If the 1st quarter of the Houston Texans home-opener against the Dolphins game made your heart stop momentarily, you can rest assured that all is well in Houston.
I realize that a Dolphins 3-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter wasn’t quite what Texans fans were hoping for, or expecting, but a 24-0 second quarter quickly laid any doubts to rest. If you’re still worried that something like that offensively quiet quarter might happen again, not to worry, the Texans’ defense has your back.
On top of not allowing a Miami offensive touchdown all day, the Houston defense also forced four turnovers including one momentum-changing interception by cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
Ryan Tannehill hadn’t looked sharp before this play, but he did not look uncomfortable under center. He had completed several short passes, but appeared as though he might explode and strike at any moment. The Texans had a different plan.
With 10:58 remaining in the half, the Dolphins were up 3-0, marching down the field and looking to take a commanding two-score lead. Miami reached the 50 yd. line before J.J. Watt got to the young quarterback for a sack. Tannehill never recovered.
The next play, Tannehill threw a short pass to Legedu Naanee. But Joseph put his body into the receiver, fought for position and got in front of the ball. What followed was a bobbling, stumbling Joseph, changing directions in the middle of the field. He secured the ball and returned it to the Miami 14 yd line. Although Houston managed only a field goal off of the turnover, the turnover, like Joseph, changed the direction of the game.
After tying it up 3-3, the Texans’ defense would force another interception on the very next drive, this time by linebacker Brian Cushing.
Houston Kicker, Shayne Graham, would put points on the board once again after the pick, but this time it was preceded by an Arian Foster 14 yd rumble into the endzone. You could feel the collective sigh of relief in the city of Houston.
After another Tannehill interception on the ensuing Dolphins possession, credit to cornerback Kareem Jackson, and another Foster touchdown run, the Texans were up 17-3 and you got the sense that all was right in the world.
Houston went on to score again with seven seconds left in the 2nd quarter on a 14 yd pass from Schaub to Andre Johnson. The Texans led 24-3 at halftime and never looked back.
This game proved to be a wake up call for the highly touted Texans out of the weak AFC South.
Whether it was first-game jitters, or rust, the Texans woke up after being tangled up with bottom 15 NFL team for fifteen minutes of play. The offense put up 24 points in one quarter, and the defense stumped the Dolphins offense for the duration of the game, after the initial slow start. It was a lesson that will hopefully not require re-examination this year, but one that all fans, coaches and players involved with this organization will be happy to have out of the way.
At this point, the Houston Texans (1-0) have started down their Super Bowl journey on the right foot. If the Texans play like they did in the 2nd quarter for the remainder of the season, the sky will continue to be the limit. For now the Texans are perfect.
Houston looks forward to visiting Jacksonville next week who lost to the Minnesota Vikings in overtime on opening weekend. The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars kickoff at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
In other news: Andre Johnson has still got it.