The Houston Texans solidified its position among the NFL’s elite with a third straight win to start the 2012 NFL season against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos Sunday. The undefeated Texans will next host the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans, who scored a stirring overtime victory against the Detroit Lions in Week Three.
Houston escaped Denver, 31-25, despite giving up two fourth-quarter touchdowns that left the Broncos’ offense with a chance to win the game in the final minute. The Texans’ covered as 1-point road favorites. Houston’s victory was led by four touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Schaub and a defense that did just enough to win.
The well-regarded Texans’ defense lived up to its billing for a little more than 45 minutes. The Broncos’ didn’t muster a touchdown until the final quarter when already down 20 points. This one did manage to get close, but in the end what stands out is Denver couldn’t run the ball against Houston and the historically tough-to-collar Manning was sacked three times. Despite the Texans’ shaky fourth quarter, the numbers add up to a winning effort in today’s NFL. In fact, Houston’s seasonal production points to them being among the top NFL picks this season.
Schaub finished the day 17 of 30 for 290 yards, including several deep balls that gashed the Broncos defense. Running back Arian Foster ran for more than 100 yards for the second straight game. He finished with 105 yards on 22 carries.
The Texans have the look of a serious Super Bowl contender this season. In the Titans, Houston will be facing a team coming off their first win of the season. They will need to contain quarterback Jake Locker, who looked good in the Titans 44-41 upset of the Detroit Lions Sunday. Houston looks strictly the one to beat in this match-up so keep an eye on the Week Four NFL picks.