1. The most maddening thing I think I've read all season, courtesy of Jacques "I Make Petey Faggins Look Good" Reeves:
"That’s what I want," Reeves said about quarterbacks trying to pick on him. "It gives me a chance to make plays, so I have no problem with it."
You have got to be kidding me. News flash, Pepe Le Pew: You're awful. Every Sunday, you make me want to go on a killing spree. You make Petey Faggins, widely considered to be the worst defensive back in all of football, look like Deion Sanders. I hate you, Frenchy. The reason teams throw at you is precisely because you do not make plays (Sunday's fluke pick-six aside). They're going to throw at you regardless, so the least you could do is not encourage them to do so. It's akin to dousing yourself in gasoline and then dancing around a campfire. I want to scream right now.
2. There are lots of reasons to think Richard Smith is an incompetent boob. The refusal to blitz. The insistence on playing defensive linemen who are nowhere near as productive as the younger guys below them on the depth chart. The inability to maximize the skills of his personnel. These are all good reasons. But in my opinion, there is no bigger reason to want Smith's head on a platter than his cornerback rotation. I'm willing to be lenient about his use of Dunta Robinson; Dunta's still rounding into shape after a horrific injury and is shaking the rust off (e.g., getting beat for a TD by Sidney Rice). No such benefit of the doubt, however, when it comes to Richard Smith's bizarre use of Fred Bennett and absolute refusal to incorporate Antwaun Molden into the rotation. Bennett was a revelation last year; now he can't even get consistent snaps in front of Jacques Reeves and/or Petey Faggins? I'll make this perfectly clear: I would rather see Fred Bennett wearing his helmet backwards and lined up across from Jerry Rice than be subjected to another second of Reeves or Faggins. Simply put, there's no way Bennett is worse than either of those guys. It's not possible. I have no idea if Molden is an answer at CB, but give me the potential that he is over the known quantity that is the poisonous non-coverage skills of the incumbents any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Again, I want to scream.
3. Hey, Dick Smith: Tim Bulman and Earl Cochran each notched a sack. In light of that success, as well as the fact that they've clearly outplayed the guys ahead of them all season, any chance Bulman and Cochran supplant Travis Johnson and The Corpse Formerly Known As Anthony Weaver as the starters? Or even take snaps away from them? Of course not.
6. I think DeMeco's ankle is really messed up. He's spoiled us since his rookie year, so it blows to have to see him look less than the stellar Pro Bowler we're used to.
8. If Owen Daniels isn't in Honolulu in February, there should be an investigation. 11 catches for 133 yards? Tight ends don't put up those kind of numbers.
9. The Vikes neutralized Andre Johnson as well as a team not named the Texans can do it. As opposed to years past, the nice thing is that the Texans have enough other weapons that the offense doesn't completely grind to a halt if 'Dre has a quieter game. The offense may not be as explosive without 'Dre hovering around 100 receiving yards, but guys like OD, K-Dub, and Steve Slaton still give the QB options. That's a treat.
10. Duane Brown and Ephraim Salaam should be ashamed of themselves. I know Jared Allen's a stud and all, but they were outclassed the entire game. As I noted here, one play of Salaam getting pancaked really sticks out in my mind. The fact that Brown has to face another 3-4 defense on Sunday (remember what James Harrison and Joey Porter did to ol' Duane) should have Sage increasing his life insurance policy.
11. Staying on Sage...that pick into double coverage (in the end zone, no less) that effectively ended the game was atrocious. Communication issues aside, there was no excuse for that throw. The worst part about it? Tell me you didn't see it coming. You're lying.
12. The Texans' defense is far too crappy for the offense to be able to turn the ball over at all, much less inside the red zone. It's a chronic problem that doesn't seem to get better at all, and I don't know why. Is it simply execution by the players? Is it coaching? What's the deal?
13. Matt Schaub shouldn't have been out there after he started limping, though I appreciate his toughness. His INT on the wounded duck to Vonta Leach looked to be the result of his inability to put his whole body into the throw. No player ever wants to come out, so that's on Kubes.
14. What's not on Kubes, however, is Schaub's fumbling. It's also a problem that's not going away.
15. Thought the interior of the Houston OL did a very admirable job against the one ton of push that is the Williams Wall. That was unexpected.
16. I'm tired and now much angrier than when I started writing this, so I'm wrapping this up. Fake Game Balls: Offense--Owen Daniels; Defense--Zac Diles; Special Teams--Kris Brown (by default).
Sunday brings the Ike'd out game against Baltimore, and your Houston Texans will be without their starting QB and leading tackler. The only way this could be any more ominous is if it was on the road.