The thought had crossed my mind to simply list out all 53 men on the Houston Texans' roster along with the entire coaching staff and be done with this week's Hero and Goat post. When you lose 30-9 and tie a franchise record for most penalties in a single game, the entire roster deserves to be called a goat. However, I'm only a few weeks into this new format and I can't just dump it for a pure goats post.
Let's get the hero out of the way first because there was really only one choice for this.
Hero of the Week: Punter Shane Lechler
Coming off a season that was statistically comparable to Donnie Jones, the signing of Lechler was met with a lot of indifference. There were some who felt Houston overpaid for a punter on the decline. Oops.
Yesterday, Lechler had five punts for an average of 50.4 yards per punt and downed three inside the 20. Two of those were inside the five-yard line, and a third would land at the 11 before a five-yard penalty would push Baltimore back to their own six. On the season, Lechler has 15 punts, with 11 of those landing inside the 20 and seven of those are inside the 10. Think about that. Half the time, Lechler puts opponents inside their own 10-yard line. That's incredible. It's so incredible that commenters and tweeters marvel at his punts. People are marveling at a punter. Shane Lechler is the clear hero and a bona fide weapon.
Goat of the Week: Red Zone Offense
The Houston Texans had seven plays in the red zone over two drives. Each drive started out run, run, and pass. The lone four-play drive in the red zone included an additional pass. The result of those drives were two Randy Bullock field goals, but it's a big difference to be up 14-0 on the road over 6-0. The play-calling changes when you're up that big on both sides of the ball.
Instead, the Texans were predictable with a run, run, pass call. A team that's built up as this great play-action offense should be mixing in some first down play action more. I know Coach Kubiak has talked up the idea of "staying on schedule" and making it down to third and manageable, but the team has so much equity built up in play-action offense that they should utilize it more when it's most effective. Instead, the Texans struggled in the red zone and never seized control of the game as they should have.
Have at it, BRBers. Is there a hero for you or are they all goats?
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