The Oakland game was an abysmal performance by the Texans' offense AND defense and is centered on bad coaching. The biggest problem with this coaching staff is that they are old school; “I'm lining up mine against yours and let’s see who wins.” There is nothing wrong with 'old school' but there are big problems with not making adjustments to take advantage or your opponent’s deficiencies and not placing your players in a position to succeed. There needs to be additional game planning before the game and adjustments created during the game. This staff appears to perform neither. The good thing about ‘old school’ is there are not supposed to be any mental mistakes. Not with this team; false starts, off-sides, fumbles and missed assignments. So – where has this 'old school' coaching staff been successful? They don't even adjust their schemes to the strengths of their players – they make the players adjust to their ineffective and predictable schemes. (Note: The special teams should get a pass -this game- because they didn't allow a big return and they did have a touchdown by Keyshawn Martin.)
About the Defense: Everyone talks about cleaning house and giving Wade Phillips a pass. If you closely pay attention to the details of the last 3 games, the Defense is just as much at fault as the offense. YES (you will say), they are ranked #1 in the NFL but that is skewed based upon a few factors: 1. Pre-Cushing injury 2. Time of possession for the Texans offense (#5 in the NFL) 3. Time of possession of the opposing offense. This Texans defense has made back up running backs and quarterbacks look like Walter Payton and Johnny Unitas.
On Sunday, their tackling was horrendous. Mercilus and Swearingen missed a number of tackles and the Raiders ran an 80 yard touchdown on a Wildcat play. YES, THE WILDCAT!?! That is pathetic! The pass rush was non-existent and allowed an undrafted rookie quarterback to look like Jim Plunkett who picked apart the linebackers and Brice McCain. Here is where the coaching problem comes into play; there were NO ADJUSTMENTS made to compensate for the deficiencies of Brice McCain and Jeff Tarpinian. Tarpinian is a good player but should not be covering anyone on a pass play. Brice McCain got beat on 3 very important plays and 2 of them were touchdowns. If Wade Phillips is such a great coordinator, why weren’t there any adjustments made to prevent this madness? Ed Reed is correct; he is not placing his players in a position to succeed. Payton Manning and Tom Brady are going to have a field day with this predictable defense.
About The Offense: There is not much (else) to say about the 2nd half debacle of putting Matt Schaub in the game to avoid the blitz. The defense adjusted to the next level of predictability and dropped a guy back. They knew Schaub could not make a deep pass so they went to a pseudo prevent defense. Matt Schaub gave what Matt Schaub always gives – 3 points. The 2nd half blitz is not on Case Keenum - it’s on the offensive line. Two guys went untouched in the 3rd quarter to sack Keenum. All of Keenum’s turnovers have been due to the OL miscues. Everyone keeps talking about Keenum's inability to pick of the blitz. How about the inability of the offensive line to pick up the rush??? The OL had 6 guys up front and still couldn’t stop the Raiders pass rush. This is due to a lack of coaching!
Summary: Everyone knows what the Texans will do on both sides of the ball and they are not creating any adjustments to exploit the opponents’ weaknesses. They are not placing their players in a position to succeed and are forcing them into a scheme that doesn’t fit their strengths. On top of that, there is no discipline in this ‘old school’ philosophy. They’ve had costly turnovers and penalties all season which have attributed to 8 losses. They are lucky to have 2 wins under their belt and if they don't make serious mental and schematic changes, they will be lucky to win another 2 games.