It was perfect.
A 24-21 victory in one of the toughest places to play in the league tends to awaken such emotions. The win over Kansas City stirred up feelings of excitement in the Texans locker room that could be expressed simply with a matter-of-fact nod.
It was just that good. That important.
That impressive? Maybe, but in football terms, the Texans (1-2) have plenty of work left to do.
The good feelings were pushed to the side Monday morning.
"I thought our team showed tremendous mental toughness yesterday," head coach Dom Capers said. "We've been through a lot the first three weeks but what my hopes are is it will make us a stronger football team. We certainly have a lot to work on.
"We're back to work this week. We know we've got a good Oakland team coming in here this weekend and we've got a lot of areas we can improve in and that's what we plan on doing."
For starters the Texans would like to avoid a slow start.
Quarterback David Carr led the team on a 57 yard drive to open the game Sunday but tossed an interception in the end zone. The Chiefs marched 80-yards down the field and took a 7-0 lead very quickly.
On the positive, the Texans didn't let the mishap destroy their game.
"The significant thing is we didn't panic," Capers said. "I thought our players did a great job of keeping their poise and their intensity throughout the course of the game and that's what you've got to do.
"Every phase of our team struggled at some point in that game, yet when they struggled another phase picked it up and we were able to hang in there and maintain the poise that it takes and not panic and find the way to make plays at critical times in the game that enabled us to come back and win the football game."
The Texans turned the ball over seven times in the first two games, but did not turn the ball over after Carr's interception.
Defensively the Texans allowed the Chiefs to convert on eight of 13 third down attempts and gave up 364 yards. Chiefs quarterback Trent Green threw for his first three touchdowns of the season.
Houston did start three rookies however, including strong safety Glenn Earl, who started in place of Eric Brown.
"As you look at our defense yesterday, we started three rookies," Capers said. "That's one of the reasons why I feel like our team, if we can stay healthy, will continue to improve week to week."
The team got pressure on the quarterback as the game went on, sacking Green three times – twice on the Chief's final possession.
The defense will have to toughen up against the Raiders, but at the same time continue its success on limiting the big play.
The Texans allowed only one play to go more than 25 yards against the Chiefs and stopped the Chiefs on a fourth-and-one near the goal line. The offense took over on the five and got a field goal to end the half.
Capers was pleased that his team was able to win both of the "two-minute situations."
Marcus Coleman’s 102-yard interception return for a touchdown ended another Kansas City scoring threat.
"Defensively, obviously the play of the game was (Coleman's) interception and 102 yard return for the touchdown," Capers said. "Those are the kind of plays that change the whole game around. They're sitting there going in for a touchdown."
Offensively the Texans converted on only three third downs (3-of-10). According to Capers, that must improve.
The team did well enough in the running game to string together some plays thanks to Jonathan Wells stepped up play. Wells entered the game after starting running back Domanick Davis sprained his ankle.
Houston rushed for 76 yards.
"Anytime that happens you have to adjust and move forward," Capers said. "If you can't run the ball you have a hard time consistently making third downs. We were in a lot more third and long situations than we wanted, but we made some key plays in those situations."
The Texans adjusted well during the game despite being at a statistical disadvantage in total yards (296 to 364) and time of possession (24:53 to 35:07).
With the right preparation, the Texans may rekindle some old feelings Sunday night.
"It kind of fit together and hopefully this gives us something to build on because to me this is a real model of a team victory," Capers concluded.
INJURY REPORT:Capers said Davis will not practice Wednesday and will be listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Brown will also be kept out of practice.
Running back Tony Hollings, wide receiver Corey Bradford and offensive lineman Zach Wiegert will return to practice on a limited basis.