NASHVILLE TN - DECEMBER 19: Coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans walks the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field on December 19 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
In the end, the Texans couldn't even live up to the overwhelmingly disappointing expectations that their fanbase had for them, which was to lose a close game that the offense carried them back into. Even in losing, they disappointed today.
On offense, Matt Schaub spent the entire day getting smacked around David Carr-style, and it showed in his statistical performance. Antoine Caldwell was abysmal, Eric Winston and Duane Brown continued to provide more of the same, and Chris Myers might have had the best pass blocking game on the entire offensive line. It should come as no surprise that the run game faltered as well, although at least they had a few good runs that were called back by penalty. Schaub, in his own right, made a number of poor decisions, and continued his troubling habit of trying to complete a four yard pass on third and long. Arian Foster got hurt. And somehow, they still managed to be the best Texans unit of the day.
Troy Nolan managed to tip a sure interception away from a teammate and into the hands of Kenny Britt. The defensive line averaged one jump offsides per drive in the first half. Kareem Jackson can't cover an NFL wide receiver, but is on the field because we've given up. The best play the team had all day was when Antonio Smith ripped Brian Cushing's helmet off, then got him flagged for it. Or at least, that was the only play in which they played with any intensity. This Titans passing game, while it looked better in the second half last week, had looked abysmal since Vince Young was placed on injured reserve with shattered pride. Instead, Kerry Collins decimated the Texans, raising questions about Rusty Smith's ability to perform the ABC's while playing hopscotch.
Who to go after first on special teams? Jacoby Jones and his inability to figure out that you're supposed to go forward on punt returns? Steve Slaton not being able to figure out that there's a sideline? Matt Turk shanking balls 20-30 yards on a regular basis? The laughable Neil Rackers onside kick attempt?
There was one victory today, a victory that every Texans fan can celebrate in: we no longer have to pretend like this team matters on Sunday this year. Your Houston Texans are in the cellar, have guaranteed their first losing season since 2006, and are going to have a relatively high pick in the NFL draft.
No word on whether Bob McNair still thinks the Texans are going in the right direction. But I doubt he'll be inclined to give another pep talk this year.