Last Thursday, I dubbed Sunday's game against the Colts "the biggest game the Texans will play all season." Given the epic collapse that ensued, it's only natural to wonder how or if your Houston Texans can bounce back in less than a week to rally against a surprising Miami squad.
Honestly, I'm not optimistic. The effects of a loss like the one that was suffered last Sunday do not vanish, and certainly not inside a week. For all of Kubes' talk about the players being "very strong," I have a hard time believing the Texans are going to be able to put what has to be the most painful loss of most, if not all, of their professional careers behind them in time to bring the type of focused effort that'll be required to notch the first victory of the season on Sunday. Instead, I'm more inclined to think the Texans may well take the field with a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop mentality that sees them crack at the first sign of adversity. That's not an indictment of the players or coaches; after having to stomach such an improbable loss, I think it's natural to wonder what else can possibly go wrong, instead of steeling oneself to overcome whatever obstacles present themselves in the next contest.
As I see it, the chief goal of the coaching staff this week should be to inoculate the team to withstand the inevitable mental issues that will surface the first time something--a fumble, an interception, a missed tackle, a Dolphin touchdown--goes wrong. The best prescription for the damaged team psyche, of course, would be a big scoring play for the offense or a quick three-and-out for the defense on the first drive of the game. The Texans need to see a positive result as soon as possible come kickoff on Sunday; otherwise, the 0-4 start could snowball into an abyss that destroys the 2008 season.