Deshaun Watson and Lamar Miller

USA Today


A beatdown like that in prime time, but did it even make a sound?

November 27, 2018 - 9:18 am

“8-3. Where tf my haters at”

Not my words. Those of Tyrann Mathieu of the Houston Texans. If you know anything, you know this is a huge Tyrann Mathieu house. And that tweet is tremendous.

Here’s the thing: it’s hard to win in the National Football League. Anyone who played in the league will tell you that. And they will probably insist on referring to it as the National Football League when just saying NFL is faster.

And you know what’s even tougher than winning in the NFL. Winning and it somehow remaining a secret. Winning and not getting any credit for it. That’s the Texans. A team with Pro Bowl players all over its roster that has won eight straight games but still isn’t getting a ton of run. I’m talking about the Houston Texans, who just wrecked the Tennessee Titans 34-17 on Monday Night Football last night.

A beatdown like that in prime time, but did it even make a sound?

The Houston Texans with J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, and DeAndre Hopkins. The Houston Texans who have a defense that had five sacks in its last game and six sacks last night. The Houston Texans who ran for nearly 300 yards last night. The Houston Texans who have the same record as the Patriots and a better record than the Steelers. 

Sometimes in a game, it can be hard to find the turning point. To pinpoint the exact moment when the game changed or when it was over. It wasn’t hard last night. 

The game changed when Titans tight end Luke Stocker took a handoff on 4th and 1 and was stud-up. 

And it was over when Lamar Miller hit the 20-yard line. 


He broke through a bunch of tackles and absolutely destroyed Tennessee’s will on that play. Shattered tackles and shattered dreams. Yo.

They just punked the team that punked the Patriots earlier this month. If we go back two weeks, the Titans wrecked the Patriots, physically and emotionally. And Houston just did that to Tennessee in every facet of the game. 

They finally got Demaryius Thomas working last night too, with two touchdowns. I mean, if you look at that roster and you look at those resumes, that’s an impressive team, but they don’t get nearly the run that you’d expect for an 8-3 team.

It wasn’t that long ago that Bill O’Brien was on the hot seat. Now he’s in the catbird seat in the division. You want to play smash mouth man ball? Houston can do that on both sides of the ball. They don’t just hit, they hit hard. You want to put up video game numbers? Houston has the potential to do that too. 

So, to answer the Badger’s question: the haters are everywhere. And if not the haters, than the doubters. Because despite ripping off 8 in a row, there’s still this collective, show me something, when it comes to the Texans. Hell, the Colts are getting more run than the Texans and they’re two games behind Houston in the AFC South.  

Fair or not, not a whole lot of people seem to be buying in on this team. Is it because their offense, as explosive as it was last night, is kind of inconsistent? Sure, it’s not putting up points the way you might want or expect, but with that defense, you don’t always have to put up 40 a game. 

Is it because they’ve never quite delivered in the playoffs? Maybe. 

Is it because they started 0-3 and looked like they were imploding? Well, they’re 8-0 since going 0-3, so it shouldn’t be that. They find a way to win. They’ve done it eight straight times. It hasn’t always been pretty or impressive, but eight straight is pretty impressive. 

And yet, 8-3 and the haters and doubters are everywhere. And they deserve a helluva lot more credit than they’re currently getting.