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Incompletions: Texans v. Broncos (A Homecoming To Forget)

With so much to write and talk about after every game, and not enough time for one man to write about it all, the masthead joins together and breaks down the Houston Texans' MNF loss to the Denver Broncos.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Weston:

We waited two years for the Texans to make a real quarterback decision. We got there because Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith never had a replacement plan for Matt Schaub. Kubiak was fired as a result. Bill O’Brien used a variety of different ways to find a quarterback; none of them worked. Last season’s atrocity against Kansas City led to him realizing you need a quarterback or an all-time top ten defense to do anything more than be the best bad team in a bad division. Houston opted to find a quarterback and improve the offense instead of going all in on defense. O'Brien chose Brock Osweiler.

Today, seven games into it, we have seen what, four maybe five quarters of good football from that real decision? Last night against the fifth-ranked pass defense according to DVOA, 2.0% behind #1 Arizona, Brock Osweiler completed one pass over ten yards. He completed 22 of 41 passes...for 131 yards. That comes out to 3.19 yards an attempt and 5.95 yards a completion. You could do that. I could do that. We all could do that. He threw a fumble for seven yards. He almost threw a pick-six, but the pass was so bad that T.J. Ward dropped it. Osweiler overthrew forced manufactured deep passes into double coverage. He’s still been unable to get DeAndre Hopkins going. As in previous weeks, he threw short outs and flats and nothing else.

This loss was mostly on Osweiler, but holy crap Bill O’Brien had no clue what he was doing. The Broncos have a great pass defense. They are mediocre against the run. Lamar Miller had an epiphany last week against the Colts’ worst tackling defense, but at least he finally was breaking tackles and oozing vision. Tonight, they didn’t run the ball enough. Alfred Blue and Lamar Miller each had 11 carries for at least 60 yards. As a team, Houston had 25 carries for 140 yards, 5.6 yards a carry, or almost as much as Osweiler had per completion. Yet the Texans decided to play run-run-pass instead of sticking to what worked. Then they were forced to give up on the run once they went behind by two possessions. That was on the coaching staff, but Osweiler was still a sweaty dump in a Wendy’s dumpster.

It’s been seven games, and I don’t know when or if it is going to get any better. The Texans paid Osweiler $18 million per year so they could win because of their quarterback, not with him. They paid him this much so they could beat the Broncos, the Patriots, the Vikings and be one of the best team’s in the league again. All it has gotten them is not only the worst passing offense, but the worst offense in the league.

As Texans fans, we are a patient bunch. We waited nine years for this team to make the playoffs. We waited two years for the Texans to get a quarterback and go back to seeing this talented offense becoming a contender. Now I don’t know how much longer we are going to wait. Houston is stuck with Bill O’Brien and Brock Osweiler for the next two years. They have tied the tail end of J.J. Watt’s prime, the end of Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph’s careers, and DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney’s rookie contracts to this wagon. Right now it’s looking like it’s all going to be a waste of these talented players and our time. That’s the real shame. Life is such a finite, precious, and beautiful thing, and we could be looking back on the last four years in 2018, thinking about all that had just been wasted.

Capt Ron:

The Texans traded FGs for TDs and gave up two turnovers, so instead of 21-24 late in the game, it was 9-24. Alfred Blue’s fumble inside the red zone killed any sliver of momentum for Houston, and Brock Osweiler’s fumble was the shrink wrap to seal the loss.

This offensive system is garbage. The receivers and QB are not on the same page, and Brock looked awful most of the game even when he had protection. I heard this on the radio (Sports Radio 610), and it is so accurate:

Seth Payne: "The Texans' offense gives the appearance of trying to be sophisticated and complex, but in execution it looks like unfamiliar and disassociated participants trying to individually escape quicksand."

What choice does Houston have at this point? Bill O’Brien is under contract through 2017. Coincidentally, Brock’s guaranteed money is fully paid by the end of 2017. Houston will run out the rest of this string to see if the vomit coagulates into a meal a dog would bother to eat. By the end of next season, Brock and O'Brien are both gone if it doesn't turn around.

This is a sad realization for the fans, but the Texans have been, and continue to be, a mediocre franchise. Year after year, they are better than the worst teams, but nowhere near as good as the best teams in the league.

Matt Weston:

We all loved watching Arian Foster play. He didn’t run. He used his feet and legs to write poetry, to glide words across the field. Using vision and cutbacks, like periods, to create short and fast sentences. To burst through the line of scrimmage, followed by long elongated run-ons as he bounded past the second level and into the open field to create runs out of holes that didn’t exist on plays.  You had to go back and rewind over and over again to try to follow along what Foster saw, only to never get back to the beginning of the string. Horizontal then vertical. Running with a tall gait that was on the verge of taunting.

Now he’s gone and done after 76 games, 1,454 carries, 6,472 yards, and 54 touchdowns in Houston, with a brief vacation in Miami. Like most running backs, Arian Foster was a meteor, green and bursting, short lived across an opaque sky.

Send Some Letters To Derek Newton:

Uprooted Texan:

You know what, this game was not a complete waste. If it weren't for this game, I would never have learned about how tasty Coney Island Root Beer is, because I bought some in anticipation of this game.

As for the game itself, there was nothing redeemable. Brock Osweiler has proven to be not worth the $36 million (or $72 million as poorly-informed sources would have you believe) that the Texans shelled out for him. Not only that, but we've lost Derek Newton for a minimum of this season, probably all of next year and potentially longer, depending on how severe the injury is. Additional note: When the highlight of the Texans' offense is Arian Foster's retirement, something is seriously wrong with that side of the ball.

I said it in the post-game:  We're pretty much halfway through the season and this team, with this quarterback, is not improving, not even infinitesimally, and that's a real problem. With Newton out, I don't foresee this offense making any strides in that direction any time soon, if at all this season.

Yet somehow, in the AFC South, the large adult son of the NFL, this team is still in contention for the playoffs.

Ugh, I need a shower after this game.

Mike Bullock:


Diehard Chris:

At this point, I've moved on from being upset about this season and have just in general been bothered by the bigger picture. I have no doubt that Brock will improve. The problem with that is I say it because there's no way he can get worse - and that "improvement" will still put him out of shouting distance of mediocre. It's a curse, not a blessing, that the Texans are in this garbage division because "hey, we can still get in the tournament and from there anything can happen!"

I think I have less answers now than I've ever had for this franchise. At least in 2013, you knew you were going to get a fresh start the following season because everyone was playing out the string of a dying regime. Right now - hell, I have no clue. None.


The Houston Texans are an extremely talented team, though one crippled by a mediocre head coach and one of the worst starting QBs in the game today.

After seven games, Brock Osweiler's highest in game QB rating is 90.7. Twenty (20) qualifying NFL QBs have a higher QB rating on the season, which means Brock's best isn't even mediocre.

BOB came to the Texans as an alleged offensive genius and QB whisperer. Only in a division made up of the Gus Bradleys, Mike Mularkeys, and Ryan Grigsons of the world can BOB be made to look competent.

This year is starting to look shockingly like 2015, and that's not a positive. With this much talent on the roster, we as fans should have higher expectations, and those expectations are not being met by the QB play or the offensive coaching.

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