Trying to beat the Titans on the road was already going to be a difficult task for the Texans: The Texans have played poorly on the road since Gary Kubiak was their coach. The offensive line is incorporating new starters and a new scheme, and like many teams, have struggled in the past against the Titans defensive line. And the Texans defense has just been bad.
Since Hurricane Ike devastated the Houston-Galveston area, many of the players have mentioned how much they want to win this upcoming game for the fans suffering from the storm. As LB DeMeco Ryans discussed:
It's very big for us. We plan on not only playing for ourselves, but for everyone around the city, everyone around the state of Texas that's looking to sort of get back to a normal life. Everybody loves to watch football. So, hopefully we can do that for our fans here and for our hometown here in Houston, get back on the winning side of things.
Who knows how many people in the Houston area will even be able to watch the game by Sunday. As of this morning, there are still about 1,400,000 households without power in the area. A large portion of the eastern and southern sides of the city are predicted not to have power into next week or longer. Those are huge numbers hard to really comprehend.
It's hard to tell whether the distraction and the rust hurts them, or the rest and determination helps them. Or whether it makes any lick of difference at all.
The area of the city I live in was hit hard but I was fortunate to get power quickly. My neighbors across the street still have no power. We've had another family living with us since last Sunday, and another family is coming tonight.
Please consider donating to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund. The funds go to local charities who already spent a lot of their resources helping people recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Here's some pictures I've taken on the west side of town, ones further away from the direct path of Ike:
This is a local store being run on generator power. They have no perishables. Some stores now do. We were finally able to buy eggs yesterday.
A lot of the stores were picked mostly clean before the storm.
There are still long lines for gasoline because many stations have no power to pump gas. There's a huge demand for gasoline because of all the generators running.
You really can't see the scale of this from the picture. This is a large tree that has toppled over a garage and landed on a house. This entire region has trees toppled everywhere. And those areas with fewer trees often got the worst roof damage.
This picture was taken yesterday. You can't see it from the picture, but the tree is resting on the house, looking like it could break at any moment. There are so many trees on homes and power lines and roads that there aren't enough people to help remove them.
Electrical crews have come from all over the country to help, and unfortunately a few employees died or have become injured trying to restore power.
Flag is still standing. So we have that going for us.