Consider this my mea culpa: I was wrong when I said that the Titans would win Sunday. I can admit it that.1 After all, it's not the first time, and I am positive that it won't be the last. Offer enough opinions in print and such things are bound to happen from time to time. The important part, at least for those of us who don't want to become a laughingstock, is admitting that you were wrong.
What you don't want to do is ignore your previous statements and act like they never happened.2 Such a response marks you as intellectually dishonest at best and a complete hack at worst.
So imagine, for example, that when you were previewing Sunday's game, you wrote:
This Texans team isn't that good to begin with, never mind now that they're playing without Andre Johnson or Mario Williams. A loss here would crush the momentum our boys built earlier in the season, and doom us to watching another year of mediocre-at-best results.
So with those kinds of stakes on the line, try not to get too nervous. I still fully believe that we'll be doing another victorious edition of MCM Radio tonight, and all of this stress will have been for nothing.
Why do i [sic] believe that? Because they're still the Texans.
In addition to trying to reviewing the rules for comma usage, if it turns out that your team plays the role of the Germans and the Texans are Audie Murphy,3 you might want to acknowledge that the Texans are "that good" and that, while "they're still the Texans," they just treated you like the women at the Number Six Dance.
Or, you know, you could just choose not to acknowledge your previous statements and, instead, pretend like it was merely the craptacular nature of your own team that was to blame. (Obviously, such a position necessarily ignores your early comments about "great play from Hasselbeck," a "good/great defense," and how the Titans can keep it up, "especially if the running game comes around," but that comes with the territory, I suppose.) When you are a mindless homer who lacks anything resembling insight, you have to do whatever it takes to wrap your brain around this:
What I'm saying is...
November 17, 1985.
The last time the Titans' franchise allowed two 100-yard rushers in the same game. In a 30-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oilers gave up 123 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries to Frank Pollard and 107 yards and 1 TD on 23 carries to Walter Abercrombie. Of course, those two guys combined for -1 receiving yard in the game, so I'd say that the Texans' RBs' performance (119 receiving yards) on Sunday trumped the Steelers' output.
Number of catches Derrick Mason needs for the Texans before he costs the Texans a 7th Round draft pick next year.
I want HALF, Eddie!
Ben Tate has now played in six NFL games. He has 100 or more yards in three of those.
Arian Foster has now started (or been the de facto primary back) in 22 NFL games. He has 100 or more yards in 11 of those games.
5, 8, 18.
The three worst single-game rushing totals of Chris Johnson's career. Two of those --- the 5 and the 18 --- have come against the Texans in the last two seasons.
Length in yards of Arian Foster's TD reception on Sunday, tying the Texans team record held by Corey Bradford (2003 against Miami). The weird twist to this is that the longest non-TD reception in Texans' history is 81 yards, also by Bradford (2002 against Buffalo). Odd, that.
Chris Johnson's total rushing yards and TDs in 2011. Arian Foster had 58% of the yardage total and 300% of the TD total on Sunday.
"Eat Mor Beef " Would Also Not Affect Them.
For years now, it has bothered me that Chick-Fil-A uses a Holstein cow in its advertisements, as Holsteins are dairy cattle. A few months back, I went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch (because their chargrilled chicken sandwich is easily the healthiest fast-food option around, and it is also very tasty, especially if one orders it with extra pickles, removes the lettuce and tomato, and puts buffalo sauce on it). As I was sitting in the drive-thru, I finally asked the question. Here's a transcript of my exchange with the drive-thru attendant:
Me: Hey, why does Chick-Fil-A use a dairy cow, rather than a beef cow, for its mascot?
Me: I mean, why would a dairy cow be concerned over whether people were eating beef? Is she just speaking out for her distant bovine relatives?
Her: [blank stare]
Me: Is she just some sort of animal rights activist who also hates poultry?
Her: Um ... here's your food.
Me: Could you please look into this?
Her: Have a blessed day.
Alas, still I am left to wonder. Though I am certain that I am less confused than that poor girl was.
Consecutive pass attempts by Matthew Rutledge Schaub without throwing an INT. So far in 2011, he has three games with an INT and four games without one. He is on pace for 4,326 yards, 27 TDs, and 11 INTs, giving him three consecutive seasons over 4,300 yards. But, please, tell me again how he's not a good QB.
Total yards gained by the Texans on Sunday, marking the third time under Gary Kubiak that the team has put up 500 or more yards of total offense. The other two instances were last year against Washington (526) and against the Packer in 2008 (549). Prior to Kubiak taking the reins, the Texans had never amassed 500 total yards. The Texans have also put up 400 or more yards 23 times in 87 games under Kubiak; they managed that only four times in 64 games prior to Kubiak's arrival.
Total points allowed by the Titans in their last two games. The Texans have never allowed that many points in consecutive games under Gary Kubiak.
Net passing yards allowed by the Texans' D on Sunday. This was the second lowest passing-yard total allowed by the Texans under Kubiak. The lowest? 87 yards in 2006 against the
... wait for it ...
Tennessee Titans. The Titans won that matchup, however, so I think we can pencil this in as the best passing-defense performance of the Kubiak era.
(In case you were wondering, the franchise low for passing yards allowed is 31 by the Jaguars in 2004. Of course, that was the only sub-100-passing-yards defensive performance by the Texans prior to Kubiak. So there ya go.)
Rushing yards allowed by the Texans' D on Sunday. This is the lowest rushing-yards total allowed by the Texans (so far) in 2011, and it's the second time in the past three games against them that the Texans have held the Titans to fewer than 100 yards. (The Rusty Smith game, with 24 rushing yards, was the other. Oddly, that was the best run-defense performance in team history. (This is the part where we all laugh at Chris Johnson. Again.))
Let's Be Honest About Something.
When life gives you lemons, you probably just found some lemons. The universe does not typically go around handing out citrus. If it did, scurvy would never have been a problem.
Number of quarterbacks in the NFL named "Matt" or "Matthew." The most common number for those QBs? Also 8. (Schaub, Hasselbeck, and Matt Moore.)
Rushing yards by Ben Tate and gross passing yards by Matt Hasselbeck. This similarity means nothing, but it amuses me nonetheless, so there you go.
Matt Hasselbeck's rating on Sunday. It was the fifth-lowest total of his career, all but one of which have come from 2009 to present. But, hey, he could totally live up to the expectations of Titans fans through the first five weeks! (Fun fact: In 2010, Kerry Collins had only one game with a rating as bad as Hasselbeck's rating this week. In his three games as a starter for the Colts this year, he didn't have a single game even close to that bad in terms of rating.)
How good of a start was Mario Williams off to in 2011? Even now, he's still tied for 10th in the league in sacks. I honestly feel cheated by his injury, which I admit is a ridiculous thing for a fan to feel, but whatever.
Because I Didn't Give Him The KTFO Award This Week, Here's Johnathan Joseph Doing Things.
And, yes, this should make the winner of the KTFO award pretty obvious.
Top 10 Songs About Kicking Ass, Literally Or Figuratively.
- "Hit 'Em Up" -- 2Pac (feat. Outlawz). Hands down, the ultimate F-U song, as 2Pac basically tells Biggie, Puffy, and anyone who considers Biggie or Puffy a friend that he will kill them. Impossible to top. (In fact, this one is so complete, it prevents Biggie's "Who Shot Ya" from being eligible for the list.)
- "Eye Of The Tiger" -- Survivor. "And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night / And he's watching us all with the eeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeee ... of the tiger!"
- "Ready Or Not" -- The Fugees. Subtle (relatively speaking) and underrated as hell off of The Score.
- "Mama Said Knock You Out" -- L.L Cool J. Self-explanatory.
- "Master of Puppets" -- Metallica. "Dedicated to / How I'm killing you"
- "Another One Bites The Dust" -- Queen. Best I can tell, this song is about shooting a woman who broke your heart. So there's that.
- "Devil Went Down To Georgia" -- Charlie Daniels Band. BFD suggested this one, and it is a good choice, but I still maintain that the Devil won this matchup hands down.
- "Bulls On Parade" -- Rage Against The Machine. If the intro to this doesn't make you want to punch everyone you've ever met right in their stupid faces, you're a better man than I, Charlie Brown.
- "You're The Best" -- Joe Esposito. If you are between the ages of 32 and 36, there's a 99.95% chance that you saw Karate Kid and immediately begged your mom to let you take karate lessons. There's a 1.34% chance that you have stuck with those lessons to this point and are now a black belt.
- "Forgot About Dre" -- Dr. Dre feat. Eminem. "So f*ck y'all, all of y'all / If y'all don't like me, blow me / Y'all are gonna keep f*ckin' around with me / And turn me back to the old me"
Rushing yards and TDs, respectively, that Arian Foster needs to pass Domanick Williams (nee Davis) for first all-time in Texans history.
Receiving yards and receiving TDs, respectively, that Arian Foster needs to pass Williams for first all-time among RBs in Texans history.
December 30, 2007.
The last (and only) time that the Texans scored as many points as they did Sunday, hanging 42 on the Jaguars. The 14-point margin of victory in that game, however, fell well short of the 34-point margin on Sunday, which was a team record.
The previous team-best margin of victory, a 35-6 win over the Bengals in 2008.
All The Stupid Moves.
Playing the Titans, I was reminded of the movie Remember The Titans. Specifically, I recalled the flaw in the movie, when Denzel stated, "In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power." Except, of course, the Titans (elder gods) only ruled the Earth, and they were overthrown by the Olympians (Zeus and other more well-known gods).
This goof-up made me think of the most egregious goof ever in a football movie: the first game of All The Right Moves. In it, Ampipe is leading 14-10 with about :40 seconds to play. They stop the opposing team (the Knights, if I remember correctly) on third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal, and Ampipe takes over on their own 1-yard line with about :05 seconds to play. The smart play -- hell, the only play that is not absolutely beyond any level of stupidity you would expect from a high school coach who was angling for a college coaching job -- is to take a safety there and win 14-12. What does Ampipe do? (Oh, did I mention that it was a torrential downpour and had been for most of the game, so the ball was wet and there was no footing whatsoever?) They attempt to run between the center and the right guard, fumble the handoff, and the Knights fall on the ball for a 16-14 win.
Look, I realize that you need to create drama to make a movie work, but c'mon. Anyone who has watched more than 2 minutes of football in his or her life knows what the right call is there. Suspension of disbelief is one thing; terrible writing is another. (And midget Tom Cruise as a legit D-1 defensive back prospect is just asinine.)
I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.
Due to Michigan's being on a bye week, I spent part of Saturday watching the Arkansas-Ole Miss game. At some point during that game, I saw a commercial for a cell phone company called C Spire, that advertised "Infinite Data." Apparently, the regular claim of "Unlimited Data" is not bold enough for this company now that they are on the list of providers who will carry the iPhone 4S. Still, I question the word choice here. I mean, "unlimited data," is a reference to the fact that you can use as much data as you want with no additional charge; "infinite data" implies that the amount of data that you can use has no upper limit (and says nothing about cost). Yet, regardless of whether they charge you for usage or not, the amount of data that you could use in a given month is finite. Roughly speaking, the absolute most data you could use in a month would be the network's highest Kbps speed times 2,592,000 (i.e. the number of seconds in a month). Yeah, that's a LOT of data ... but it's not infinite.
And Now, A Picture Of Two Young Titans Fans During Pregame Festivities That May Or May Not Have Involved Moonshine And Sister Lovin'.
Random Archer Quote.
I will start with the caviar and the '38 Montrachet, then do the Kobe tartar with this '42 Le Pin. And this chocolate terrine looks insaaaannneee. And then I guess just send me to fat camp and pray to god that I don't eat all those fat, delicious childrens. 'Cause I will gobble 'em up.
Number of scoring drives of 90 yards or longer by the Texans on Sunday. Just for good measure, they threw in an 87-yarder, too.
Rushing yards by which Ben Tate leads Arian Foster right now. BOLD PREDICTION: This does not last.
Number of times Matthew Michael Hasselbeck had been sacked in 2011 prior to Sunday. The Texans increased that total by 50% due in large part to the not-giving-a-shit-edness of J.J. Watt.
December 13, 2009.
The last time a Houston Texans defender returned an interception for a TD. The defender? Bernard Pollard, who went 70 yards. The QB? Matt Hasselbeck. YAY, SYMMETRY!
Slightly Depressing Factoid.
With his 38-yard INT TD, Brice McCain became only the 8th Texan ever to return a pick to the house (though, of course, Johnathan Joseph got hosed out of having one against Pittsburgh), and McCain is the only Texan on the active roster with one.
Random '90s Rap Video.
Number of times Cortland Finnegan was thrown at on Sunday. Coincidentally, it's also the number of passes completed when throwing at Finnegan. All told, Schaub completed 100% of his passes that were thrown at the Pauly D clone, amassing 64 yards and a TD, while hitting five different Texans. Hey, maybe Paul Kuharsky can tell us how Finnegan actually did a pretty good job.
Yards that Chris Johnson is on pace to rush for in 2011, a 48% decline from his 2010 total and a 53% decline from his career yards/season average. Given that the average new-money value of his contract extension is $13.4M per season ... well, you can do the math.
Receiving yards needed by Andre Johnson to reach 10,000 for his career. Just throwing this out there: I'm down for a trip to Canton, Ohio, for Dre's Hall of Fame induction.
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.
Much like the decision to name your daughter "Marijuana Pepsi," the Titans' decision to go back to Chris Johnson after Javon Ringer had actually been able to run the ball a little bit was pretty baffling. It's not like the Titans were going to win at that point, mind you, but Ringer had more yards on one run (25) than Johnson had all day (18).
TXT MSGs Of The Week.
For my birthday present, I really wanna kiss Arian Foster and Matt Schaub.
The booing is giving me wood.
I'm beginning to think activating Kareem Jackson each week is a fireable offense by itself.
He's in the running for worst Texans DB ever, and that's about as bad as it gets.
I don't care even a little about how Jacksonville looked on Monday Night Football; the Texans are going to roll them on Sunday.
1 I do, however, dispute the idea that I was being a pessimist when I made those statements. I was merely being cynical. The difference being that a cynic tries to be rational and remembers the bad experiences from the past, while a pessimist remains unflappably negative and is constantly waiting for a negative outcome, even when the evidence suggests a positive ending.
2 That's known in some circles as "acting like Skip Bayless," and it invariably makes people want to kick you repeatedly in the kidneys.
3 After I wrote that, I realized that the Audie Murphy analogy was even better than I originally thought, as Murphy was dealing with malaria and many of his men had been killed or wounded prior to Murphy going beastmode on some German tanks that, by all rights, should have slaughtered him and his men. A-MER-I-CA! A-MER-I-CA!