Texans shouldn't be afraid to sling it

Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky

I understand and respect coach Gary Kubiak’s desire to run a balanced offense.

Asked Thursday in Houston about his team’s ability to stretch the field like the Cardinals do, Kubiak said: “We’ve obviously got some very good receivers and stuff. I think to be consistent in this league, you’ve got to run the football, so that’s something I’m committed to and what our team’s committed to. But yeah, we’ve got the ability to put a lot of wideouts on the field, if that’s what you’re asking me.”

Try, sure. But if the Texans can’t run it at University of Phoenix Stadium, I think Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan should toss the run game out the window.

The Cardinals are sixth against the run, in part because they’ve been relatively easy to throw against.

Games that look like shootouts on paper don’t always end up playing out to script, so we may just see a 9-6 game here.

But if Arizona shows a willingness to sling it, the Texans should be perfectly willing to match.

Win by any means possible. Against the Cardinals that may mean an approach like the one the Jaguars used last week against Tennessee, when Jacksonville basically conceded the run and killed the weak Titans pass defense through the air.

If it’s strength against strength, it’s passing offense against passing offense.

And the Texans shouldn’t be shy about announcing they feel theirs can outproduce Arizona’s. I hope Sunday night they aren’t kicking themselves for not asserting themselves and being determined to show it.