This was the way it should be. I pulled into the Reliant Stadium parking lot and felt the team would play well, but I have to admit they were better than I thought. Not that I doubted them, but I didn't think they were ready to shake off mistakes the way they did today.
Matt Schaub brushed off a couple of sacks and a pick to throw the 77-yard TD pass to Andre Johnson. The offensive line overcame penalties to show a nasty side that started to develop late last year. And the defense played bend-but-not-break on the first drive only, to not really bend again.
Mario Williams racking up two sacks and scoring a touchdown was the stuff of Hollywood. Travis Johnson got some first-round draft choice redemption as well with his first career pick.
The strange feeling you're having is one of confidence in your football team. Suddenly you think of all the possibilities of 2007 in a new light. You could see this coming with the strong preseason performances, but still had doubts because of seeing them fall short in the past. They overcame some early errors to dominate a team that went to the playoffs last year.
[Side note: Just wondering if any team will ever agree to appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks" again.]
Fans are giddy and they should be. But Gary Kubiak and company have to hunker down and get ready to face Carolina. The next two games are very tough and they'll have to be very good to avoid being 1-2 going to Atlanta, so there is much to do. But this is the ideal start. Doses of confidence for Schaub and Mario, a B-12 shot for the fans and, most importantly, a 1-0 record.
By the way, after Gary Kubiak gave Chester Pitts some aggressive counseling on the sideline, Schaub went over to the O-line in an effort to keep things calm. There was a lot of football to be played, including the marathon drive that broke Kansas City's back in the fourth quarter. It looks like those offseason signs of leadership have shown up in the regular season.
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