This season has been the worst. Matt Schaub's arm fell off and he lost his ability to throw the ball over 15 yards. The kicker that was supposed to improve the special teams is actually a cookie crumb covered fraud. Arian Foster has been mired with nagging injuries. Brian Cushing fell victim to another blood curling cut block. Rick Smith let Glover Quin walk for $23.5 million. Ed Reed is a maggot riddled corpse. The Colts are 6-2 and have fought off the regression monster, Bum died. Gary Kubiak was sent to his knees in pain at halftime of the Texans-Colts game. Houston's 2-6. I had to get a "real" job and might not be able to write 6,000-9,000 words a week anymore.
However, amid the bleary darkness of the 2013 season, Case Keenum has illuminated the opaque, melanoid water like an angler fish crawling among the litter of the bottom of the sea. The Texans needed a spark, and he has helped a lifeless team drawling around in the wasteland turn into a feisty team that is actually watchable. On Sunday night, Keenum did what he did does. He threw wondrous deep passes that hit his receivers in stride, creatively made plays outside the pocket, and even showed some athleticism by running the football. We all are ecstatic with his play, but no one is loving Case Keenum more than Andre Johnson.
At the half on Sunday night, Andre Johnson had 7 catches for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns, one of the greatest halves ever produced by a receiver. Johnson continuously made Vontae Davis look like Brice McCain as he double-moved his way past him time and time again. Johnson made the Davis trade look worse than the Trent Richardson one. Johnson made Davis look like Ricki Lake in Baby Cakes. Watching Davis trying to cover Johnson was like seeing Chris Mihm defend Lebron James. His performance in the first half was awe-inspiring. It was beautiful to watch a receiver who's always open finally get rewarded for his skill. In the first half, Keenum completed 9 out of his 17 passes for 198 yards for 3 touchdowns and averaged 11.6 yards an attempt.
If we only look at Johnson's numbers in the first half, it was the fifth-most yards he had ever had in a game and the most touchdowns he's ever caught. He ended up finishing the game with his second most receiving yards in his career (229) and accounted for 65.4% of Case's yards. Keenum played another stellar game, but it will be interesting to see what happens as teams gather more film on him. I like to look at the NFL schedule in four week spurts, and if Keenum can continue to play like this by the New England game, he will be cemented as the real deal. We can all claim that we love watching Keenum play. Nobody is enjoying Keenumania more than Andre Johnson.
Quick Thoughts from Week 9:
- I'm getting used to waking up at 6 a.m. and don't have the brain power to stay up late enough to write all the words I would like to. However, as I grow acclimated to this new schedule, I should be able to in the future.
- That was a very lucky, 2012-esque Colts game.
- Get well soon, Gary. If I get the chance, I'll write you a letter this week.
- Andrew Luck was 3-12 for 37 yards in the first half, which equals 3.1 yards an attempt. He was hit 6 times and sacked three times for a loss of 19 yards. He was never comfortable in the pocket and continuously missed wide open receivers because of the pressure.
- Houston had a 95.5% chance to win entering the fourth quarter.
- Stupid penalties and mistakes again killed a Houston defense that played tremendously. The Colts scored 3 points after a 46 yard pass interference penalty on Kareem Jackson. Darryl Sharpton's bogus rouging the passer penalty turned a 4th down FG attempt into first and ten at Houston's 10 and Indy would go onto score a touchdown. That's 10 points handed over to Indy on penalties alone. Add that total to the 98 points allowed because of penalties and plays where the opposing offense wasn't on the field, and we get a grand total of 105. That accounts for 47.5% of Houston's points allowed. I can't wait to write the "Why Houston Will Make The Playoffs In 2014" post next summer in my AFC South Preview.
- Case Keenum went 5-8 for 201 yards and three touchdowns on passes that traveled further than fifteen yards.
- Randy Bullock is the worst. Houston lost 12 points due to missed field goals or failed fourth down conversions in field goal range. There was no doubt in everyone's mind that he would miss that game-winning field goal.
- Ed Reed made his hardest hit of the season on his unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter.
T.Y. Hilton is very fast. Everyone should bow to me for calling that deep touchdown pass even though I thought he would burn McCain instead of Johnathan Joseph. "I can just see it now. T.Y. Hilton lined up in the slot going against man on man coverage against Brice McCain and Ed Reed helping over the top. Hilton beats McCain on a double move and Ed Reed's hip explodes running to catch Hilton because he misdiagnosed the play." Also did I mention that T.Y. Hilton is really fast?
- Keshawn Martin has hands that would make Darius Heyward-Bey jealous. Someone needs to make a tumblr full of GIFs of Heyward-Bey dropping passes.
- The officiating Sunday night was atrocious. The Martin fumble shouldn't have been reversed and the Johnson catch ruled incomplete was ridiculous as well. I have no idea what a catch/helmet to helmet hit/pass interference/roughing the passer is anymore.