The Houston Texans (6-3, 1st AFC South) took care of business at home against the Detroit Lions (5-4, 1st NFC North) two weeks ago, on the road last weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7, 4th AFC South)and now will head across the border to take on the Oakland Raiders (7-2, 2nd AFC West) on Monday Night Football next week.
“We’re excited about that,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “I know that (team owner) Mr. McNair and the NFL feel strongly about international play. It’s a pretty short trip for us. We know we’re going to have a lot of fans down there, which is great for our team and our organization.”
The Texans were on the road against the Jaguars last weekend and collected their first road win of the season. For the ailing Jaguars, they have yet to win at home.
“We have to play the game the way we see it playing out,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “We don’t worry about stats. I think everyone needs to understand that in the National Football League it’s all about winning. It’s about winning. Whatever it takes to win that is what we try to do. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but six times this year it has worked out and three times it hasn’t. Hopefully, we can be on the positive side of the ledger.”
The Texans will now set their sites on the 7-2 Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.
“I think they’re playing as one of the best teams in the league,” O’Brien said. “I think that they’re very athletic. I think offensively just watching a lot of their film here over the last couple days, big, big offensive line. Downhill running attack. Derek Carr is playing very, very well.”
The Houston Texans were not only humiliated at the hands of the New England Patriots, but lost superstar J.J. Watt in the process adding insult to injury. Watt had just returned from an operation to repair a herniated disc in his back and was back on the field after 53 days of rehab.
The Texans (2-1, 1st AFC South) will have to regroup and get back to winning without Watt against their AFC South rival Tennessee Titans (1-2, 2nd AFC South) who are coming off a touchdown loss to the Oakland Raiders. The defense will have to be by committee.
“When you have that kind of ability and that kind of play-making, it’s hard to replace with one guy,” Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. “So, we’re going to ask all the guys on defense to pick it up, to put a little bit extra in it and see if we can gain some of those plays that J.J. used to make.
“That’s what we have to do. We’re going to try to ask everybody else to tighten their belts and then go play the best game that they’ve played.”
With a 16-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon, the Houston Texans have moved into first place in the AFC South with the Colts third loss in a row. The caveat being, that former discarded Cowboy Quarterback Brandon Weeden led the Texans to the win after quarterback T.J. Yates went down with a knee injury.
“He’s (Weeden) a pro, he acts like a pro, he carries himself like a pro, he is a pro,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “Look, I’m not sure he has the whole offense down pat, but I think he has enough that he can go in there and function.
Weeden, the third string QB was inserted after starter Brian Hoyer was ineligible due to concussion protocols and after backup T.J. Yates went down with a minute and change left in the first half. The win in Indy was the teams first in 14 tries.
“I’ve only been here a month, but I found out early in the week that we had never won here and I think guys were hungry,” Weeden said. “I think guys kind of knew what we were playing for and all that was at stake.”