Vandermeer's View: A Different 2-0


This is the start they needed but it's certainly only the beginning. The NFL is a week to week thing. Maybe a series to series thing. Just ask the Titans, Jags, Jets, Rams (stop me).

The fact that the Texans are 2-0 for the fifth consecutive year and that two of those seasons (2010, 2013) ended in disaster should not alarm you right now. But it should help you to not mortgage any property on the way to Vegas following the 30-14 deconstruction of the Raiders.

By the way, this year is different in that we have two multi-score victories for your team. In '10 and '13 at three of the four wins of the two 2-0 starts were come-from-behind nail biters. Two, in overtime.

Bill O'Brien said from his opening remarks that he wants a tough, physical team. Check.

Houston forced four turnovers and is ahead in that margin 5 after sitting in the NFL cellar at -20 at the end of last season.

Even when the Texans give up plays, they strip, they scrap, seeking possession of the football.

Fumbles by James Jones and Mychal Rivera Sunday magically erased what could have been highly damaging gains. But credit Houston for making those happen (perhaps include D.J. Swearinger on your holiday gift list).

Yes the first two games would have been much closer without the opponent cough-ups.

You know what? Last season would have been a lot more successful without the pick-6's.

Winning means not having to say you're sorry.

The Good

-- Domination on the ground, enabling nearly 39 minutes in possession time.
-- Fitzpatrick taking care of the football and making plays when he had to.
-- Defense getting turnovers, hitting control-alt-delete on threatening Raider drives.
-- Defense holding back the running game, forcing Derek Carr to try to beat them, which was a monumental task for the rookie.
-- J.J. Watt catching a touchdown (why not?)

Needs work

-- I would say they should throw it more but it's hard to argue with success and it's hard to campaign for it in a blowout. Ryan Fitzpatrick has yet to be in a two-score-down, must-throw kind of game. It won't always be blowouts and takeaways but Bill O'Brien certainly realizes this and he's bound to have some passing game wrinkles that he hasn't had to show.
--You get a 'what if they don't get takeaways?' kind of feeling surveying the schedule. Especially when they visit an 0-2 New York Giants team. Are the Texans one of those squads that can often bank on turnovers? How would the record look if they had to live with some of the big plays they've surrendered if they hadn't pried the ball out?

Maybe the tough, physical Texans are that different. Maybe they'll keep getting the ball out, or at least keep inventing different ways to win. There's a whole lot to this playbook that we have yet to see, on both sides of the ball. Chapter three is next week and we can hardly wait.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising