The fourth loss of the 2010 season was all too familiar to Texans fans. The secondary continued to find new ways to make us question the existence of a benevolent creator. The pass rush continued to be missing in action for all but a few snaps of the game. Gary Kubiak and/or Rick Dennison continued to make decisions that defied logic. Matt Schaub continued to look far shakier than he did at any point in the 2009 season. With an offensive line executing the zone-blocking scheme to near perfection, Arian Foster continued to run impressively. Fans continued to ask why Kubiak and/or Dennison wouldn't let Foster continue to run impressively.
Most disappointingly of all, your Houston Texans continued to be unable to show that this year would be THE YEAR they would finally take the next step. They're .500 again, and that's a number with which Texans fans have become all too familiar the last few years. More specific observations lay beyond the jump.
1. Yes, Andre Johnson should have caught that final pass. It wasn't a great throw by any means, but it was a total fluke for it to bounce off his knee into a defender's hands for a game-ending interception. Call it a return to equilibrium of sorts after what he did against the Redskins or Chiefs earlier this season. If any Texan ever deserved a mulligan for a bad roll of the dice, it's 'Dre.
2. I remain flummoxed about Matt Schaub. He just doesn't look like the same guy he was in '09. He's shown flashes of being that guy (second half versus the Redskins, the win over the Chiefs), but he hasn't consistently approached the high standard he set last year. In particular, Schaub looks like he's forcing balls to guys other than 'Dre (e.g., Kevin Walter), and the touch seems just a bit off. Anyone have a theory as to what's going on?
3. Since Jacoby Jones apparently has no need for his hands, I think it'd be swell if he donated them to someone who could use them. Hand transplant surgery is still in its infancy, and I imagine there are any number of folks who'd be eternally grateful for such a tremendous gift.
4. Arian Foster had 18 carries in the first half. The Chargers did not really have an answer for him. The Texans scored 20 points in the first half. Foster had only 9 carries in the second half. The Chargers still did not have much of an answer for him. The Texans only scored 3 points in the second half. This does not compute.
5. Staying on Foster...it sort of gets missed because of his absurd running statistics, but Arian's a helluva receiving back as well. 4 catches for 70 yards on Sunday (and that doesn't include the 3-yard TD pass he should have had right before halftime), and a total of 32 receptions for 315 yards through the first half of this season.
6. The most disturbing thing to me about the decision for Matt Schaub to sneak it on 4th and 2 was that Kubes thought the Texans only needed half a yard for the first down. It was clearly a considerably longer distance than that--definitely well over a yard, and nowhere near a half a yard--and Arian Foster (or even Derrick Ward) should have gotten the ball there. Matt Schaub isn't Ben Roethlisberger, and the Texans' OL is not built to move a pile. Even letting Neil Rackers try from 51 yards out is a better alternative to a Schaub quick sneak.
7. James Casey! More, please.
8. I was one of the morons clamoring for Brian Cushing to take over at MLB in the wake of DeMeco Ryans' season-ending injury. It's not working. Cushing hasn't been a factor and, somehow, whether it's coincidence or not, it seems like having him in the middle has actually made Zac Diles even more of a liability at WLB (especially in coverage). Although Cushing has no desire to move back to SLB, would it make any sense to see if someone else could handle snaps at MLB? Or has that ship sailed?
9. Has anyone actually confirmed that Kareem Jackson is the one wearing #25? Because I am far more comfortable with the idea that Petey Faggins chloroforms Ice Kareem in the locker room an hour before kickoff and then slips on his uniform, "Single White Female" style, every week. I much prefer that to the reality that K. Jackson is getting burned again and again and again and again week after week after week after week.
10. Seyi Ajirotutu? Or Jerry Rice? To-may-to, to-mah-to.
11. With that blocked punt, Stanford Keglar instantly redeemed my opinion of dudes named "Stanford." One small step for Stanford Keglar; one giant leap for Stanford-kind.
12. I wrote last week that I truly believed the Texans' season, and Gary Kubiak's future as head coach of the Houston Texans, came down to the game against the Chargers. I still believe that, and I believe your Houston Texans will have a new coach in 2011 (or 2012, if you're a lockout fatalist). I really hate saying that, because by all published accounts, Gary Kubiak is a good person and a Houstonian to boot. The fact, however, is that his squad has managed only four (4) wins this year, and he still has to play the Jaguars in Jacksonville, the Jets in New Jersey, the Eagles in Philly, the Titans in Tennessee, and the Broncos in Denver, plus the Titans, Ravens, and Jags at Reliant. I just don't see any way for him to build on what he did last year. That might pass muster in the second or third year of a regime, but I don't think it'll fly in the fifth year of said regime. Coupled with the washouts that have been the Richard Smith/Frank Bush coordinated defenses, and it's hard to buy that Kubes will be the guy to take this team to the postseason.
13. This will get a longer post at a later date, but it amazes me how Rick Smith has evaded scrutiny for the ongoing holes this team has, especially on the defense. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. No more. Time to take a long, hard look at whether the other half of Smithiak should be fading some heat for the current state of the team.
On to Jacksonville for what should be a winnable game. A loss would take the Texans under .500 for the first time this season and earn them sole possession of the AFC South cellar. A win would keep them on the fringe of the AFC playoff discussion and could go a long way toward tabling the "Fire Kubiak" talk that's gotten a whole lot louder since the team's 3-1 start. Your guess is as good as mine as to what happens.Chargers vs Texans coverage
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