As expected, the 2023 NFL season has not gotten off to a strong start for the Houston Texans. With a new head coach in DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud under center, there’s hopeful optimism that things will turn around longterm, but this season was never supposed to see an incredible turnaround.
After a rough home loss to the Colts last week, the Texans bounced back impressively on the road in Jacksonville on Sunday, taking a 24-10 lead in the late third quarter thanks in large part to some incredible special teams play. In the first half, they got a touchdown drive set up by a blocked field goal as star rookie defensive end Will Anderson burst through the line to get two hands on the ball and return it into Jaguars territory.
In the second half, it was the unlikeliest of special teams heroes, as fullback Andrew Beck received a short kickoff as the upback, muffed it, picked it up, and returned it 85 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown.
It’s an incredible return from a guy whose job is usually blocking on kick returns, not running the ball back. Beck showed some speed and, most impressively, balance on the sideline as he high stepped out of a couple diving tackle attempts to take it to the house.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 24, 2023
Houston still has work to do on offense, which is expected with a rookie QB, but Ryans has them playing much more competently on defense — they had a pair of turnovers forced in the first three quarters — and special teams to start his tenure and that should excite fans in Houston.