The Houston Texans take on the Denver Broncos this week in Denver in a battle of the disappointments. While the Texans are loaded with talent, they find themselves yet again out of playoff contention for the fifth season under head coach Gary Kubiak. While Arian Foster has two games left to claim the NFL rushing title, Andre Johnson (fourth with 1,216 receiving yards) also has time to catch Roddy White (first with 1,284 yards). Additionally, the offensive line has done a great job for both Arian Foster and Matt Schaub.
However, the team has yet to develop an identity. Besides the well known play actions and passes on first and goal on the one, Gary Kubiak hasn’t propelled the Texans out of mediocrity. And his chance may not come this week. The Broncos are changing styles. They’ve let go head coach Josh McDaniels and are now starting Tim Tebow, the rookie quarterback out of Florida, for the second straight week. Tebow’s no Rusty Smith, and his effort last week against the Raiders (8/16 for 138 passing yards and a TD/8 rushes for 78 yards and a TD) shows he has the ability to keep a defense better than the Texans’ on their heels. However, look for the Texans to step up their game like they did they last time a rookie quarterback started against them.
The 3-11 Denver Broncos are trying to turn a new leaf and move on with their disappointing 2010 season. Their offense ranks 14th, averaging 343 yards per game, and now that Tebow is starting and running back Knowshown Moreno is dealing with a side injury, the Texans will definitely be looking to pounce for a win, relying on more intuition than game tape. Eric Studesville, the Broncos’ interim head coach and former running back coach, hasn’t done well since taking the Broncos job on December 6.
The team is 0-2 since then but hope is a win away for this team. Look for the defense that gave up a combined 88 points in the past two games to the Chiefs and Raiders to be looking as tasty as a rib eye roast to the Texans’ offensive playmakers. Arian Foster is reportedly fine after suffering a glute injury against the Titans this past Sunday. Andre Johnson is now the Texans’ longest playing player with 115 games, and he’s only 84 receiving yards away from his third straight 1,300 yard season.
Although the Texans are making losing a habit, they’ll be looking for the win Sunday. Wide receivers like Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter, running back Steve Slaton and tight end Owen Daniels have to be salty about their poor seasons. Look for them to make the most out of their opportunities against the Broncos’ defense that have allowed the most points this season with 415 (29 more than the Texans). Also look for Arian Foster to be workign for a big day. He leads the NFL with 1,345 rushing yards, and while Maurice Jones-Drew is a close second with 1,324 with two weeks to go, Foster’s told the NFL Network that he’d be lying if he said the rushing title wasn’t on his mind.
The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos have both been surprising disappointments this season. While, in 2009, the Broncos pulled together a stellar win streak and a somewhat hopeful coached season and the Texans had a great December finish that showed Kubiak’s potential, the Broncos and Texans have been flat out bad in 2010. This year the Broncos let go their head coach Josh McDaniels and the Texans are being put to the edge with their own, who has led the team to seven losses out of the past eight games.
However with such disappointment comes some hope. One team’s going to win the cool, high of 55 degrees, Sunday – will it be the hometown Denver Broncos and their rookie quarterback Tim Tebow or the falling Houston Texans?