Houston Texans win big in season opener over Dolphins

The Houston Texans were coming into this 2012 season with high expectations as a team. The goal of the year, the Super Bowl. Veterans on the team like Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are both voicing their thoughts that the team has an opportunity to do something special not just this year but for the next few years of NFL football. With these high hopes comes a lot of responsibility to perform on the field for these 2. Both led by example this week as the Texans routed the Miami Dolphins 30-10 on Sunday at home in Reliant Stadium.

The offense rolled as QB Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster, and WR Andre Johnson had amazing starts to the season. Schaub finished the game 20-31 with 266 yards and a TD to Andre Johnson. Foster had 79 yards on 26 carries with 2 TD’s. Andre Johnson was back to his normal self on Sunday after missing most of the 2011 season and this preseason with injuries. He had 8 catches for 119 yards, he ranked 3rd in the league with that performance. Johnson who has been the longest tenured Texans player of all time, led on and off the field this week. The normally soft spoken Johnson asked coach Gary Kubiak to address the team in a meeting. At the meeting he had this to say: “I told them I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to play this game,” Johnson said. “I was basically trying to tell them that we have a great opportunity, and we have to take advantage of it.” Johnson turns 31 this year, he knows that the Texans have a special opportunity and wants his teammates to know this. The Texans offense had 337 total yards, out gaining the Dolphins who were only able to pick up 275. The Texans also won the battle of possession, having the ball for 34:44 compared to Miami’s 25:16.

Defensively the Texans were ball hawks on Sunday at Reliant Stadium. To start the game they looked a bit surprised that the Dolphins were going no huddle. Miami was able to move the ball up the field on their first couple drives pretty well and were able to get down and pick up a field goal on their 2nd drive of the night. After that the Texans defense put the clamps on rookie QB Ryan Tannehill. The only score of the night for the Dolphins was on a 72 yard punt return by Marcus Thigpen. Tannehill finished the game with a passer rating of 39.0 and a lot of this were do to the interceptions he threw. 2 of those 3 were because DE JJ Watt’s uncanny ability to see the passer getting ready to throw and putting his hand in the passing lane and tipping the ball. Both ILB Brian Cushing and CB Kareem Jackson were able to get interceptions off those tips. While All Pro CB Jonathan Joseph got his the old fashioned way, undercutting a route and taking it away from the Dolphins WR. Both JJ Watt and Brian Cushing had monster games on Sunday Cushing finished with 6 total tackles, a forced fumble, and a interception while Watt had 2 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 3 deflected passes off the line. Wade Phillips called an aggressive game against the rookie QB and it came up big with 3 sacks on Sunday.