After missing much of what might have been their best chance at a Super Bowl run a year ago, you’d think Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson might know how fine the line is, how hard it is to reach, and temper expectations.
Last year was Houston’s first 10-win season, first playoff berth and first division title.
So both the Texans quarterback and star wide receiver are embracing their role as fashionable picks, and are willing to declare this a “Super Bowl or bust,” kind of year.
“That’s how I feel about it,,” Johnson told NFL.com’s Albert Breer. “That’s the only reason you play the game. I mean, that’s the only reason I play it. You can make the playoffs, go to the AFC championship, [but] if you lose, you’re still getting the same thing the guys who didn’t make the playoffs got.
“The ultimate goal is winning the Super Bowl. That’s it.”
Schaub is no less confident, accepting the role as fair, and deserved.
“We have to have that sense of urgency to go get it,” Schaub said. “Nothing’s gonna be given to you in this league. We have a tough schedule, yes, but we know we have the type of talent in our locker room where we can go out and beat anyone on any given day. For guys like me and Andre, yeah, we’re in Year 9 and 10, but we’re hitting our stride, we’re hitting our prime.
“And we know that window of opportunity is small in this business. The talent level here is so good, we have to embrace every opportunity we have to go play.”
The pressure’s on both. While they earned their acclaim, the Texans are now defined by an excellent defense.
So if they’re going to fulfill what they believe to be their destiny, Schaub and Johnson are going to be present. If so, the Texans will have to be accounted for.