It's time to remove the bagel in the win column of the Texans record. Two games have yielded no victories but they have produced some positives they can take to the field on Sunday.
Having a good running game is so healthy for a football team. And the Texans have the number one rushing unit in the league currently. They also had over 300 passing yards last week. Now it's time to put it all together.
It's essential for the Texans to cut down on penalties if they're going to beat the Giants. Yes, the G-Men are in a tough spot too. But we heard that opponent narrative last week and it turned into a dirge for Houston.
Very often, offense has to be conducted like a symphony, with all the parts harmoniously functioning together. But, Deshaun Watson also has the ability to make it a jam session and improvise his way down the field when necessary. In any case, the Texans cannot afford to be in too many yellow-flag-filled long down and distance situations or we'll have another low scoring day.
On the other side is Eli Manning. He's 6th on the all-time passing yardage list. This week has been filled debates on his legacy (Is he a lock for the Hall of Fame, with two rings and seven of the top ten yardage leaders already enshrined?) and analogies on his accomplishments (Is he more Isiah Thomas or Jason Kidd?).
He's won two rings but it hasn't been a smooth ride lately. Five of the last six seasons have been sub .500. None of that matters. He's got one of the best weapons in the league to work with in Odell Beckham Jr. and you get the feeling that rookie running back Saquon Barkley can erupt at any time.
We can pick apart the both the Giants and the Texans but based on what we've seen so far this season, this game will likely come down to clutch fourth quarter play-making.
The Texans fought back last week to take the lead but came up short in the crunch in all three phases. Bill O'Brien wants positive complementary football and you can bet there was a lot of emphasis in practice on finishing drives, making tackles and creating good field position.
Getting off to a good start is paramount. Each of the first two weeks, Houston has allowed first quarter touchdowns that basically defined the day. The Giants cannot be given such hope. Expect a much better performance in front of the NRG Stadium faithful.
A win takes the sting out of an 0-2 start and possibly sparks a run toward creating the kind of season we were thinking about in August. A loss would create a hurdle that would be extremely difficult to surmount in an improving AFC South. Here's hoping for the former.
Check out the best Week 2 images from Texans team photographer Zach Tarrant. Presented by Houston Methodist.