LET’S GO STREAKING The Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills looking to extend their winning streak
In the movie Major League II, a story about the Cleveland Indians starting their second season after overcoming adversity and winning a playoff game. The manager Lou Brown is giving his team a pre-game speech the day after they have finally won a game ending a long losing streak. He stands in the middle of the clubhouse and bellows out very loudly.
“We won a game yesterday, if we win one today that's two in a row. If we win one tomorrow that's called a winning streak.”
Now I know that the Houston Texans play a different sport, but I can imagine head coach Bill O’Brien giving the same pre-game speech to his team on Sunday before they take on the visiting Buffalo Bills. The Texans have won back to back games against the Indianapolis Colts and inter-state rival, Dallas Cowboys. Their wins also came in consecutive games that required an extra time frame (overtime) to complete. Houston doesn’t care how or when they win the games as long as the W’s keep going in the win columns.
“I think it’s important to just continue to try to stack wins in the league. It’s tough every week to try to get a win. We’ve got a great opportunity to go out there this Sunday, take the field, try to get a win and really put ourselves back where we want to be, which is .500 for now and then hopefully we can continue to improve,” said starting veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu.
For the Texans to be successful, they are going to have to find a solution to their red zone woes that have plagued them in their last two games. Houston is ranked 31 out of 32 teams in red zone efficiency at 36 percent for the year and was 16 percent last week against the Cowboys. This perplexes fans and talking sports heads when they look at where Houston is ranked in other offensive statistical categories.
They lead the AFC in yards per game at 423.4, which is better than the red-hot undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and also lead the AFC South division in passing yards at 307.2. Couple that with the league leader in receiver yards (D. Hopkins – 594yds) and a top ten quarterback (D. Watson – 1,621yds – 8TD) and you have one of the hardest problems to figure out in the NFL. Well that and why aren’t the Browns undefeated. I digress.
Let us not forget that the defense has played very well this season as always are led by the two workhorses up front in JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Those players lead a defense that has held opposing running backs to under 95 yards a game and held the league leader in rushing, Ezekiel Elliott to under 60 last week.
“I think the whole defense has improve from week one to now, when you look at it overall. I think that we’re playing better football, we’re more consistent, we’re communicating better. Even with that being said, there’s still room for improvement and we need to improve, but I think we’ve made some progress from Week 1,” Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said during his weekly press conference.
I look for the Texans to win this game, extending the winning streak and bringing them back to .500 and right back in the hunt for the AFC South Division title.
Brian Barefield is a member of Pro-Football Writers of America