Hair Of The Dog: A Post That Brice McCain Just Can't Keep His Hands Off Of (Texans @ Broncos)

Matt Schaub once again outplays Peyton Manning for another Texans victory. At least that's the way I remember things.

If you own a house and have kids, you've undoubtedly had weekends like the one I just had.

We started the weekend by doing some overdue housework on Saturday morning, ran a bunch of errands, and then continued the housework in the afternoon. We then went to a friend's kid's baptism in the evening. This morning we took my daughter to the zoo, and then I continued with housework all day before starting to prepare dinner (cornish hens with onions and garlic roasted with white wine and apple cider vinegar).

Nothing I've done this weekend is particularly exciting or intense. Yet, I am exhausted!

It wasn't that long ago that I could go out drinking Friday and Saturday, play sports in between, and feel right as rain on Monday morning. Now, just doing normal house work seems to beat the crap out of me.

So now that I've finally gotten a few minutes to relax, I'm sure the Texans will treat me to another relaxing and completely stress free day of football.

On to the game.

First Quarter:
  • The start of the game is delayed because they're playing the end of the Jacksonville @ Indianapolis games. This is one of the main reasons I hate it when the Texans play the late game. Thank goodness that the Jaguars missed that two point conversion so this can't go into overtime.
  • I have no idea how the team ended up starting on the four-yard line, but I assume Trindon Holliday did something stupid. Now it's a safety. Awesome.
  • It drives me nuts that people continue to mention Peyton Manning's record against the Texans as if it had any relevance in this game. Manning is with a different team, and he's never faced this defense.
  • Derek Newton is having about as bad a start to this game as he could have imagined.
  • But he's bailed out by Andre Johnson. You know, for as much heat as Schaub gets for struggling the deep ball, that was a very good throw.
  • For all the talk about the Texans mimicking the Falcons' defensive approach of shifting guys around before the snap, they've been pretty quiet so far.
  • Brice McCain called for holding, but it looked pretty weak to me. He may have been beyond five yards, but that looks to me like a case of the officials being told to be more stringent about calling down-field contact.
  • If my wife wanted to cheat on me with J.J. Watt, I might be willing to spring for the hotel room.
  • All that talk about the Broncos' run defense, and, well...

Second Quarter

  • Unrelated to this game, but for all the talk about how weak the Texans' schedule has been so far; the two teams they've beaten are 3-1 against the rest of the NFL.
  • That's a nice little 97-yard TD drive (98 if you count the fact that the first play was a false start).
  • Whitney Mercilus just crushed the Denver kick returner. I giggled.
  • So far I've been noticing that Manning's not been doing as many of his pre-snap shenanigans. I think it's because the Texans' defense has taken the exact opposite approach as the Falcons. If the defense doesn't "show" anything before the snap, Manning has nothing to gyrate about.
  • Another bomb by Schaub, this time to Kevin Walter. After the first few plays, Schaub's protection has been excellent.
  • A Joel Dreessen sighting! I have nothing but love for that guy. He made his name as a Texan and went off to get paid. And he didn't go to a team I hate. I hope he does well next week. Author's Note: Remember that I take these notes as I go along. At this point, I had no idea that Dreessen would piss me off later.
  • The Texans just stoned the Broncos on third and goal. You know there are some Denver folks thinking that they should go for it because it doesn't seem like field goals are going to get it done today.
  • With 4:58 left in the second quarter, Donny Jones is out for his first punt (not counting the free kick after the safety). I'll take it.
  • Nate Irving just popped Trindon Holliday and he (Irving) isn't moving. I think I may have seen him move his leg, but that's scary. Hope he's ok.
  • Matt Schaub is playing the best football of his career right now.
  • Giving up points at the end of the half like that is something the old Texans would have done. Of course, they would have done it without a lead, and it would have been a touchdown.

Halftime

I paused the game to have dinner with my wife (it's our belated anniversary dinner), and when I restarted it, NFL Sunday Ticket apparently stopped carrying the game because it's carried under my regular carrier. As a result, I missed the first half of the third quarter. That's an absolutely stupid thing to do at halftime.

Third Quarter

  • Looks like the Texans scored a field goal in the time I missed.
  • Just saw a shot of Matt Schaub's ear. Ew. Looks kind of like my cornish hen after the fact.
  • Owen Daniels is less athletic than most of the other star tight ends out there these days, and I think as a result, he doesn't get the respect that other tight ends do. He's still in the top ten though.
  • Eric Decker just slid after a catch. There were no clock concerns or anything. That is the most chicken, loserly play I've ever seen.

Fourth Quarter

  • Glover Quin is a tremendous safety, but he's got to have some of the worst hands I've ever seen.
  • Fourth down, fourth quarter, down twenty, and in Texans' territory, and the Broncos punted. I love to see the opposing team play scared. And stupid. Eric Decker must have made that call.
  • My daughter just ripped the loudest fart I've ever heard from a one-year old. I am so proud.
  • Peyton Manning has a giant red spot in the middle of his forehead. I'm not sure if that's from his helmet, from J.J. Watt, or from his own palm.
  • Ben Tate with a fumble, and the Broncos score shortly after. That's Tate's first fumble of the year, but he had a problem with that last year, and it's absolutely unacceptable at that point in the game.
  • The Texans with a quick 3 and out and the momentum has clearly swung the other way. I'm betting on J.J. Watt to take care of things and make everything better.
  • Suddenly the Texans are unable to get pressure on Manning and the receivers are getting open. I've spent too many years as a Texans fan to not feel like crap right now.
  • Brice McCain with a horrible illegal contact penalty. That was fourth and sixteen. He has to be smarter than that.
  • That was an incredibly smart play by Johnathan Joseph to push Demaryius Thomas out of the endzone. Plays like that don't get much credit, but it may have saved the game.
  • The only good thing about this drive is that it's taking a lot of time.
  • That was an absolutely horrible pass interference call against Kareem Jackson.
  • I can't type.
  • I know, I just did.
  • Are you kidding me?!! How lucky can the Broncos be? If the Texans lose because of that touchdown, it will be undeniable proof that God hates Houston. Between the phantom pass interference, the Brice McCain penalty, and that touchdown, hopefully the Broncos have used up all their fortune.
  • And Newton is out. I wonder what that means.
  • Looks like the Broncos will get the ball back with about 30 seconds left.
  • Wow, that was a stupid play by Decker to field that ball on the goal line. Yay!!
  • Ok, here we go. Three seconds left and seventy yards to go. I like our chances, but I'm still nervous.
  • Game over. Breathe. Game over. Breathe. Game over. Breathe.

That game was far more stressful than it should have been. The Texans had plenty of sloppy plays from the early safety to the late fumble. Yet despite the mental mistakes and the breaks that the Broncos received, the Texans' talent allowed them to prosper.

The team is now 3-0 for THE FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY!!!! More importantly, though, they're atop the AFC and one of only three undefeated teams in the league.

Game Balls:

Offense: Matt Schaub. Despite the bad interception, he made some great throws, including a huge third down conversion late in the fourth quarter. He threw a few great deep balls and earned the victory despite getting lit up more than you'd like to see.

Defense: J.J. Watt. Just assume this to be the case unless you hear otherwise.

Special Teams: Donnie Jones. For that great punt late in the fourth quarter.

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