Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
Some observations from the Texans' win over San Francisco.
In the first half, the Texans benefited from some costly penalties that San Francisco committed. The 49ers also fumbled a punt and in general were very out of sync after their bye week. Shaun Hill was pulled in favor of Alex Smith because of overall offensive ineptitude to begin the second half. Smith promptly led the 49ers to their first touchdown. Smith went on to put together an exceptional second half of football -- although it should be noted the Texans did game plan for Hill. Still, Houston needs to learn how to win and put teams away once it has control of the game. Houston is a team on the rise, but finishing off your opponent in this league isn't always that easy.
Owen Daniels is playing as well as any tight end in the NFL right now and was simply terrific Sunday. Houston lines him up in a variety of spots in the formation and his array of pass routes is extensive. Few tight ends are so capable with such a diverse route tree or with his ability to stretch the field and make plays after the catch. Matt Schaub loves him ... with good reason.
Houston had no answers for Vernon Davis. Tight ends were running wild in Houston on Sunday. Davis abused the Texans' safeties -- a real weak spot on this team. The middle of the field was open throughout the second half and Davis consistently split the seam on middle go routes and skinny posts. Don't think that the Colts didn't take notice for their Week 9 contest.
I am now officially a believer in the Texans' run defense. It was superb Sunday against a team that everyone knows wants to control the game on the ground. Frank Gore had absolutely no running room to speak of. Brian Cushing has been instrumental in this improvement and should be a legitimate candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He is very fundamentally sound for such a young player and his overall stoutness at the line of scrimmage has been a very welcome addition.