From the time this site started in 2007 until the end of the 2010 season, I did a post after each game entitled "Post-Game Breakdown." We were fortunate enough to bring on a handful of very talented writers before and during the 2011 season; one or more of those guys did a tremendous job of doing some form of post-game analysis, so the PGB died a quiet death.
After what happened at Reliant Stadium this afternoon, a resurrection is in order. Mostly because I'm hoping it's cathartic. Definitely because I have some thoughts on the Texans, Texans-Rams, and the direction of the organization at the moment. Let's do this.
1. Matt Schaub acquitted himself admirably today. The Texans came out running, but they opened it up in the passing game much sooner and much more than I thought they would. It's fair to note that Schaub didn't take any real shots deep. He did, however, protect the ball and made a bunch of solid throws. After what we've seen for the majority of the season from him, I'll gladly take it.
2. It was abundantly obvious that Schaub was coached to step up in the pocket and take a sack if necessary this week. Whereas he may have tried to throw it away or make a play in weeks prior, today was clearly about minimizing risk.
3. Matt Schaub was in no way responsible for this loss. If you're trying to sell that, keep on moving down the street.
4. When Schaub got hurt, there were "fans" that cheered. The weird part was that the cheers almost immediately died out, like the people who were cheering knew how absurd and embarrassing their behavior was right after they did it. Too little, too late in my opinion. How anyone can cheer an injury, much less an injury to a player on the team they are allegedly rooting for, is beyond me. Don't think the Texans didn't notice, either.
"For all that guy has done for this City and this team, for the fans to be booing him when he is hurt on the ground, straight up disrespectful," Yates said.
"No class," Johnson said. "It's bad when members of the other team are saying 'That's messed up that they would do something like that.' It just shows no class."
As fans, we should be better than that. We're clearly not, and that's disturbing on a number of levels.
5. As a special screw-you to those who cheered Schaub's injury, please know that I saw him trying to run and get warmed up on the sideline later in the game; I'm not sure if that made the television broadcast. Here's hoping he's ready to play in Kansas City next week.
6. T.J. Yates relieved Schaub to a cacophony of cheers. The results demonstrated that it was not Tom Brady relieving an injured Drew Bledsoe. That's not to say T.J. can't be better; he can. But to think he's some sort of magic elixir for what ails the Texans is silly. Especially today.
7. The Curse of the Pick-Six lives on. Not even Matt Schaub's absence can break the spell. It's bigger than any one man.
8. How this team continues to play Derek Newton at right tackle is one of the great mysteries of the universe. At one point, I thought Newton was deservedly benched for Ryan Harris, but Newton then ran back on the field and I snapped like a twig.
9. DeAndre Hopkins' fumble...ugh. We'll never know how big that was.
10. There are not enough superlatives to describe Andre Johnson. I feel genuinely bad for him, more than anyone, that a season with such promise has gone completely of the rails.
11. Arian Foster was magnificent. We're likely to forget how good he was today because of the final score. That's a shame. It was one of his finest performances.
12. After doing such a stellar job under difficult circumstances (e.g., the offense giving the opposition amazing field position drive after drive, game after game) for most of the season, the Texans' defense was horrendous today. If you want to point a finger at a unit on the Texans, point it there. I saw more missed tackles from guys like J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing today than I've ever seen.
13. I think that Kareem Jackson was unfairly flagged for pass interference; that ball looked uncatchable to me. Nevertheless, he had his arm on the receiver, and he gave the referee a reason to thrown the flag.
14. Ice Kareem's six yard cushion when the Rams had it on Houston's 4 yard line (and the subsequent Brian Quick TD catch) brought back memories of the Frank Bush Era. I thought I'd managed to kill those memories with alcohol. I was wrong. Not that I won't keep trying.
15. You could also fairly accuse the Texans' special teams of contributing to the team's failure this afternoon. Coverage remains a glaring problem (we are literally talking about years now); I don't know that I've ever watched a kick coverage squad be more uniformly awful than the Texans are game after game, year after year. The part of me that doesn't want to commit homicide wants to appreciate the spectacularly consistent wretchedness of it all. It's like the sun always rising in the east and setting in the west, except it makes me want to light myself on fire.
16. Staying on special teams...if you can explain to me how Keshawn Martin wasn't healthy enough to return kicks yet was healthy enough to play wide receiver before suddenly becoming healthy enough to return kicks again in the second half, I'm all ears.
17. Keshawn Martin's fumble, returned for a touchdown, was one of the worst things I've ever seen on a football field. Not Rosencopter bad, but terrible in its own right. Inexcusable. And yet, there was Keshawn on the ensuing kickoff, returning again. The selective accountability on this team is astounding.
18. If Gary Kubiak wanted to offer up an easy, sacrificial, hey-folks-I-know-there-are-problems-and-we're-trying-to-fix-them lamb, he'd fire Joe Marciano. Tomorrow or even during the bye week. It'd be universally applauded, totally justified, and might just buy Kubiak a bit of good faith from the fan base.
19. That bit of good faith would not be enough for any rational Texans fan to believe that Gary Kubiak is doing a good job this year. His time as the head coach of the Houston Texans should have effectively ended this afternoon. This team is far too talented to be 2-4, and there's no reason to think the Texans are going to get this corrected, no matter how many times Kubes utters those words or something to that effect. Both he and the team seem powerless to stop the avalanche of crap that's overtaking their 2013 season.
20. Ten games remain. At a minimum, your Houston Texans likely have to win eight (8) more games to have a shot at a playoff berth. Their remaining schedule: @ Chiefs, BYE, Colts, @ Cardinals, Raiders, Jaguars, Patriots, @ Jaguars, @ Colts, Broncos, @ Titans. Based on what you've seen through six weeks, is there any reason to believe the Texans can go 8-2 against that slate?
21. No. No, there is not. 6-10 is much, much, MUCH more likely than 10-6 from where I'm sitting. For this team to go 6-10 is incomprehensible. Should that happen--really, should the Texans fail to qualify for the playoffs, regardless of what their record is--Bob McNair cannot retain Gary Kubiak.
22. But do I think there's more than a slight chance Kubiak could survive a 6-10 campaign despite a relatively loaded roster? Yes. And that, my friends, is the most depressing thing of all for Texans fans.
23. Hello, darkness, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again.
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