My buddy Josh Innes from Sports Radio 610 asked me if these first two Texans games reminded me of my days with
Miami when they would blow out the likes of Florida A&M or Temple. It’s never that way in the NFL. Every game is a potential loss. But it shows you how far we’ve come that these questions even come up.
I’ll give you one Miami comparison: depth. The fact that you give defenses a ‘break’ when you take Arian Foster out and put in Ben Tate is just another example of how strong the Texans are.
Miami used to rest Clinton Portis with Willis McGahee (who we will see this Sunday). And when the bench emptied with the blowout on, they would put in a freshman named Frank Gore. I am lucky enough to have a championship ring from that ’01 squad that saw 13 players eventually drafted in the first round. Unbelievable.
No, I am not saying this Texans team is the NFL equivalent of that. I don’t think it’s possible. But there is a lot of depth here. Earl Mitchell is playing nose just about every other series. Whitney Mercilus led the NCAA in sacks last year and has to push to get playing time. Tim Jamison could start for a lot of teams but is a reserve here at defensive end. But the best example is Tate, who is a punishing runner and part of the best running back stable in the league.
The stakes go up now. Denver will be angry and ready. The Broncos will stack up against the run and hope their talented DBs can deal with Andre Johnson and company. And is anyone really convinced that Peyton Manning will play as badly as he did early against Atlanta?
The Bulls on Parade have to be ready to deal with those quick Manning drops. J.J. Watt may have another batted ball or two but will it be enough? Will Manning’s ability to call run or pass be effective against the Texans front seven? And if Houston needs to bring Danieal Manning up to help on McGahee and Knowshon Moreno, don’t think Peyton won’t be ready to unload.
It’ll be a great chess game and a physical showdown. And, by far, the toughest game of the 2012 season to date.
Tags: Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Frank Gore, Knowshon Moreno, Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee
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