12 things: Why the Texans are legit

The other team in the Lone Star State is the one to watch this season

Updated: September 24, 2010, 3:33 PM ET
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Mario WilliamsAP Photo/Bill BaptistExpect Mario Williams and the Texans to keep up their hot start against the Cowboys.

In 2008, ESPN the Magazine's NFL preview featured a cool picture of the Texans' Mario Williams shattering some imagined glass-like barrier into a thousand different pieces. I spent a week with the team during camp that year putting together a piece to accompany that photo about the Texans finally breaking through as an elite team in the NFL.

Looking back, though, the signs weren't all in place. They didn't have a sense of urgency. They had a mental block against the Colts. The Texans had talented players, stars even, who hadn't quite grown into leaders just yet. They were explosive on both sides of the ball, but not balanced. They showed flashes of greatness, but not consistency.

They just weren't ready then.

But, look out Dallas, they are now.