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Texans could be the real deal

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Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw is a two-time Super Bowl MVP who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships during his pro career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and joined "FOX NFL Sunday" in 1994.

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I have to believe the Houston Texans are feeling pretty great.

The thing about the Indianapolis Colts is that they’ve been the established team in the AFC South, so teams have been building and gearing themselves to try to beat them for years. I mean, if you win your division, you are going to the playoffs. So the Texans have been putting pieces together in order to compete with Indianapolis.

Until Sunday, they were 1-15 against the Colts.

Look, they found a young running back in Arian Foster, and he ran for more yards (231) than anybody has ever run for against the Colts. Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are pretty darn good and that defense has gotten better every year. Just think about how good the Texans would have been had linebacker Brian Cushing, who is suspended for the first four games, been able to play. The Colts weren’t able to run a lick and the Texans basically controlled the line of scrimmage.

I think a lot of us should have paid a lot more attention last week to all the lip service coming out of Houston. When I read the quotes out of Houston, I honestly believed them when they said they were going to finally beat the Colts. I didn’t take their comments as being silly at all.

I just think that the Texans finally have figured out how to play the Colts. They aren’t intimidated about playing them. Plus, they know more about their team than we do. I think we all should have taken notice.

Now here’s the key for the Texans: How do they follow this up next week when they travel to Washington? Do they take advantage of this great win? Or do they waste this great opportunity within their division? You have to play off that. Now people will be picking them to beat the Redskins. I mean, before this past weekend, a lot of people were picking the Colts to go to the Super Bowl.

Now that was a pretty good butt-whipping. I’ve never seen Peyton Manning look so frustrated and dejected in a regular-season game. It was just like he had lost the Super Bowl. This is two losses in a row for Peyton.

***

I can’t think of a worse loss than what the Detroit Lions suffered in Chicago. For most of us, I think we saw Calvin Johnson catch that pass and control it when he came down in the end zone. Two hands, right foot, left foot down and total control. If we didn’t have Mike Pereira, the former head of NFL officiating working for us, telling us that it wasn’t a catch, I think we would have believed that the Lions had gotten robbed by the officials.

I mean, Johnson falls on his butt, puts his hand down to get up and the ball comes loose. You have to get up with the ball. I think he turned the ball loose because he thought it was good catch. I’m confused by that rule and I think a lot of fans watching that game and seeing the replay will wonder why they took a touchdown away. I wondered too, until Mike explained the rule perfectly for our viewers.

When Matthew Stafford went down, I thought Shaun Hill played very well; he showed a lot of poise. But Stafford’s injured right shoulder, well, that’s going to take awhile. I had a separation in my right shoulder and I missed four weeks. I suffered a complete tear in there. From there, I learned how to tuck and protect it. It’s a small miracle that I never have pain in there.

Hill played well and that was a tough loss for the Lions. The Lions are getting better; they have a great defensive front and they play hard for Jim Schwartz. This will hurt them for a while, but I hope they keep going.

***

That was some statement game by the Patriots and Tom Brady against the Bengals. It was great to see Wes Welker getting two touchdowns right off the bat. I’m really happy for him. They don’t call him “pound for pound” the best player ever to come of Texas Tech for nothing. What a comeback by Welker to be playing and producing so quickly after such a serious knee injury.

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You know I love Brady. He’s in a car accident, misses getting seriously hurt and gets a new contract and plays like nothing happened in his world last week. I thought New England’s defense let up a little at the end, but that was a serious beating they put on the Bengals.

I just wish that Randy Moss was happy about winning and having a good day.

***

That was a great win for the Steelers because I believe the Falcons are a much better team than they were last season. I mean, they went to the playoffs in Matt Ryan’s rookie year and did nothing last year. But they have really improved their defense and should be competitive for an NFC playoff spot.

The Falcons took the Steelers to overtime, but it was a bad throw by Ryan at the end of the game. He came off a look and made a delayed throw to the outside. His eyes were down the field and his progression took him to the outside. It was probably a second or third read. Troy Polamalu made a great play on the throw. And then Rashard Mendenhall took it to the house.

That was a huge win for the Steelers at home as they wait on Ben Roethlisberger to come back from his suspension. The best thing probably will be the confidence that quarterback Dennis Dixon will get from his teammates. Hey, the guy played pretty good.

***

I know there was a lot of pressure on the Giants opening their new stadium Sunday. The Panthers whipped them badly last season in the final game at Giants Stadium and their owners let the players have it.

But Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks were sensational Sunday. And the Giants got all over Matt Moore, sacking him four times. The Giants' defense looked really fast against the Panthers compared to what I remember seeing at the end of last season. It was just a good balance from them until they figured out what to do against the Panthers.

The touchdown passes from Eli to Nicks were really good. Some people might say that he underthrew some of those, but he underthrew for a reason. He allowed the receiver to make a play on the ball. I thought Eli played really well. But Nicks was phenomenal.

I don’t think many of us were thinking much of the Giants, but we should start. The Eagles may have a quarterback problem there with Kevin Kolb suffering a concussion and Michael Vick looking so good in reserve. We all are second-guessing what is going on in Washington.

But before we start praising the Giants, the fans have got to understand this is just Week 1. You need four or five games before you can get an idea of how things are going to pan out in any division.

Tagged: Falcons, Lions, Colts, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, Panthers, Steelers, Texans, Peyton Manning, Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Calvin Johnson, Matt Moore, Matt Ryan, Hakeem Nicks

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