMeco Ryans, C.C. Brown, Shantee Orr, Fred Weary, Lewis Sanders and Wali Lundy).

I have to say that the Bullpen Pep Band has never sounded better. I asked director Lamar Burkhalter about it and he said they've made personnel changes over the years that have really improved the sound. That they've weeded out some of the guys who didn't fit in. It sounds like what the team itself is doing. Here's hoping for some sweet victory music on Sunday.



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