Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
In each of their first three games it’s fair to say the Texans didn’t do what was expected.
In Week 4 they did exactly what was expected: They rolled to a win over an inferior team, upping their record to 2-2 with a solid 29-6 throttling of the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium.
Upcoming opponents will likely provide more resistance, but Houston’s big issues related to run defense and rushing offense were solved for a day, and perhaps this showing will give the team mounting confidence that it can play well in both departments.
The Texans held the Raiders to 2 yards a carry and 45 yards total on the ground and got a tremendous safety when Brian Cushing body slammed Justin Fargas on a questionable carry out of the end zone. They also fought through a slow start and a lost fumble by Steve Slaton and got a two-touchdown second quarter from their running back -- one rushing, one receiving.
They didn’t run for great yardage, but the game’s construct finally allowed them to get the carries they’ve lacked. Slaton and Ryan Moats -- who got work ahead of last week’s goat the ill Chris Brown -- combined for 41 carries for 120 yards.
Slaton’s fumble came after he was toppled awkwardly by one of his own linemen, Kasey Studdard. But the Texans didn’t get thrown off by that mistake or another where Matt Schaub and Slaton collided in the backfield, but Schaub maintained his balance and composure and threw a big gainer to Owen Daniels.
The Texans hoped to get to this point at 3-1. They’ll take 2-2 and second place in the AFC South as they prepare for consecutive trips to Arizona and Cincinnati, knowing they’ve hardly played their best and expecting better things ahead.