That's right, boys and girls, it's another edition of the Red Zone Review. In this week's episode we...review the Texans' performance in the red zone. Novel idea, ain't it?
But before that, an aside.
In all honesty, Comcast and I haven't always been on the greatest of terms. Not that anybody would go skipping merrily through the park with their local cable provider, tossing flowers as they go off and have a lovely picnic lunch with them or something. At our household we have...well...issues with them. I won't go into detail because it's really not relevant here.
But every week during football season, since I don't get to watch the Texans from the comfort (and soundproofing) of my own home, my wife and I go out to a sports bar to watch football. This bar uses DirecTV to show every game; and normally we don't have any issues with it. But last week, the opening weekend of football season, when you would expect a major (I'm assuming) outfit like DirecTV to have their (expletive) together, it basically wet the bed. Nationally, every single game would play for the same amount of time as the average IQ of a Jersey Shore cast member (30 seconds) before freezing again. Once it froze, each receiver took forever to reload, only to have it freeze again after another 30 seconds. This little exercise in fun and futility lasted until about the middle of the third quarter, once the Texans had the game against the Colts pretty much in hand.
So, as you can imagine, I was fully prepared to do untold, horrifically-painful things to anybody remotely involved with DirecTV using nothing more than a sharpened number two pencil by that point. And then it dawned on me. "UT," I said to myself, because calling myself that publicly would be weird, "you're lucky you have Comcast, which has yet to make you want to excruciating things to people involving school supplies." To which I said, because it would be rude to not respond, "True."
Okay, enough about that, let's look at the red zone stuff. That'll put some smiles on some faces!
First Red Zone Appearance
After a beautiful 31 yard pass to Jacoby Jones, the Texans were set up nicely to score on their first possession of the game from the Dolphins' eight-yard line. Texans running back Arian Foster, fresh off of returning from an injured hamstring, was determined to make his presence felt today against the Dolphins. He got the handoff from Schaub and swept right until he was pushed out of bounds by Karlos Dansby for a gain of three yards.
On second and goal at the five-yard line, Kubiak calls Foster's name again, this time on a run outside the left tackle. Unfortunately, it's not as effective as he's stopped for no gain, again by Karlos Dansby...curse you Karlos Dansby!
Now it's third and goal, again at the five, Schaub goes back to pass, but the Texans' stellar pass blocking decides it wasn't in the mood to block right then and lets about 72 defenders through to pulverize Schaub. Schaub throws the ball away incomplete.
With fourth and goal, and still five yards away, Kubiak calls in Neil Rackers to kick a 23 yard field goal, which is good after a ricochet off the right upright.
Time Spent in Red Zone: 1:19
End Result: Field Goal
Score: Houston 3 - Miami 0
Second Red Zone Appearance
We return to the red zone, in really short order, about 1:21 after their last appearance, with a pass to Andre Johnson to get them to the Dolphins' 12-yard line and 8:37 left on the clock.
First and 10 at the 12-yard line, Matt Schaub throws a pass which is just off the hands of tight end Owen Daniels and goes incomplete.
It's second and 10, again at the 12, and the Texans are in shotgun formation. Schaub snaps the ball and hands off to Foster who gains six yards after shooting the gap off the right guard's side and is stopped by Ryan Baker.
Third down sees the Texans at the Dolphins' four-yard line and gains a couple of hard-fought yards until he's brought down by Jason Taylor and Yeremiah Bell.
On fourth down, Rackers comes in to kick a 22-yard field goal, putting the Texans up by six.
Time Spent in Red Zone: 1:33
End Result: Field Goal
Score: Houston 6 - Miami 0
Third Red Zone Appearance
The defense stepped up when newly-acquired free agent Johnathan Joseph intercepts a poorly-thrown Chad Henne pass at the nine-yard line and returns it to the Dophins six-yard line.
The Texans have a first and goal at the Dolphins' six when Foster takes it to the left off Daniels' side for a couple of yards and brought down by Randy Starks.
With second and goal at the four-yard line, Schaub tosses the ball to Owen Daniels in the end zone for a touchdown!
Time Spent in Red Zone: :44
End Result: Touchdown!
Score: Houston 13 - Miami 3
Fourth Red Zone Appearance
The Texans wouldn't return to the red zone until near the end of the half, when Schaub threw a pretty pass to Joel Dreessen for a nine-yard gain, which landed them at the Dolphins' 15-yard line.
Ben Tate, who came in relief of Foster who reaggravated his hamstring, ran for four yards to the 11 where he was brought down by Karlos Dansby, giving the Texans another first down.
On first and 10, Schaub completed a pass to Andre Johnson which gained all of one yard. He was brought down by Vontae Davis and Jason Taylor.
At second and nine, Schaub passed again, this time to Ben Tate who is brought down behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of three yards.
It was third and 12 at the Dolphins' 13 when Schaub was sacked for a loss of five yards by Cameron Wake.
With time running down and the Texans at fourth and 17 on the 18-yard line, Rackers lined up to successfully kick a 36-yard field goal.
Time Spent in Red Zone: 1:49
End Result: Field Goal
Score: Houston 16 - Miami 3
Fifth Red Zone Appearance
Once again, the Texans' defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs, landing the Texans at the Dolphins' 11 with just over two minutes to go.
This series was the Ben Tate show, with first and 10, Ben Tate took the ball off the right guard's side for a gain of a yard.
Then it was second and nine as Tate carried again, this time for a seven-yard gain to the Dolphins' three.
Third down had the Texans needing two yards to get the first down and end the game once and for all. Ben Tate took the ball again off the right guard's side for a gain of one.
Finally it was fourth down with one yard to go. All they needed was a first down, and a single yard to pull it off. Tate runs the ball left and gains that one crucial yard to get the first down.
On first and 10, Matt Schaub takes a knee and loses a yard, but ends the game with a Texans victory!
Time Spent in Red Zone: 2:04
End Result: No score
Score: Houston 23 - Miami 13
Number of Trips in Red Zone: 5
Total Amount of Time in Red Zone: 7:29
Average Amount of Time in Red Zone: 1:29
Red Zone Efficiency: 4/5 (80%)
Scores in Red Zone: 2 TD (Daniels, A. Johnson) 3 FG (22, 23, 36)