If it's true that the fabric of a team is revealed under adversity, fans should discover a lot about the Texans this Sunday.
Not only is the team 0-2 a season after going 2-14, but injuries to several key players have compounded. Entering the year, the Texans already were at a disadvantage without Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis (broken foot) and linebacker Kailee Wong (knee). When projected starting cornerback Demarcus Faggins (foot) went down in training camp, that left another gaping hole.
Entering Week 3, those three players continue to sit out, and they are joined by several other Texans, including rookie starting left tackle Charles Spencer, who is done for the year with a broken leg suffered at Indy, and cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who hurt his ankle on the opening kick return of the season. Injuries to center Mike Flanagan and defensive end Antwan Peek also are concerning, though both could play this weekend against Washington.
Of course, it's premature to hit the panic button. The season is young, and many of those players (minus Spencer) could return healthy soon. But it's hard to overstate the importance of winning this Sunday.
This two-game home stand leading up to the bye week will go a long way in building confidence heading into what is (in my opinion) the most anticipated game of the Texans' season--at Dallas.
I know, I know. One step at a time. Don't look ahead. Each game counts the same, etc. I agree with all of that. But just like a monster dunk in basketball can get the crowd on its feet and create momentum (even though it's still two points), I think a win in Dallas could do the same for the Texans' season.
That's why it is so important that the Texans take care of business at Reliant Stadium this Sunday against Washington, and the following weekend versus the Miami Dolphins. If a shorthanded Texans' squad can pull together wins against two playoff-caliber teams in successive weeks, that will go a long way in building confidence.
Speaking of which, in the locker room this afternoon, ABC-13 sports anhcor Tim Melton asked tight end Mark Bruener what comes first: winning or confidence. To paraphrase Bruener, the veteran said confidence comes before winning, but that winning breeds confidence.
I agree. And now is about the time that the Texans could use a win to validate all of the hard work that they've put in this offseason and during the preseason.
Everyone knows the Texans have suffered enough hardship over the years. Now it's time for their character to come out. **
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