The Houston Texans had the looks of one of the best teams in the NFL in their dominant 27-7 road win against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday. That assumption will be duly tested this week, however, as the 2-0 Texans travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos at Mile High Stadium.
How dominant was Houston against the Jaguars Sunday? Check out these numbers. Jacksonville could muster just 117 total yards with nine first downs against the Texans, while quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed just seven passes for 53 yards. The Texans defense, led by highly-regarded coordinator Wade Phillips, has certainly lived up to preseason expectations to this point.
On offense, the Texans rolled up 216 rushing yards in a complete dismantling of the Jaguars front-seven. Arian Foster paced the Texans with 110 yards on 28 carries –his 17th career game with more than 100 yards on the ground—and Ben Tate added 74 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Matt Schaub did enough to win, completing 26-of-35 for 195 with no turnovers. In all, the Texans collected 411 yards of total offense against the Jaguars.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who was limited to three catches for 21 yards, cited the Texans’ running game as a key to the team’s success to this point.
“Whenever we can go out and run the ball like we did, we just keep teams off balance,” Johnson said. “When we do that it’s hard to stop.
Houston looks to be hitting on all cylinders, but the question now at hand is what will be its response in a hostile environment in Denver. These two teams last met in December 2010 with the Texans losing 24-23 as two-point road favorites. Of course, that’s before Manning came to the controls of the Broncos. Denver, who looked good beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 as 2.5-point home favorites in Week One, play on Monday night on the road against the Atlanta. The Falcons are 3-point underdogs in the NFL odds.