There's no way around it: the Texans stunk up the joint yesterday. You'd expect to come out and compete when you have a full off-season to prepare for one game, but that didn't seem to be the case on Sunday. That said, I'm curious why the results of that game seem so unexpected to lots of people around here.
Let's recap what we knew going into this game:
1) The zone-blocking scheme doesn't handle big 3-4 nose tackles very well. Myers isn't great, but he wasn't put in a position to succeed yesterday. It wouldn't have mattered if he had put on 50 pounds of muscle in the off-season; he shouldn't have been expected to block Jenkins 1-on-1.
2) Andre Davis takes too long to get into stride. Against a team with a weak pass-rush, he's a fine deep threat. But when you're playing a Rex Ryan defense that man-handles your offensive line and gets to the QB in a couple seconds each play, you need a quicker receiver to run inside routes. It's a shame that Kevin Walter was injured; I think he's vastly underrated. That said, David Anderson should have gotten more time on the field.
3) Eugene Wilson is the best (read: only) coverage safety we've had in franchise history. He's not Ed Reed, but there's a noticeable difference in our pass coverage when he's on the field. Now, there's been a lot of talk about how the Texans don't generally distinguish much between SS and FS. Accordingly, there's been a lot of terrible play in our secondary over the years. Wilson's injury was a disaster for us. And by sliding Ferguson to FS, we had absolutely horrible play at both safety positions. I won't even get into Barber. Barber...
4) Our front seven was not going to be able to contain the run. Not against the Jets offensive line and the AFC's reigning rushing leader. Our only hope defensively was to stick eight in the box and let Sanchez try to beat us with his arm. With Wilson and Jacque Reeves in the game, I think it might have worked. The strategy worked perfectly for about a quarter and a half. If not for McCain's blown assignment, it would have been a stellar half of football defensively.
But alas, Sanchez did what he needed to do to win that game for them. Our pass-rush didn't touch him, despite an increased number of blitzes, and we just couldn't get any clutch tackles on screen passes. That said, I'm encouraged by our defensive play overall. Don't let the bloated box-score stats fool you; that game was over halfway into the 3rd quarter when our offense finally seemed to give up. But until then, the defense gave them every chance to win the game. The complete lack of sacks and turnovers is pretty damn weak, but they did a nice job for the most part. The linebackers looked strong, and the defensive tackles held their ground.
If you want to read angry, reactionary posts calling for heads to roll, check out one of the recent threads. But I'm going to stick to the positives here, albeit slightly tongue-in-cheek. After all, it's pretty damn hard to find positives in a game when your offense doesn't score a point all day at home.
1) Schaub played the whole game! Most teams' fans take things like that for granted. But considering that he took about a dozen big hits throughout that game, I'm pleased that he kept getting up.
2) One of these days, our fumble luck is bound to change. When Slaton coughed up his, it was at least a six-point swing. Meanwhile, Thomas Jones put the ball on the turf and they managed to get it back and march in for another 7. This, my friends, is about 5% awareness and 95% luck.
3) Continuity! The offensive line has now played 17 consecutive games together. And the peasants rejoiced.
I'm struggling here, but you get the point. Get over it, because bitching about it really isn't going to do anyone any good. Get pumped up for next week. I think these Texans might surprise you.