Perhaps one day, my great grandchildren will witness your Houston Texans win a game in Indianapolis. With efforts like yesterday's, I have very little faith a Houston win in the Hoosier State will happen during my lifetime. Or at least as long as Peyton Manning is under center, anyway. As it's nearly Wednesday and the Chargers will be here before we know it, let's dive in to the disappointment that was our beloved Texans on Monday Night Football.
1. Because I'm such a source of positivity and light, I'm going to lead with the one indisputably great part of last night's experience: 360 Sports Lounge. Brandon and the staff at 360 were kind enough to host the latest BRB event, and I can't say enough good things about them and the bar. I had never been to 360 before, and I could not have been more impressed. It's a great place to watch a game, and we couldn't have been treated better (excellent free food and great drink specials). If you haven't been to 360 yet, do yourself a favor and go. Now. You will not be disappointed.
2. Another big thank-you to everyone who came out for BRBAPALOOZA. It's always great getting a chance to talk football with other Texans fans. Hopefully, we can put another event together before the season's over.
4. If anyone can put forth a rational justification for why Foster got a total of 15 carries last night, when he single-handedly shredded the Indianapolis defense in Week One, and when he seemed to be gaining chunks of yards with almost every carry last night, I'd love to hear it. Then I'd like you to definitively explain what happened to Flight 19. Because if you can explain the former, you can explain the latter.
5. Throwing on 3rd and 2, and then compounding the mistake by throwing on 4th and 2, was as good a microcosm as you'll ever get for the Texans' absurd game plan. To not even give Arian Foster a chance to pick up those two yards is totally inexcusable. And that's not hindsight talking. As it was unfolding live, everyone was yelling incredulously at the television.
6. Matt Schaub's weekly interception (so accepted and expected by Texans fans that it's even become a user name here on BRB) was particularly horrendous and/or back-breaking this week, as it resulted in 7 immediate points. Several people have commented on it, and it's a legitimate concern: Why has Schaub looked so much worse--on balance--than he did last season? Last year, he didn't even have the slightest threat of a running game, and he put together an incredible season. Now, he's got one of the most productive runners in the league behind him (when, you know, said running back actually gets the ball), which should make things infinitely easier, yet Schaub looks rattled far more than he ever did last year. It's not like his offensive line got appreciably worse this season, even with Eric Winston appearing to struggle at times, did it? The guards weren't strong last year, and they aren't strong this year. What am I missing? Why the change?
8. I like Antonio Smith. I do not like how it seems that he's good for a killer, drive-sustaining penalty every week.
9. Anyone still itching to give that big extension to Bernard Pollard?
10. I generally leave the Zac Diles criticism to others, but man...he was really, really bad last night. I don't know that I've ever seen him look as bad as he did last night.
11. I totally underestimated the difficulty that Brian Cushing would have in adjusting to playing in the middle. He looked lost and unsure of himself at times last night. There probably isn't a worse QB to face in that instance than Peyton, so I'm not overly worried. Definitely warrants keeping a close eye on Cushing come Sunday, though. If Cushing can't shore up the middle, a terrible defense manages to become even terribler.
12. Could anyone tell what Mario Williams was shouting at Bill Kollar on the sideline toward the end of the game? Did Kollar yell back? Maybe something to the effect of, "Don't raise your voice to me until you play more like Mark Anderson," or "You're only allowed to yell at me if you're an undersized defensive lineman, preferably younger than the age of 19! Because then I can attribute your anger to adolescence and hormones!"
13. He made a couple of nice plays, but watching Eugene Wilson in the open field reminds me of an adult pretending to get faked out by, or pretending to not be able to catch up to, a little kid running with a football. Except Wilson's not pretending. It's like he breaks down and then forgets to move after that. And since Rivers did his review of Eugene's play in the loss to Dallas, I can't watch him play without visualizing a traffic cone.
14. How sad is that many Texans fans were actually pleased with the defense last night? Yes, Peyton Manning is a witch, but the defense still surrendered 23 points, and at no time did it look like they could really stop the Colts. How accustomed to crappy defensive play are Texans fans that we say, "Hey, the defense wasn't the problem. They did what they were supposed to do"? We are so conditioned to Frank Bush's charges and scheme failing week after week that we excuse poor play under the guise that well, it sure could've been worse. Well played, Frank. You've set the bar so freaking low that fan expectations are virtually non-existent.
15. I've never really been on the Fire Kubiak Bandwagon. I didn't really question his suitability for the job for the first time until September 2009, and I do remember being convinced he wouldn't survive the halfback pass decision last December. I definitely wasn't anti-Kubes, and I completely understood and somewhat supported Bob McNair's decision to extend his contract during the offseason. Now? The fact is that Gary Kubiak is in his fifth year as the head coach of your Houston Texans, and I'm hard pressed to say that the 2010 Houston Texans are where a team in the fifth year of a regime should be. Granted, Kubes inherited a severely talent-deprived team, and it's totally valid to question how much blame should be attributed to Rick Smith for the ongoing lack of talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Still...losing half the games the Texans play shouldn't, and can't, be good enough.
I truly believe the Texans' season, and Gary Kubiak's future as head coach of the Houston Texans, comes down to Sunday's game against the Chargers. Win, and the Texans are 5-3. That alone guarantees nothing, especially with the tough slate of games remaining on the schedule. Lose Sunday, though, and the Texans drop to 4-4, which I do believe will operate to practically eliminate them from the playoff hunt, since this team has never had an eight-game stretch where they went 6-2. Barring a dramatic change, 9 wins is not getting you into the AFC Playoffs this year. No playoffs for a ninth consecutive (fifth consecutive under Kubes) year, in my opinion, spells D-O-O-M for Kubes.
Here come the Chargers. No pressure.Texans vs Colts coverage