Despite the fact that Joyce Manor's Never Hungover Again is one of my favorite albums, I was hungover today. My brain was rolling around in cerebrospinal fluid made with Lone Star instead of water. I was dull. I was a grog. Living today was just a slog. I traded in my present happiness for Saturday night's extra smiles. And I am 100% okay with that decision. Because if I wasn't a potato, this game would have been unwatchable.
If I loved being alive today, if I could find meaning in the deteriorating seconds that is life, if I was sharp and crisp with enthusiasm seeping out of my pours like a squeezed sponge, I wouldn't have been able to sit there and make it through this game.
It was over once Kareem Jackson knocked the piss out of Antonio Andrews -- who fumbled -- and Quintin Demps returned it for a touchdown. Then, after that, the defense strangled Tennessee. Brandon Weeden ran for a touchdown, and that was pretty cool. DeAndre Hopkins snatched another fade route out of the sky in the corner of the endzone. J.J. Watt brought out his selfie stick after sacking Zach Mettenberger for the ninth time in his career. All while I laid there on the floor with a numbed brain. It was all fine, fine, fine. But it was a drag, just like me on Sunday.
The game was only fun in the I HATE THE TENNESSEE TITANS sort of way. But I don't hate the Titans. I'm from San Antonio. My only memory of the Oilers is when they had training camp at Trinity University, and they went in early because it started to drizzle. That's it. When the team moved away, it didn't mean anything to me, and it never will. But if you're from Houston or old enough to love the Oilers, then this game was a beautiful manifestation of hatred. Which is fine if you're that sort of thing. But with Indy winning, it was just another game, and the Texans' fourth win over Zach Mettenberger.
The only thing better than a dominant Texans victory is a dominant Texans victory over the Titans. Zach Mettenberger has become a sacrificial lamb of sorts for this franchise. His ineptitude helped drag Houston out of the dumps midway through the season, and now he came through in the clutch again for this team as they fight their way towards a division championship. Love you, Zach. Never change.
Bill O'Brien has somehow breathed new life into Brandon Weeden, which were words I never imagined I would say before this season started. He was efficient, aggressive, and most importantly trusted DeAndre Hopkins to keep doing DeAndre Hopkins things. I don't necessarily trust Weeden to get a playoff win or anything, but he was just good enough to hold Houston's division lead until Brian Hoyer gets back. For now, that's all that matters.
As for the defense, this team will only go as far as that unit takes them. J.J. Watt has clearly been hampered by his broken hand, which has drastically reduced the pressure placed on opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks, but the secondary has been playing so well that it almost hasn't even mattered. Andre Hal has been breaking up passes all over the place, Johnathan Joseph is playing like his 2011 self, and rookie Kevin Johnson continues to display his insane athleticism week in and week out. If they keep shutting down receivers like this, the Texans have a shot to win against any Super Bowl contending team in the AFC.
TEARS AS LUBRICANT!
The Texans did exactly what they should have done. Even a mediocre team like Houston should bludgeon the Titans. I mean, they are the WORST. They are the Music City Miracles of the NFL. When you think about how many draft resources they've poured into their O-Line and defense over the last few years and have NOTHING to show for it - the Titans really and truly are the franchise their fans deserve. The only low point of the win over Tennessee was J.J. Watt kicking up the stupid selfie thing again. Zach Mettenberger is a bug on a windshield. Why would anyone waste any time or energy on him except to fleck him off to the side on the way to the division title? C'mon J.J., please. I am generally the guy who rolls his eyes at the portion of the fanbase who criticizes J.J. for being super corny or craving the spotlight, but on this I'm with that crowd. SO lame.
Oh, and also - Watt's still the best defensive player on the planet, and it's not even close. My hope is he is learning to play better with the broken hand, and his game against Tennessee was a result of that just as much as it was because the Titans are garbage.
My favorite wins are always the blowouts over Tennessee, especially in Nashville. There's just nothing better
Die Hard Chris's Retweets
This is worse than 59-0 in the snow.— blake tucker (@_BlakeTucker) December 27, 2015
This is where we make our stand #Titans— Matthew Murdock (@87F150) December 27, 2015
@TitansMCM when is it ok to switch teams?— Matthew Murdock (@87F150) December 27, 2015
Amen. https://t.co/98R5G8wWre— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 27, 2015
The Texans dominated a terrible Titans team. It should have been a shutout, but the backup players on Houston's defense allowed a garbage-time score. Setting aside the excitement of this win for a moment, my biggest frustration with this game was the lack of pass rush by the Texans. There's no excuse for the limited results against an anemic offensive line that was without left tackle Taylor Lewan for most of the game after he suffered a concussion. Obviously J.J. Watt is dealing with his broken hand, but Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of the front seven should have been able to pad their stats better. Speaking of Clowney, I sure hope he's alright after he was carted off the field with what was reported to be a foot injury.
The offense started out pretty sloppy with two quarterbacks who were still getting the timing down as they learned the Houston playbook, but things finally clicked to get the squad moving. It was great to see DeAndre Hopkins collect his 100th catch of the season along with a dominant touchdown reception over Titans' cornerback Coty Sensabaugh.
Turning the page quickly, it's time to finish strong with a win over the Jaguars.
A win over the Titans is always a wonderful thing. More than any other team in the NFL (including the Cowboys), I loathe and despise the BESFs (probably because I want the Oilers history back, but I'll dissect the reasons for my loathing at a later date, like once they hand it back over). Part of me feels bad for Zach Mettenberger, because that team really has done him no favors, throwing him out there four times with an offensive line that is slightly better than what's gotten Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck slaughtered repeatedly in Indy. However, any sympathy I might feel is deadened when I think of the fact that the Texans' goal is the playoffs. To accomplish that, the team has to run over and run through the AFC South, so it's alright.
Like our recent games against Mettenberger, this is game that was handled largely by our defense, and they set the tone for the rest of the team. That's a positive because, even with Hoyer, this team is going as far as RAC's crew can carry them. Brandon Weeden wasn't awesome. B.J. Daniels wasn't awesome. The fact that this was the Titans, and the defense came ready to do battle, meant that their lack of awesomeness wasn't a burden. Nuk was able to break 100 catches for the season, further proving that he's a d@mn good receiver and we're fortunate to have him.
The only issues I see now are reports that Clowney left in a walking boot. Both he and OB have said he's fine, which, I'd like to think, means he'll be a go for next Sunday, but I've learned to wait before thinking that about him. Hopefully whatever happened is minor enough that it doesn't plague him during the week, and he's available next Sunday.
Depending on what the Bengals do or don't do Monday evening, the game against the Jags can be for all the marbles, or just another win to continue the momentum. Either way, a victory next week would see the team equal its 2014 record, and demonstrate remarkable resiliency, because this season has been a rollercoaster. Go Texans!
It's Really Sad Over At Music City Miracles.
I hate football.— TitansMCM (@TitansMCM) December 27, 2015
Being a Titans fan is borderline impossible.— TitansMCM (@TitansMCM) December 27, 2015
You can fire Ruston before the team gets off the field today. This travesty must end.— TitansMCM (@TitansMCM) December 27, 2015
There are no terms to describe how bad this team is. They are getting absolutely stomped by Brandon Weeden right now.— TitansMCM (@TitansMCM) December 27, 2015
There are few games that meet one's pre-game expectations, but if there's one game that did so perfectly, it was the Texans' game on Sunday. Sure, I missed the score a bit (I guessed 23-9). However, this game was about the BE-SFs being unable to do anything offensively. If there was one aspect missing, I was more than disappointed with our pass rush against a terrible offensive line.
In more good news, Brandon Weeden seems to understand the passing game well: throw the ball to #10 early and often. DeAndre Hopkins was targeted on 11 of Weeden's 24 attempts. While that still might be a little low, it's a start.
In the end, however, this game played out as it should. Aided by a defensive touchdown and turnovers, the Texans' offense just needed to manage the game and get the ball to its playmaker. Defensively, the Texans nearly threw a shutout until trash time.
Speaking of trash, the BE-SFs are a terrible, classless football team, one that should be downgraded from the NFL immediately. There's no reason for the team to exist aside from acting as a punching bag for the rest of the AFC South twice every year.
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