It’s hard to call it a rivalry when your team is 1-9 versus the Patriots but from the perspective of this Texans fan…
…it’s a rivalry.
They have now played 7 times since 2012. All losses for the Texans…but the Texans are getting closer and closer to a win over the Patriots. Playing each other so frequently, and now practicing against each other in training camp, has taken some of the mystique out of the Patriots for the Texans. The Texans used to stand in awe of the Patriots. Let’s just call it what it was….they were organizationally frightened by the Patriots. Now, however, the Texans employ a bunch of former Patriots…and those guys take all the ribbing they no doubt get from their Patriots buddies very personally. Based on the last two games…
….the days of organizational fear are over.
So no win….but also no fear. I noticed some movement in the direction of courage last year that I attributed to Clowney’s presence. The owner is from South Carolina and over the last few years we are starting to compile a roster filled with guys from that part of the country. This year the boost in courage against the Patriots looked like it came from a rookie from that same South Carolina mafia…
IF he can stay healthy we have a quarterback. That’s a very big IF. He does a surprisingly good job of keeping his eyes downfield when he is scrambling around..but he does a LOT of scrambling around.
He’s young, athletic, has a good arm, good pocket presence, excellent feet….but what I like most about him is that he appears to me to have good football smarts….and is a quick learner.
He has had a total of two (2) NFL starts. In each one he has played smarter late than early. Every team he sees this year will be the first time he has seen them. And that means that the speed at which he learns is going to determine how many wins he may get in his rookie season. It also means that every snap he gets a little bit better as a pro quarterback.
Winning, in my opinion, means keeping him healthy and on the field….