Same Old Texans? Jason Friedman Writes a Rebuttal to John Royal.

Okay, so let me see if I understand this correctly: The Texans took the field yesterday without their best player and subsequently went on to lose their top running back, wide receiver and center as well. Making matters significantly worse, Sunday’s opponent just so happened to be the SUPER BOWL CHAMPION Indianapolis Colts – a team which has historically owned the Texans. And as if those obstacles weren’t enough to overcome, the Texans further handicapped themselves with two turnovers, while forcing none of their own.

But here’s the twist: Despite facing a top-notch team and seemingly stacked deck, the Texans somehow managed to keep things tight until the final minutes, when their overmatched, exhausted defense couldn’t come up with the necessary stop. Viewed from a bustling sports bar in Florida, it appeared to be an encouraging performance from a feisty Houston squad, despite the disappointing result. Imagine my surprise then when informed my analysis was shockingly misguided. Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the defending champs wasn’t a step forward for Houston at all. In fact, these were the same old Texans.

Apparently, the Colts would survive the loss of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday and Joseph Addai without ever skipping a beat.

Apparently, we should ignore another impressive performance from the Texans’ stout run defense.

Apparently, Houston’s superior special teams play is irrelevant.

Apparently, Gary Kubiak needs to be more aggressive in his play calling, despite the fact the Texans’ offense is off to its best start in franchise history. ‘Cause, you know, Colts’ coach Tony Dungy is never conservative.

Apparently, Indianapolis took it easy on Houston despite the Texans’ unblemished record and the fact Indy’s last defeat actually took place at Reliant Stadium.

And, apparently, Houston is the only team ever to be torched by Mr. Ubiquitous, Peyton Manning.

Ignore every single one of those points, people. Disregard the Texans 2-0 start and the team’s stirring come-from-behind victory in Carolina. In fact, if you have any positive things to say about Houston’s professional football franchise, permanently delete them from your mind, because, apparently, these are the same old Texans.

Look, I’m all for a critical perspective when criticism is warranted. God knows the Texans have earned their fair share of negative press over the years. But a seemingly premeditated refusal to acknowledge even a modicum of positivity is not only absurd, it’s irresponsible. In fact, I’d argue that such consistently negative commentary is just as annoying, dangerous and disposable as the overwhelmingly positive propaganda for which the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz gets shredded on this Web site nearly every day. [Editor's note: No he di'int!]

Let’s be clear on this point: The same old Texans would have lost Sunday’s game by 30 points. They would have folded like a lawn chair the moment the injuries and Indy touchdowns began piling up. Instead, this team fought back and showed a pulse. Just how many times have we been able to say that about the Texans before this season began?

No, the Texans are not a finished product. GM Rick Smith and coach Kubiak admitted as much prior to the season opener. You’re not going to see Houston in a Super Bowl this year and probably not the next one either. Funny, but you don’t typically see NFL teams make the transition from laughingstock to champion overnight.

But the franchise is at least moving in the right direction. That much was obvious to see from a sports bar more than a thousand miles away. So it kinds of makes me wonder: Why was it so difficult for you to see from your seat in Reliant Stadium? – Jason Friedman

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