The Houston Texans took on the Pittsburg Steelers at Heinz field Sunday in game one of the 2008 regular season. It's a good day for football! Expectations are high, everyone is healthy. Lets do this thing!! The Texans started off good moving the ball from their own 21 to the Steelers 48. It then came down to a fourth and one call. Instead of punting they decide to go for it. I liked the ballsy call by Gary Kubiak. It showed guts, confidence in our offense, and a willingness to take risks. Matt Schaub totes the rock on a sneak and gets the first…..or so we thought.
The referee signaled a first down for the Texans. HELL YEAH!!
Then the line judge runs in to spot the ball and they have to call for a measurement. Texans come up short. WHAT?!
While head coach Gary Kubiak argues with the ref and challenges the call, I’m looking around for Ashton Kutcher and the MTV film crew. Alas, there was no Ashton, just the Texans getting punk’d on national television by the refs. Right then I felt a huge bubble burst. It was my optimism for this game. That one play was a momentum killer and the rest of the game was an all downhill embarrassment from there.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the refs for our loss. We sucked, we executed poorly, and we got all around out-matched by the more prepared team. I haven’t seen play this poor since the disappointing 2005 season when it was supposed be a turn around year.
Matt Schaub ate turf like David Carr, getting up close and personal with Heinz field 5 times. He threw at least two picks that were all on him and ill-advised at best. Troy Polamalu and Lamar Woodley send their thanks.
Don’t let the final score fool you…it was at least 35-3 when Mike Tomlin called in the scrubs to finish off what was left of the Texans.
Linebacker James Harrison had three sacks on Schaub reminding us that our left tackle, Duane Brown, is indeed a rookie who is still in need of a lot of work. On one play Harrison beat Brown on the outside, got the sack, and forced a fumble. At least Brown was somewhat in a position to redeem himself and recover the fumble….oh wait….no..it got away from him…Steelers’ ball.
The Texans offense was stagnant totaling 75 yards on the ground. Steve Slaton led the team with 43 of those yards. Schaub finished 25 of 33 for 202 yards and two scores. Most of that production came in the fourth quarter when the Steelers starters where on the sidelines deciding what club the post game celebration was going to be at.
You’d be hard pressed to find any positives in the total stomping that was this game. We couldn’t even get a decent return on special teams. They covered us like a blanket.
Gary Kubiak said it best when he said “We got manhandled.”
N.D. Kalu said “We were totally dominated. I just can’t figure out how we could be that bad.”
Somebody had better figure it out because the defense was horrid. Willie Parker ran free for 138 yards and three scores. Big Ben Roethlisberger lit up our secondary for a couple scores, 137 yards and only missing one completion. He completed 13 of 14 and was near perfection, and almost surgical.
Texans DE Mario Williams was able to make a little noise notching two sacks and a forced fumble under his 2008 belt. The fumble was recovered by DeMeco Ryans and returned for 41 yards resulting in a field goal for the Texans.
To sum it all up, it was a disgusting display. We were out matched, out played, and mentally unprepared. We looked like a freshmen college team out there and that’s just not going to cut it this league. We have to find a way to right the ship at home against the Ravens because we have a run of tough inter-division games against the Titans, the Jaguars, and the Colts. If we continue this kind of play we may find ourselves fighting for that number one draft spot again this season. As much as I like a first overall pick, I’d much rather see a winning season.