When Brian Cushing went down in the second quarter of Monday night's game, Texans fans, fearing the worst, were despondent. When those fears about the extent of Cushing's injury were confirmed yesterday afternoon, there was quite a bit of the ol' here-we-go-again from the fan base. Ravaged by injuries last year, always wondering what might have been, all too familiar with things not working out for our beloved squad, I suppose it's somewhat natural to fall back into the well worn "OH, NO! WE'RE DOOMED!" routine. We've got plenty of experience doing that, what with the years of weeping and ripping out our hair (except BFD, who has no hair left to rip out).
I'm here to tell you there's no need to freak out. This year is different.
Brian Cushing is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. The Texans do not have anyone on the roster who can replace him. The defense will be worse without him. This is not up for debate.
But does Cushing's absence immediately render the defense and thus the Texans ineffective? Does it mean J.J. Watt won't be J.J. Watt anymore? Does it neutralize Antonio Smith? Does it magically turn the 2012 Houston Texans secondary into the 2010 Houston Texans secondary? Does it mean the Texans' offense will be unable to move the ball down the field?
No. No, it does not.
I hate that Brian Cushing won't be playing any more this season. It is not cause to freak out and declare the season is over. Your Houston Texans are 5-0. Five wins. No losses. There's still plenty of football left to play, and any team in the NFL is capable of beating any other team on any given Sunday, yes. Especially with the Packers and Ravens coming to town the next two weeks. But the Houston Texans still have a damn strong football team. It's not as good as it was when Brian Cushing was on the field. It is still good enough to win a championship. Celebrate that.
In conclusion, I turn the floor over to John L. Smith: