Monday, November 30, 2009

Texans Still Servin' Turkeys

The yucky weather has arrived, and it's too late to take advantage of a beautiful opportunity to put the lights up. "That's O.K." you told yourself as you settled into squandering 3 hours of "honey do" prime time yesterday to watch the Houston Texans. Great start, disheartening lapses, and predictable finish as they relinquish an early 17 - 0 lead to fall 35 - 27 to the Indianapolis Colts. And the lights are still in that tangled mess somewhere in the garage.

The AFC WildCard race is still in contention. And as long as it is, the Houston Texans will play disappointingly. Once any chance at the post-season is mathematically eliminated, they will play loose and more effectively.

But that could take a couple of more weeks.

Jacksonville next week, on the road. Anybody care? Good. That's just what the Texans need to start playing better.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Count Your Blessings


There. You feel better already don't you?

You don't have to tell me that your Houston Texans have squandered equally potential and ability to post a 5 - 5 record. Their near misses against the Jaguars, Cardinals, Colts, and now Titans are why they are not 9 - 1 hosting 9 - 1 division rival Indianapolis this Sunday for a chance to sweep them this season and lead the division in December with an outright shot at a BYE going into the playoffs.

The inches with which their blown opportunities passed them by might as well be a mile. It really does come down to the fact that they do not have a running game. That does not mean Coach Kubiak should insist on calling running plays, it means the Texans need a running back.

Get one, Houston, and Thanksgiving next year your blessings will be bountiful. The city will be giving thanks for a well run franchise and bona fide championship-caliber team.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Orange You Glad You Have an NFL Team?

I have heard for 8 years how the city of Houston deserves better than their Texans.

I have said for 8 years the Houston Texans deserve better than this city's fans. I can prove it to you. A week from now on Monday night under the bright lights of national exposure that is Monday Night Football, the seats will be half-empty at Kick-Off. And once Reliant Stadium is as full as its going to get, 25% of the seats will be occupied by bitter, burnt-orange-wearing humanity cheering for Vince Young as he tries to lead the once-Oilers to a victory against the team that passed on him in the 2006 NFL Draft. At least the Buffalo Bills got the finger from Titans owner Bud Adams. Reliant's occupants will be giving it to their own team!

Your team will be "V.Y."-ing for Wild Card contention for the next 6 weeks, and this game means everything as far as getting off on the right foot. Will the city finally prove it deserves the privilege of an NFL franchise? Or will it point out excuses masquerading as explanations as to why they did not?

Lose the collegiate colors. This is "big-boy" football. Act like you belong in the elite club of cities that has an NFL team. Cheer for your team, not the visiting team's quarterback.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Texans Get Smart

They say that failure is the best teacher. The Houston Texans have had their tassle moved from one side of their cap to the other so many times it resembles the motion of a windshield wiper. The Texans are a veritable PhD. in Disappointing Losses!

Fighting back against the Indianapolis Colts from a 13-0 deficit with a 56 yard field goal going into halftime, the Texans looked like a team ready to tear off the corner, rather than merely turn it. Two more touchdowns and they led their nemesis 17 - 13 in the 4th quarter on the road.

Tough defense and maybe even getting into the heads of the Colts (they felt they had to use a trick play: an intercepted pass off a halfback option!) looked like Matt Schaub was going to lead his team to a tie in regulation, or pehaps even a win.

If not for a Moats fumble on the 1 yard line earlier in the contest, the Texans would have been playing to preserve the win...not snatch it. The coaching staff with the equipment and knowledge to have advised the sideline to run a quick play to avoid a review was remiss in their responsibility. They would have earned the game ball in this victory, but...

The Texans are the greatest good team in the league. They were "right there" when it came to beating Indy on the road for the first time in franchise history. As Maxwell Smart would have said, "Missed it by that much."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity knocks this weekend for both the Houston Texans as a team and for Joel Dreessen and James Casey as individuals. It's not just the idea of improving to 6 - 3 on the year with a win against a division foe they've beaten only one time (Kris Brown's winning field goal as time expired at Reliant December 23, 2006 ) in franchise history. It's the chance for Dreessen and Casey to prove they're capable of picking up the slack for All-Pro Warrior Owen Daniels, and becoming a part of franchise history in their own right!

Think about it. Two years ago, Daniels was considered a respectable player, but no one could have predicted successful delivery of his pursuit of excellence made necessary by the knee injury suffered by Andre Johnson in the second game of the season on the road in Carolina. But he blossomed over the next 7 games in Johnson's absence and became a viable target and potent part of the offense. So too can Joel and James in Daniels' absence. I see it in them. And judging from the playcall in the red zone at the end of the game against Arizona earlier this year, apparently Kyle Shanahan sees it too.

Ryan Moats was a sweet slice of serendipity. His 100+ yards were the silver lining in the clouded victory against Buffalo that unfortunately included an injury to Owen that put him out for the season. While nobody would have traded O.D. for a productive running back who took care of the rock, he was a nice surprise. Turnovers were minimized, addressed, and overcome. The continued cohesion on the other side of the ball resulted in stingy and punishing defense. And special teams continues to be just one breath away from improving upon delivering great field position to putting points on the board.

Lucas Field is a tough place to play. Peyton Manning is, well, Peyton Manning. But the biggest surprise to Texans opponents this year, especially of late, is that this is not the team they've studied on film. They're much better.

"Knock-Knock", Dreessen and Casey...It's opportunity!