Opportunity knocks this weekend for both the Houston Texans as a team and for Joel Dreessen and James Casey as individuals. It's not just the idea of improving to 6 - 3 on the year with a win against a division foe they've beaten only one time (Kris Brown's winning field goal as time expired at Reliant December 23, 2006 ) in franchise history. It's the chance for Dreessen and Casey to prove they're capable of picking up the slack for All-Pro Warrior Owen Daniels, and becoming a part of franchise history in their own right!
Think about it. Two years ago, Daniels was considered a respectable player, but no one could have predicted successful delivery of his pursuit of excellence made necessary by the knee injury suffered by Andre Johnson in the second game of the season on the road in Carolina. But he blossomed over the next 7 games in Johnson's absence and became a viable target and potent part of the offense. So too can Joel and James in Daniels' absence. I see it in them. And judging from the playcall in the red zone at the end of the game against Arizona earlier this year, apparently Kyle Shanahan sees it too.
Ryan Moats was a sweet slice of serendipity. His 100+ yards were the silver lining in the clouded victory against Buffalo that unfortunately included an injury to Owen that put him out for the season. While nobody would have traded O.D. for a productive running back who took care of the rock, he was a nice surprise. Turnovers were minimized, addressed, and overcome. The continued cohesion on the other side of the ball resulted in stingy and punishing defense. And special teams continues to be just one breath away from improving upon delivering great field position to putting points on the board.
Lucas Field is a tough place to play. Peyton Manning is, well, Peyton Manning. But the biggest surprise to Texans opponents this year, especially of late, is that this is not the team they've studied on film. They're much better.
"Knock-Knock", Dreessen and Casey...It's opportunity!