This week's Kubiak Konundrum will have a little different slant, as I'm getting married Saturday. The day after the wedding, instead of having a brunch to see off all our out of town guests, we will be having a Texans viewing party at a bar in downtown Austin to watch the Texans curbstomp the Bucs. Yes, I am a lucky man. This bride I'm marrying goes by Lissy F'n May on BRB and is the lady I was able to convince two Halloweens ago to dress as Vodka Collins when we went to a party where we were supposed to dress as our favorite drink.
So, right now, we're at the stage where we've pretty much done all the heavy lifting, and we're just waiting for the chaos of the week to unfold. She also still hasn't found the bodies in the attic, so everything is all coming up Milhouse. The other day, Lissy F'n May was talking to me about why we work so well and said, I do not lie, "We're like the Texans offense. Sure, there is the occasional argument, three and out, or boneheaded Schaub pick 6. But, when you start to look at other offenses around the league, when you look at other couples, you realize how damn lucky we are." Yes, I'm damn lucky.
But, I think her football team as couple metaphor can easily be refracted back the other way, and I can say in that regard, I have been in a horribly destructive relationship for years. I'm not even talking Suzy-Green-Curb-Your-Enthusiasm-style verbally abusive. I'm talking about Lisa Nowak-drive-across-the-country-in-a-diaper style bad. I'm talking rabbit head boiling on the stove bad. Lorena Bobbit bad. I speak, of course, about my abusive relationship with the Texans defense.
See, for years, really ever since the Oilers dumped Warren Moon and their defense jumped off the cliff with him, I forgot what it was like to have a real NFL defense. I was like all of those poor battered souls out there who watch their team and don't realize that competent defenses, much less dominant ones, exist. I didn't realize you shouldn't hold your breath, cross your fingers, close your eyes, and pray to whatever deity or devil who hadn't yet failed in the face of such hopelessness every time the other team gets in a third and long. I didn't realize that a three and out should be strived for rather than considered a fluke. Shoot, I didn't realize less than 20 points a game was even an option. Theoretically, intellectually, I knew. I even vaguely remembered what it was like from distant years past. But I didn't believe in it any more than Geppetto believed Pinocchio could one day become a real boy. Yet here the Houston Texans are with a real, live NFL defense.
And, truly, it is a marriage made in heaven. The Texans offense can now walk around with its head up, not ashamed to be hiding its great potential behind that monstrosity of a wife that was their defense. They are free, free to look around every corner without cowering, free to say whatever they want without whispering, and free to walk down main street, proud to be with the one they're with.
The Texans offense has a new dame, ladies and gentleman, and she's a beaut. They, much like me, are very, very lucky.
Because I have plenty on my plate, I will just hit the highlights from last week's game and let you all do the damage in the comment section:
1=terrible call, 2=negative, 3=neutral, 4=positive, and 5=outstanding.
1Q. 1:03 left. 4th and 1. Texans lead 14-3. Ball on Cleveland 48.
On 4th and 1, Kubiak decided not to go for it and punted, resulting in a touchback. Normally, I might question the call, but with a 14-3 lead and the Browns showing no semblance of an offense, I had no problem with this choice. The Browns simply were not going to drive down the field for a touchdown, much less a field goal. Even though the punt resulted in a touchback, I think it's hard to argue with the decision. I give it a 4.
4Q. 2:37 left. 3rd and 13. Texans up 30-12.
Derrick Ward fumbles and the Browns have a sizable return into Texans' territory. Kubiak challenges that Ward was down. This play is the perfect example of what we discussed last week about challenges, timeout value, and game context. I honestly didn't think Ward was down or that Kubiak's challenge had a chance. I was looking at Ward's knee and not his elbow. However, even on 3rd and 13, our timeouts were worthless and there was nothing to lose. Kubiak threw the challenge flag, and, ye gods, he actually won one.
Because there was nothing to lose, I can only give Kubiak a 4 on the play, but it was a great example of how sometimes throwing a challenge flag when it is not at first sight indisputable can pay dividends.
On to the scorecard:
4: 2 plays.
2: 6 plays.
3: 10 plays.
4: 9 plays.