Green Injured in Another Fake Win
Texans won their opening preseason game of the 2008 season, defeating
the team's northern campus rivals from Denver 19-16. The victory
gave head coach Gary Kubiak his sixth victory in nine preseason
games, but since who wins these things is meaningless, the real
story here is who got hurt.
Green lasted exactly ONE ENTIRE PLAY into the preseason before leaving
with what appeared to be an injured groin. The elderly running back,
who missed ten games last season due to injury, entered camp still
safely lodged as the team's best starting option.
I am certain he would prefer to be healthy and playing to pulling
his groin on the sidelines, and it's not just because of the incentive
in his contract to stay healthy during the regular season on a game-to-game
basis. But as I
opined a few weeks ago, any sort of injury suffered by Green
before the real games begin could be deadly to his future as a Texan.
from saving Bob McNair almost $4 million in salary and roster bonuses
this year, cutting Green might open the door for his equally capable
(and much younger) backups. Rookie Steve Slaton might have only
played in garbage time Saturday night, but his speed impressed as
he picked up 37 yards, including a nice 13-yard burst in scoring
territory to set up the game-winning field goal.
Walker and Chris Taylor might also prove to be able fill-ins for
Green. Each appeared solid in their brief regular season appearances,
Walker averaging 4.6 yards per carry late last season, and Taylor
racking up more than 100 yards of offense and a score in his only
game as a featured tailback.
back to the last night's game. The starters only played briefly,
yet satisfactorily. Kung Fu Panda didn't give up a sack in his pro
debut. The most disappointing effort though came from quarterback
Matt Schaub. With a third down from the Broncos' 5-yard line, he
forced a pass intended for André Davis into double coverage,
a ball that could have been easily intercepted.
idiotic pseudo-talk from
others about a possible QB battle aside, Schaub is firmly entrenched
as the starter. If there is one nagging concern from Schaub though,
it is his ability to avoid mental errors in the redzone. And while
the stat sheet might show bigger numbers for Sage Rosenfels (10-15,
137 yds, 1 TD) than Schaub (4-5, 29 yds, 0 TD), it doesn't necessarily
mean Rosey was better. Rosenfels was off-target often, and he lacked
much zip on his throws.
for the defense, the starters allowed the Broncos to score on their
second drive, mostly giving up short yardage throws before QB Jay
Cutler scrambled for 15 yards into the endzone. The reserves performed
well enough to prevent the Broncos' from getting another touchdown,
but they were able to find room to run outside, averaging 4.7 yards
per carry for the game.
end Mario Williams stood out, abusing rookie North Houston left
tackle Ryan Clady early and often. Special kudos to safety Nick
Ferguson, who maybe did little else but make a nice interception
against his former team. That must have felt pretty good for him.
my game ball goes to wide receiver David Anderson. He used his tiptoes
to score the only touchdown for the Texans, and his other five receptions
also bolstered hope that he may one day be the team's very own slot
machine. All night long, he showed the same quickness and hands
saw in an earlier camp workout.
running backs: 29 rushes, 85 yards, 0 touchdowns
I said the Texans had capable runners behind Green, but this stat
doesn't seem to bear that out. That output only represents a 2.9-yard
per carry average, but I'm going to pin that ineffectiveness on
the newness of the running game as a whole, not to mention the fact
that the Broncos defense is already pretty familiar with stopping
it in practice.
game coordinator Alex Gibbs is sure to find plenty of
words coaching opportunities in reviewing the game video. His
offensive line will need to do a better job of opening cutback lanes
for the backs.
Texans (1-0) take it to the road to face the Saints (1-0). Aside
from our local intrigue continuing in watching the running offense
develop, the obvious story line here will be Mario vs. Reggie II.
Bush gained just 34 yards on 15 carries to help his team lose
23-10 last November. Williams notched a sack and forced fumble
in the victory at home.
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