Someone once said that comedy equals tragedy plus time. And I have no doubt that, years from now, when comparing their bona fides, Texans fans will be able to laugh at the final play from yesterday's game. You know, sort of like we do with the Rosencopter--it still hurts to watch, we don't particularly like talking about it, but man...it's a deep, emotional scar that comes with being a Texans fan, and other Texans fans can tell you exactly where they were that afternoon and exactly what they felt like when it happened. With a once promising season going down in flames, I'm not really at the precipe of good humor yet regarding the Q-Tip, but I can begrudgingly appreciate the rarity of what we witnessed Sunday afternoon, and I know I'll never forget watching it.
In the wake of Houston's fifth loss of the season, I repeatedly asked friends/family/my dog/strangers/the admitting physician at my local psych ward: What are/were the statistical chances of a 50-yard Hail Mary being completed to win a game? Off a deflection? An intentional deflection, no less? One in a million? One in a billion? On some level, you have to just shake your head and realize you could watch football your entire life and never see a play like that.
Additionally, as tempting as it may be, and as much of a highlight staple as the Q-Tip has been and will continue to be, it's foolish to attribute yesterday's loss to that single play. It was the final play, and it did provide the margin of victory, but so, so, so much happened to put the Texans in that position. Unfortunately, as is all too common, the Texans had a huge hand in putting themselves in position to lose the way they did. The dirty details await you after the jump.
1. Many fans are incredulous that Glover Quin didn't just catch the ball. He certainly could have. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the game, Gary Kubiak himself more or less said that Quin would have been better off catching the ball (though Kubes backed off that assertion in talking to the media today, saying that Quin "did exactly what he's supposed to do"). Fact is, who knows what would have happened in GQ tried to catch it? He could have flubbed that, tipping the ball in the air for a different Jaguar (Marcedes Lewis?) to grab. I don't have a problem with the decision to knock it down. Problem was, of course, that he didn't just knock it straight down; he knocked it down and to the front of him, right into Mike Thomas' waiting hands.
2. As unfortunate as the Q-Tip was, it didn't upset me nearly as much as Quin's play the rest of the game. Easily his worst game as a professional football player, as he played Kareem Jackson's usual role for the week. The coverage and tackle he blew on the Zach Miller TD catch in particular, halfway through the fourth quarter, was just inexcusable.
3. Speaking of poor tackling...I know we've commented on it in the past, but I remain amazed at how bad it is week in and week out. Seems like wrapping up is a lost art--or a crime punishable by death--at Reliant Park.
4. Anyone else think Jacoby Jones, and not Bernard Pollard, was playing SS on Jacksonville's first drive? Because Pollard's drop of David Garrard's gift in the end zone was pure Jakespearean tragedy.
5. Troy Nolan's decision to tackle Maurice Jones-Drew when he was so far out of bounds in the first half was inexplicable. And yet, he'd have to accumulate about 159 of those penalties before I'd even consider thinking that Eugene Wilson was a less harmful option at free safety.
6. It's lost in the Ice Kareem bashing, but Brice McCain is very quietly having a really bad season. Giving him the nickel back gig, in a league that so often features three wideout sets, with Kareem Jackson and Glover Quin as your starting corners, was beyond foolish. I know, I know...not exactly breaking new ground here with that analysis of the secondary.
7. David Garrard went 24-31 for 342 passing yards and 2 TDs, plus another 35 yards rushing, on the afternoon. That's David Garrard. Not Peyton Manning. David Garrard.
8. As usual, the Houston pass rush was nonexistent for most of the game (though it did get better in the second half). The only thing that surprises me about that is that Frank Bush seems content not to even attempt to bring pressure from unexpected places. News flash, Frank: Your secondary could quite possibly be the worst collection of defensive backs in modern history. They can't cover anyone. Your only chance of forcing anyone to punt is to pressure the QB. Not that the Texans will actually reach the QB, but at least there's the outside chance someone could. Sitting back in that zone is just death by a thousand cuts. Instead of that, please, for the love of all that is decent and holy, just stab us in the heart.
10. It's a question that can't be answered: Would five yards have made a difference on that last throw by Garrard? Antonio Smith's absurdly stupid offsides penalty ensures that we'll never know.
11. Generally, I hate generalizing, but I'm beginning to think a good rule of thumb for Kubes and Dennison is, absent being down by 20+ points in the second half, there should not be a series that sees Arian Foster fail to carry the ball on first or second down. Overly simplistic, yes. Unreasonable? I don't think so.
12. Hello, Kevin Walter. Nice to see you again.
13. David Anderson had 38 catches for 370 yards last year. Through the first 9 games of 2010, DA has 5 catches for 34 yards, 2 catches and 27 yards of which came yesterday. Jacoby Jones may be faster, but he's not a better slot receiver than David Anderson. More DA, please.
14. Matt Schaub threw for 300+ yards/2 TDs, and he didn't turn the ball over. If he'd gotten to play a Frank Bush led defense, I'm sure his numbers would've been better.
15. Every time the Texans manage to lose in a previously unimaginable fashion, Andre Johnson is always the first guy I feel sorry for. 9 catches, 146 yards, a huge TD catch...and another loss (and in all likelihood another season without a postseason appearance) for 'Dre. He deserves better.
16. The Texans got the ball back with 38 seconds in the first half, trailing 17-3. If someone could explain to me how it makes sense to run short routes across the middle of the field, in a no-huddle offense, with 3 timeouts in your pocket, I'm all ears. I get taking a knee there; you want to get to the locker room. I get trying to score there; you want to try to get something to build momentum. I don't get doing what Kubes did.
17. Joel Dreessen had a killer false start and a game-changing fumble on the last Houston possession. The false start moved the Texans from what would have likely been an out-of-his-range 57-yard FG attempt by Neil Rackers to a no-way-he-makes-it 62-yard FG attempt. Not as devastating as the fumble, of course, but the penalty was huge in its own way.
18. Dreessen's fumble made it a non-issue, but the decision to throw an 8-yard pass on 3rd and 15 there was insane. At the very least, you have to wing it toward the end zone or to a sideline. The one thing you can't do is throw it to the middle of the field. Had Dreessen not fumbled, the Texans were out of timeouts, so they couldn't have stopped the clock that way. What's more, it would have been fourth down, so the Texans couldn't have spiked the ball to stop the clock. And there was no way they could've gotten their field goal unit on the field and set up before time ran out. Fumble or not, that play was doomed to fail.
19. I believe Gary Kubiak knew everything I just typed in the preceding paragraph, but I'm not totally sure. If that doesn't sum up the Gary Kubiak Era, I don't know what does.
20. Until Sunday, Josh Scobee hadn't missed a FG all year, and then he misses two, the latter of which gave the Texans good field position on what could have been a game-winning drive. Alas, the Texans didn't take advantage of it and went on to lose in memorable fashion. Anyone else feel like it was a sort of rebalancing of the cosmic scales from the improbable win over the Redskins in Week Two?
Your Houston Texans are 4-5, with a trip to New Jersey to face the Jets on Sunday looming. It probably won't end well. But I'll be watching, because I like the way it hurts. And Gary Kubiak is just gonna stand there and watch me burn. While Frank Bush laughs.Texans vs Jaguars coverage
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