A Week 3 Look at the Houston Texans in the AFC South
They also have taken on the look of a season-long contender.
After entering the season on a strong note with victories in the final four games last season to finish above .500 for the first time in franchise history, the Texans not only beat Indianapolis for just the second time in franchise history in the opener, they followed that with a memorable victory at Washington Sunday.
The Texans rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit to win, 30-27, in overtime. The game was the sort of game the Texans might have lost in the past – on the road following an emotional "statement" game the week before. But this time the Texans showed true guts and this victory could have positive effects moving forward.
Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 497 yards despite being sacked five times, and wide receiver Andre Johnson made a remarkable play on a game-tying, fourth-quarter touchdown despite an ankle injury. Teams don't make the playoffs with unbeaten records in September, but they can establish an identity and the Texans' identity thus far is of a team with a chance to join the NFL's elite.
Here is a quick look at the Houston Texans heading into Week 3
The opponent: home against Dallas (0-2).
The trend: The Texans have won their first two games of the season for the second time in team history. They never have started 3-0, having started 2-0 in 2007 before losing five of their next six games.
Recent history: History isn't always pertinent in games between AFC and NFC teams, but considering this is Dallas and Houston, there is some meaning. The Texans and Cowboys have played twice, with Houston beating Indianapolis 19-10 in the first game in franchise history. They lost at Dallas, 34-6 in 2006. It is perhaps telling for the development of the franchise that that first victory over Dallas no longer is considered its biggest moment, but a chance to move to 3-0 and do it against the Cowboys undoubtedly makes Sunday's game big.
Key question: How will the Texans handle success? The Texans handled it well Sunday, following en emotional victory in the regular-season opener with a dramatic victory in Washington. But a trait of most contending NFL teams is week-to-week consistency, and that's the Texans' next step. The match-up this week will be difficult – at 0-2 Dallas really needs a victory – but with the game at home, it's also the sort of game legitimate Super Bowl contenders often find a way to win.
Pressing issue: The health of wide receiver Andre Johnson. Perhaps the NFL's best receiver, Johnson played big on Sunday despite an ankle injury. Head Coach Gary Kubiak said Monday Johnson will be day-to-day this week. It's not that the Texans can't win without Johnson, but he is critical to their offense and beating Dallas wthout him would be tough.