Same as it ever was. These breakdowns get harder every week, in no small part because I feel like I'm repeating myself. For all the talk about any given Sunday, it seems like your Houston Texans are living the 2010 version of "Groundhog Day." Forgive me if I go a little big picture on you after the jump.
Every week, the Houston secondary plumbs new depths in their race to history's bottom; last Thursday night, it was giving up receptions of more than 20 yards to Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Brent Celek, plus their normal aversion to any sort of coverage or play-making (though Jason Allen's pick was awesome).
Every week, it seems like Arian Foster exceeds expectations (provided he's fed the ball); last Thursday night, Foster contributed 109 total yards and 2 TDs.
Every week, Vonta Leach makes the case that he should be in Honolulu on January 30, 2011; last week was no exception, save the sweet bonus that was The Human Coke Machine scampering for 21 yards on a reception.
Every week, Andre Johnson astounds; this time, it was in the form of 6 receptions for 149 yards.
It's reached the point that I feel like I could simply re-run the prior week's PGB every week, making only minor statistical or anecdotal changes. Sure, some weeks we're treated to a Matt Schaub turnover or two (the untipped pick to a defensive tackle last week was novel, I have to admit), and we occasionally are afforded the opportunity to marvel anew at Gary Kubiak's clock management skills or strategy. Generally, though, the status quo controls, right down to Kubes' post-game quotes about being disappointed, taking responsibility, and getting back to work. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Meet the 2010 Houston Texans, losers of five of their last six games. After twelve games, they're 5-7. Same as the 2009 Houston Texans. Same as the 2008 Houston Texans. Same as the 2007 Houston Texans.
It's more frustrating than usual this year because the AFC South is there for the taking. It'd be one thing if there was another team in the division sitting at nine or ten wins already; that's not the case this season. The Colts are struggling. The Titans are melting down. The Jaguars are far from world-beaters. The opportunity was there for the Texans to grab the brass ring. And truth be told, the brass ring is still technically there, though it's virtually impossible to imagine a team that's gone 1-5 the last six weeks (or 2-6 the last eight weeks, if you want to take a broader view of things) will somehow rattle off four straight wins AND have its divisional foes falter enough to allow the Texans to win the division. We're not living that right.
The Ravens come to town on Monday night, and the eyes of football fans everywhere will be on Reliant Stadium. I'll get started on the Post-Game Breakdown now. I've got a pretty good idea what it's going to say.