Several fans have said it, so it hardly qualifies as some sort of profound observation: Your Houston Texans are 4-2, but it sure doesn't feel like your Houston Texans are 4-2. The defense is putrid, and there's no reason to think it's going to get appreciably better. Indeed, after the loss of DeMeco Ryans, there's every reason to believe it could actually get worse. If that happens, we may be witnessing history. Not just as Texans fans. As football fans.
Yes, my friends, we could be witnessing one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Probably not the worst, mind you; the 1981 Baltimore Colts gave up 533 points (an average of 33.3 points per game) over a 16-game season, and the 2010 Houston Texans aren't quite on that pace...yet. I'd get more excited about that small victory, except the 1981 Baltimore Colts went 2-14. The 2010 Houston Texans are supposed to be a playoff contender.
There will be plenty of time for big-picture stuff this week, what with the bye and all. Until then, let's take a look back at some of the details of the Texans' fourth victory (in only six games!) of the 2010 season, while understanding it's infinitely better to be irritated with a 4-2 start than it is apoplectic about a 3-3 (or worse) start.
1. Matt Schaub has had a lot of good games in a Texans uniform. Last Sunday's may not have been his best, but it was one helluva bounce-back from the rotten egg he laid the week before against the Giants. The two TD passes were made possible by his ability to keep the play alive with his feet, and The Schaub will never be confused with Randall Cunningham. Phenomenal game.
2. Andre Johnson is not 100%, and he still posted 8 catches for 138 yards and a TD. There's not another WR in the league right now I'd rather have, even if 'Dre's not firing on all cylinders.
3. For all the outrage Brandon Flowers' pass interference call late in the fourth quarter got (and I'm one of those who thinks a flag shouldn't have been thrown on either player), why has no one expressed similar indignation over the absurd PI flag on Kareem Jackson that was thrown when the Chiefs went for it on fourth down deep in Houston territory on the first drive of the game? I was at Reliant, so maybe replays showed something I missed, but I thought that was an absolutely terrible call. Had the flag not been thrown, the Chiefs stay off the scoreboard, the Houston offense takes over, and we could be looking at a very different game. Kareem appeared to have great coverage, and he appeared to make the best single play he's made all season. Am I wrong about this?
4. I cannot recall witnessing a worse officiated NFL game involving your Houston Texans than what I saw on Sunday at Reliant Stadium. That crew was beyond bad.
5. One more game, and I'll be ready to say Owen Daniels is back. Given that he has two weeks before his next game, I feel pretty good that the all-clear is on the horizon. Good for the Houston offense, and great for OD; I do hope he gets that big contract he wants (although I remain skeptical it'll be in Houston). Plus, in an odd bit of coincidence, OD's next game (MNF at Indianapolis) will occur on the one-year anniversary of the ACL injury that ended his '09 season.
6. Houston running backs ran the ball 21 times on Sunday. Steve Slaton had precisely zero of those carries. When I think back to how electric Slaton was in 2008, this makes me sad. Then I remember how he's looked since then, and the sadness gives way to acceptance and approval.
7. Watching Arian Foster (who, in averaging less than 4.0 YPC on Sunday, still had a very good game) this season, I become more and more impressed at how prolific the Houston passing game was last season with the total lack of a running threat. How did the play-action ever work?
8. Derrick Ward has football speed. He doesn't look fast, yet he doesn't get caught nearly as much as it looks like he should.
9. I would rather have Vonta Leach returning kicks than Steve Slaton. He might not make many people miss, but neither will Slaton, and at least Vonta will run over someone.
10. What happened to Kevin Walter? Has Jacoby Jones truly usurped K-Dub's role in the passing game?
11. I have nothing constructive to say about the Houston defense, so I won't say anything at all. Except...
12. There are a lot of Houston fans calling for Frank Bush's head, and deservedly so. The defense has shown no sign of turning it around, and Bush does not appear inclined to address, via scheme, the myriad personnel weaknesses with which he has to deal. If ever there was a time to make a change at defensive coordinator, it would have been after this game; the team would've had the bye week to adjust, and then another week of practice before the next game. Of course, no change was made, and it's virtually certain that no change will be made during the season. The trade deadline has come and gone, so the dreams of an Nnamdi Asomugha or Albert Haynesworth coming to save the day are dead.
We have to face the bitter reality: These are your 2010 Houston Texans, complete with a Frank Bush scheme, a laughable secondary, a generally non-existent pass rush, and now, a Capn' 'Meco-less linebacking corps. It ain't pretty. It's reality. Temper your expectations accordingly, and enjoy a bye week that sees your team sitting at 4-2 as best you can.Chiefs vs Texans coverage