Forgive me for what you're about to read; putting how I feel into words right now is a bit difficult. Perhaps more than ever, the stats don't tell the tale of this game. Your Houston Texans blew a seventeen (17!) point lead with slightly more than eight (8) minutes remaining today. Hell, if you want to get technical about it, the Colts remained down by 17 until Peyton Manning threw a TD pass with a little more than four (4) minutes left.
Growing up, playing sports, we're bombarded by the old adage--"Win as a team, lose as a team." In football, perhaps more than any other team game, it's damn near impossible for a single player to win or lose a game by himself. We occasionally have the kicker who splits the uprights to win a game, but football really is the epitome of a team sport. As a general rule, one otherworldly player doesn't equate to victory; if one guy was all it took, the Lions would have won multiple Super Bowls with Barry Sanders in the backfield. No, it takes a team to win. And 99% of the time, it takes a team to lose.
The Texans lost this afternoon because of one player, and one player alone. After playing efficient, winning football for approximately fifty-six (56) minutes, Sage Rosenfels singlehandedly cost his team the win. No one else, and I mean NO ONE--no other player(s) and no coach(es)--lost this game. Sage lost it. By himself. In absolutely historical fashion. I'm sure he knows it, and we certainly know it.
The most painful part of it, I think, was that the three (3) turnovers he committed in record-breaking time were completely preventable and thus inexcusable. The first fumble does not happen if he slides instead of attempting to charge into three (3) much bigger defenders. The second fumble does not happen if he exhibits an ounce of pocket presence. The final, kick-to-the-nuts interception looked to have been thrown while his target (in this case, Andre Johnson) was on the ground. Three (3) plays. If any one of those plays doesn't go down like it did, the Texans win. It took three (3) separate, horrifying mistakes by Sage for the Colts to win.
I'm not taking anything away from the Colts; they revealed some serious character by battling until the end. Still...no sane observer can say that Sage didn't deliver that game on a silver platter to them. Indy was the beneficiary of one player's epic collapse. Good for them, and as usual, awful for the Texans and their fans.
I would hope this goes without saying, yet I'll say it anyway: Don't give me the "Well, Sage put us in position to win it; Schaub wouldn't have done that." That is complete and utter garbage. The Schaub ran the Houston offense as well as it could be run last week in Jacksonville. You're really telling me that Schaub wouldn't have completed slightly less than two-thirds of his passes for 246 yards and a TD today? Against THAT defense? Please. And for the critics who say that Schaub is fragile...in my estimation, that perceived fragility would have been a real bonus today, because there's no way Schaub would've been so freaking stupid as to try to take on three (3) defenders. He would've slid; the clock would've kept running; and the Texans would've won.
I hate to judge a player on one game, and I won't do it here. I will, however, say this: There is no QB controversy. And the next time any of us starts complaining about Schaub, remember today.
I'll be back with my thoughts on the rest of the players/game later tonight. The vein throbbing on my forehead is telling me it's time to drown this bubbling rage with more whiskey.