Let’s Go to the Mattresses

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September 8, 2007
Let’s Go to the Mattresses

by Keith Weiland

Remember how Al Pacino kept telling Diane Keaton in those Godfather films that he was going to make the family business legitimate? She later says to him, “It made me think of what you once told me: ‘In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate.’ That was seven years ago.”

Texans fans, we have been Diane Keaton for the last seven years. Sad, I know. Especially since I don’t look good in those clownish pantsuits she favors either.

Our marriage to those old Texans, like Keaton said hers was to Pacino, was an abortion. It was unholy and evil. And it ruined many of my Sundays.

Well, there is good news. No, there won’t be a Godfather 4 to atone for the atrociousness that was Godfather 3. The good news is that this is the year in which our Texans are finally legitimate.

Says right here that these Texans are going 9-7 this season.

Why? Because a lot of guys with Reliant Park addresses who used to tell us they were going to be legitimate someday are now sleeping with the fishes, er… at least not sleeping in Houston anymore.

Matt Schaub is going to make this offense look good. Not great – this is just his first year as a starter mind you – but good enough to actually win a couple games this season. Last year the team had to devise gameplans knowing they couldn’t rely on the offense to do more than stay afloat. This year, the team won’t have as much to worry about when it comes time to take those chances.

Ahman Green is the most legitimate running back to wear Battle Red. Domanick Williams was a nice back, but Green is the real deal. He still bursts through the hole and has some getaway speed in those 30-year old legs. And Ron Dayne’s December performance last year is proof that when he is healthy, he can be a capable backup to Green.

Andre Johnson is now a veteran, and better yet, he might have someone in Jacoby Jones to open up the defense and help him find more room to run after the catch. These guys, along with Owen Daniels splitting the seams, will help make Schaub look good even on days when he isn’t.

The defense already showed down the stretch last year that they can win the battles they are supposed to win against lesser competition. Dunta Robinson and DeMeco Ryans are ready to book surfing lessons for next February. There are holes in this defense, particularly in the pass rush and at safety, but the Texans have good coaches and coordinators to mask those flaws into a bend-but-don’t break unit.

We’ll also see better in-game decisions from head coach Gary Kubiak this season. He made some rookie decisions last year, but with a year’s worth of sweat in his headset, he’s ready to be our wartime consiglieri.

So when the Texans tell us again that they really are legitimate this year, I’m ready to believe this time, even nine wins-believe. Because if anything in this NFL life is certain, if the parity of the league has taught us anything, it’s that even bad teams can make a killing someday.

Keith Weiland didn’t plan on writing any more articles with tired Godfather references, but just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.

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