Never mind the quarterback situation, this is the Patriots in their building.
In other words, extremely tough to beat.
As a former New Englander, it blows my mind how far this franchise has come historically. Once upon a time, NBA teams went into the Boston Garden and had to participate in a Celtics clinic that would have them wishing they never got off the plane. Now that place is Foxborough, where the Patriots have dominated the NFL for a decade and a half.
And we all remember what happened there in 2012 during Monday Night Football and in the Playoffs. But this Texans team is different. So many of the faces have changed. And most notably a different coaching staff, new quarterback and running back are ready and eager to make something special happen.
What it will take…
Lamar Miller may be coming off 53 carries in the first two games but he'll have to get ready for what the coaches probably hope is another 20-plus tonight. If Miller gets north of 20 carries, that's a good thing. It means you're either ahead or not down by much and the line of scrimmage is moving in an overall positive direction.
Much has been said and written about Brock Osweiler's early season performance. The most important aspect of what he's done so far can be summed up in one letter; W. The two wins don't happen without the signal caller making some key throws like the fourth down toss to Miller or the fake-left-throw-right TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins. The blemishes are correctable. And it's nice to win and learn.
Being a short week is tough on everyone. But it's the rookies who must bounce back fast. Bill O'Brien talked about making sure everyone gets enough rest. That is as important as anything. This is a long trip for a Thursday night game. But those are the breaks of the schedule.
The good thing about having a terrific defense is that it, like a good running game, tends to travel well. Nothing could be more valuable than slowing down the Patriots ground attack and letting Houston's firebrand pass rush go to work. And don't let any of your Boston friends complain about their quarterback issues. The Texans organization has endured as much adversity at the position since 2013 as any team in the league.
Houston's experience in this department should also serve well as a reminder to the players that anything is possible and they will have to be ready for a dog fight. If any team knows you can win with a back-up or a back-up's back-up, it's the Texans.
Is it kickoff time yet?
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 12/29/2020)