“What they did last year, they dominated us at their place and they dominated us at our place, that’s motivation and we don’t run from it,” Smith said. “A lot of what happened came from mistakes we made in all three phases. We feel like we’ve corrected a lot of that."
The Texans finally have something to play for again.
The Texans start the season Sunday with their home opener, taking on divisional foe Indianapolis in an important game even if it is only week one.
The Texans are looking for improvements out of their young roster this year, and a good game against a strong Colts side would be a good step in the right direction.
“So much has gone into getting to this spot where we are right now,” said Texans head coach Lovie Smith. “The draft, new jobs for so many guys in the building, training camp and preseason games. And we’re here healthy, that’s the most important thing. It will be a good game for our guys to develop in their roles. We’re playing a really good opponent, the Colts have been a good team for a while. Now we have to go take care of business.”
The Texans will have to take care of business with many young faces on both sides of the ball. A second-year quarterback is taking the helm for his first full year as a starter in Davis Mills, a rookie taking over as the starting running back and young players at both wide receiver and at the offensive line.
Then on the defense, there are rookies in major roles in the secondary and the front seven, and all will have to step up for the Texans to be successful over the weekend.
“Everyone has to have a first time for everything,” Smith said. “You’re excited about it and I’m sure those are the thoughts going through the rookies mind. But our guys are smart, and they know football. I’m excited about seeing them play and again as a rookie, they’ll continue to keep getting better every week.”
The Colts come off the season where they narrowly missed the playoffs but had a successful year. They bring back last year’s leading rusher in the NFL in Jonathan Taylor and a good threat in the pass game in Michael Pittman Jr.
They also traded for veteran quarterback Matt Ryan over the offseason, adding a great presence to the locker room and a consistent performer on the field at qb, something the team sorely missed last year an that will make things an even bigger problem for Houston as they attempt to get win No. 1.
“The most important thing we can do defensively is stop the run, we have to do that every week,” Smith said. “Every NFL team is going to have a good running back and Taylor is one of the best in the league. It’s going to take us gang tackling, running to the football and meeting them at the point of attack on every play. It will be a big challenge, but we have to compete with them. We didn’t do that last year, they dominated us, we have to show up this year.”
But the Texans know most of all, the focus must be on themselves and what the team can control, not on what the Colts can or can’t do. And they know that that focus is what can make them successful in the season opener.
“What they did last year, they dominated us at their place and they dominated us at our place, that’s motivation and we don’t run from it,” Smith said. “A lot of what happened came from mistakes we made in all three phases. We feel like we’ve corrected a lot of that, that’s why we can’t wait to see exactly how far we’ve come since that day and last season.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here