Texans head coach David Culley: 'This football team expected to win'


HOUSTON -- The Texans were slight underdogs in the season-opener at home against a football team that won only one game last year, and entered the game with a rookie quarterback and first-year NFL coach.

Even at the time, it seemed a bit disrespectful. In truth, neither team probably deserved to be favored over the other.

But if you ask Texans head coach David Culley, their 37-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday came as no surprise.

"Let me just say this: this football team expected to win," Culley said after the game. "We expected to win. We're not surprised, simply because we played good football today. I thought at the very end we lost our composure a little bit with some penalties, but this football team expected to win today. And we knew if we did the things we had been practicing, we did the things that are winning football, that we'd have a chance to win the game. And we did that today."

Texans running back Mark Ingram also said he was not surprised by the team's performance, or his own.

Ingram, 31, scored the first touchdown of the game and said he feels like he's still in his prime.

As for the noise surrounding the team, predicting them to be terrible and possibly go winless this season?

"We don't care about them people. We don't care," Ingram said. "If you doubt us or doubt someone, like we don't really care. We all believe in each other. We all have faith in each other. We all hold each other accountable, and we believe we have what we need in order to have success. We don't really care about nobody else that don't support us or nobody else that don't believe in us. It's irrelevant."

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who finished with 132 receiving yards on five catches, including outjumping a defender for a 40-yard catch in the first quarter and another 52-yard catch in the second quarter, has spoken previously about focusing on the task at-hand.

All of the roster changes thrusted Cooks definitively into the No. 1 wide receiver role, and he's responded accordingly.

"That's what we've been saying in this building; kind of ignore the noise and focus on what we have to do and do our job, and we've got to let everything else kind of take care of itself," Cooks said.

With the Texans beating the Jaguars; Tennessee Titans losing to the Arizona Cardinals; and Indianapolis Colts losing to the Seattle Seahawks, Houston is the only AFC South team to win in Week 1, sitting alone atop the division standings.

"I'm going to enjoy this for 24 hours," Culley added. "And after those 24 hours, we're going to get on to Cleveland."