Gary Kubiak rested plenty of starters against Minnesota but that doesn't mean he was throwing in the towel. "You want to win every time out there," he said in our pre game interview on Texans Radio.
I was told things were actually pretty calm in the locker room at the half. I thought there might have been some major 'aggressive counseling' after the team trailed 13-10 at the break and looked a bit sloppy with four penalties in the first two quarters and two missed tackles on Zach Line's 61 yard catch and run for the Vikes' only TD of the night.
Houston came out smoking in the second half and scored the game's final 17 points to make it a dominant 27-13 victory.
Things we liked:Cierre Wood running for 59 yards as an almost 'forgotten' man in media training camp talk for the last two weeks.
Case Keenum engineering two second half touchdown drives and living up to the praise that Kubiak has shown him this camp.
T.J. Yates shaking off a rusty start to ignite the team with a 34 yard TD pass to rookie DeAndre Hopkins. He later brought them into long FG range at the end of the first half.
Hopkins (see above, he caught the ball at its highest point and did what everyone watching him in camp has seen him do all along)
Ryan Griffin looking like he belongs (despite committing the only penalty in the second half)
Terrell McClain racking up two and a half sacks. OK, he's not exactly going to steal the spotlight from JJ Watt but he was productive.
Earl Mitchell making three big plays in the backfield, early.
The offensive line reserves opening holes as the game wore on.
Things that need work:
Special Teams - Randy Bullock connected on a 48 yard FG but has to be deeper on his kickoffs. And a 54 yard miss is forgivable but didn't you think, if that was going to be a miss, distance wasn't going to be the issue? Also, the kickoff return game has to get better. The coaches might need medical attention if average drive start is not better this season. Also, there was Eddie Pleasant's too-soon hit on a punt returner in the first half.
Run blocking for Dennis Johnson - The rookie was constantly greeted by defenders as he took the handoff. Wood fared much better but the holes seemed to be there for him. Andre Ware said during our broadcast that he thought Deji Karim's style fits the offense better than the three undrafted rookies.
Tackling - D.J. Swearinger and Eddie Pleasant missed tackles on a 61 yard TD reception by a fullback. Tackling is one of those things that's hard to work on in training camp.
Lestar Jean's consistency - He's such a big target and had some outstanding moments but must cut down on the drops. It was great to seem him at the times he shined because he's been somewhat ignored by the media as someone who can really help the team this season.
Overall:Miscues aside, the Texans held the Vikings to one TD and got stronger as the game went on. They showed rust early but also showed a lot of talent on several levels of the depth chart. It's a small first step of a long journey.