If his performance today is any indication what to expect for this season, then Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams may finally be paying dividends for the team that selected him instead of Saints running back Reggie Bush and Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young. Williams recorded two sacks and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery as the Texans win their season opener 20-3 over the punchless Kansas City Chiefs.
What was most impressive about Williams was that both of his sacks came after halftime. The Texans benefitted by not only Williams’ exploits, but the Chiefs turnovers, as well. The Chiefs turned the ball over twice with fumbles and with 2 interceptions thrown by Chiefs QB Damon Huard. Huard went 22-of-33 for 168 yards. Besides Huard’s inefficiency at QB, Chiefs RB Larry Johnson had one of his worst days as a pro, with 10 carries for only 43 yards. On the other hand, Texans QB Matt Schaub had an efficient but successful debut, going 16-for-22 for 225 yards with a passing TD and an INT. WR Andre Johnson had an explosive day for the Texans, catching 7 balls for 142 yards and a score.
The Texans led 10-0 in the third quarter when the Texans’ Jamar Fletcher jarred the ball loose from Chiefs TE Kris Wilson’s hands; Williams scooped up the ball and ran 38 yards for a score that gave what would be an insurmountable 17-3 Texans lead. So it is pretty much a safe assumption that the Texans defense even more so than their offense was the difference maker in their victory today. The Texans next play on September 16, when they visit the Carolina Panthers.