Batman Regains Control of Gotham City in Week One!
The Joker was caught running amuck all over Gotham this off-season while Batman was recovering from injuries sustained from his previous fight with Bane. Gotham needed a savior, it needed someone to rise from the ashes, and in week one, the Houston Texans manifested the spirit of Batman and locked the Jokerized Pittsburgh Steelers back up in Arkham Asylum.
The Houston Texans offense was coming off a sketchy pre-season that saw Drew Lock throwing the most interceptions of all the quarterbacks that played in that time span. Drew was efficient on most of his passes, leading him to completing 17 of his 25 passing attempts. He threw for 227 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His interceptions both came in the redzone. His first interception was from a Steeler’s safety undercutting the route and his second was an ill-advised pass to Will Fuller across the middle that was intercepted before the ball could reach the intended receiver. Deshaun Watson would stare down his receivers when he played for his former team, but Drew Lock was able to spread the ball around. Will Fuller had 2 catches that both went for touchdowns. Brandon Cooks took a designed end around play in for a touchdown and Chase Claypool led all receivers with 5 catches for 87 yards, but the biggest story on offense was the performance of halfback Javian Hawkins. The former MVP ran 11 times for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns. He broke 5 tackles and his longest run of the game was for 66 yards. Hawkins looked like a different style of back, he was ready to take on all potential tacklers and welcomed the contact rather than avoiding it. The offense of the Texans was clicking on all cylinders, but the performance of the defense is what really allowed them to dominate in this game.
The Texans new middle linebacker Devin Bush wanted to punish his former team for trading him. Late in the fourth quarter, Deshaun Watson ran a QB option and was met by Devin Bush. He lit Deshaun Watson up forcing him to put the ball on the ground. It wasn’t the performance that the Steelers were hoping for when they traded for Watson. In fact, Watson didn’t look like himself at all. Devin Bush and the defense of the Texans forced Watson to turn the ball over 7 times. Watson was held to a 51.4% completion rate, 203 yards, and 0 touchdowns. There were a few Texan defenders that were stripped of there abilities due to poor season long performances last year. Defensive end J.J Watt was one of those defenders and after being signed to a two year extension, he was motivated to prove that he is worth every bit of that extension. Watt had 5 tackles and 2 sacks. Watt has been moved to the defensive tackle position in nickel and dime formations, but will still play his defensive end position in the Texan’s base 3-4 package. Outside linebacker Jacob Martin added another two sacks in this game. He had an impressive season last year with 15 sacks which was just 3 shy of the league leader in sacks. Another former superstar player in corner back Keion Crossen was named player of the game after his performance that led to a 52-20 Texan victory.
Keion Crossen was named as the Texans number one corner for this season. He will primarily play against all of the top receivers on the opposing side of the field. Crossen played behind corner Gareon Conley last season, but he shined against the Steelers. He held Julio Jones to 2 catches for 45 yards. The Pittsburgh Steelers gave up a lot of trade capital to acquire Jones and his lackluster performance has to be a mood killer. Keion Crossen shut down the right side of the field, he had 4 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. The Texans were expecting their defense to step up after adding several pieces this off-season, but even they couldn’t imagine these results in week one. The Texans are hoping to ride this momentum wave in their week two game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are coming off a strong overtime victory against the Cowboys and this week 2 match up should be vastly different than their match up in the pre-season.