Antonio Smith knows how to celebrate a birthday. - Bob Levey
Not even the referees can stop this fun ride the Houston Texans are providing.
It is not much of a blogger secret, but I will easily admit that it is far better to write about the Houston Texans after a win than after a loss. It is even far better to write about the Texans after a demonstration of brutality.
After the 43-13 beatdown of Baltimore, your Battle Red Bullies stand at a franchise-best 6-1. They hold wins over the division leaders in the AFC North and West with a match-up against the AFC East leader in a month. They sit atop the American Football Conference, are unbeaten by any AFC team, and have four victories by 20-plus points (a franchise record).
Unlike bye weeks of the past, this should be a nice, peaceful week where everyone gets healthy and focused for the stretch run. This is a good team, and all the Texans have to do is take care of business the Houston way and they will have another bye week.
Get On...The Terrible Officiating.
I played offensive line for many years. One of the first rules I was taught is that once you get into a 'set' position that any flinch or movement would lead to a false start penalty. When you are down, you become a statue until you hear the ball is hiked. Apparently, I do not understand this simple rule.
The Ravens, primarily the right side of their line, would flinch and move pre-snap. I counted about ten snaps, or one-sixth of the offensive snaps, where Baltimore should have been called for a false start. I say "should" have because there were no false start penalties called on the Ravens.
Of course, you also had your usual array of questionable holding calls, your head-scratching pass interference penalty, and your borderline unnecessary roughness calls, too. As I saw on Twitter, it was replacement referee-esque and an incredibly poor performance by the zebras. Now if you excuse me, I really need to learn up on this 'false start' thing.
Get Off....Outside Linebacker Connor Barwin.
Coming off an 11.5 sack performance in 2011 and being the pass rusher in Wade Phillips' rush-happy defense, everyone expected big things from Connor Barwin in 2012. Naturally, pressure mounted week after week when Barwin could not get on the stat sheet.
The coaches would defend his play, you would see Barwin tipping passes at the line, and Barwin would produce a little more pressure each week, but fans wanted sacks. Yesterday, the Cosmo Kramer lookalike delivered.
Barwin's sack of Joe Flacco scored two points and sparked the Texans into an unstoppable, unanswered 29-point stampede. Barwin would deliver four more quarterback hits, swat down another Flacco pass, and pull down three Ravens for a loss. Outside of the stat sheet, Barwin was also used to partially spy on Ray Rice, as someone wise thought he would, helping limit him to 12 receiving yards on five receptions. It was a fine game for Barwin who enters the bye week with a load of pressure off his back.
Your turn, BRBers. Who, or what, are you getting on or off this week?
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