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Red Zone Play: The Icarus Playbook

Probably not a good thing when your team is being compared to one of the greatest examples of hubris and failure in all of Greek mythology.

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Not sure how many of you are up on your Greek mythology, but forgive me if you’ve heard this before. Icarus, the son of Daedalus, began to dream one day that he could fly higher than the sun on wings he fashioned for himself.

He believed.

The problem was that the bird feathers and wax didn’t truly make Icarus an eagle.  They made him a human who was trying to go beyond his ability. While he did rise to the occasion, literally, in the end he was nothing more than a human who ultimately crashed back down to earth in a flurry of feathers and melted wax.

And so it goes for the 2016 Houston Texans' offense.

In the preseason the team managed to use wax and duct tape to fashion wings that gave the appearance they could fly like an eagle, that they could fly and touch the sun.

The flashy touchdowns by Will Fuller, the dominant defensive performances and positive turnover differential, the undefeated streak – it was all part of the Icarus Playbook. It was a way to go that worked until it truly needed to work.

Under the bright lights of prime time, against a truly formidable team on three separate occasions, the Texans have done nothing but flounder and fall back to the ground like a wounded pigeon that just lost a fight with a hawk.

In the interests of not mincing words any longer, the Monday Night Football performance against Denver can be summed up in the simple phrase, "It sucked".

To get more acute with our diagnosis, Brock Osweiler’s performance sucked.

Would things have been different had J.J. Watt been there? Yes.

Would things have been different if the offensive line was intact and injury-free? Yes.

Would things have been different if Brock Osweiler played even half as well as he gets paid? Undoubtedly.

Not only was it one of the worst performances by a quarterback in Texans history, which is saying A LOT, it was one of the worst NFL quarterback performances in the Super Bowl era.

That sort of performance has no place in the Red Zone.

Unfortunately, until Bill O’Brien, George Godsey and Brock Osweiler get the entirely uncompetitive mess fixed, the team should be considered as having been pushed back out the Red Zone, committing a turnover on downs.

The Monday Night game can be described in a lot of ways, none of them good. No matter what theory we come up with for it, the blame falls squarely on O’Brien, Godsey and Osweiler.

Thankfully, as this column pointed out last week, the schedule gets much easier from here on out, which should give them time to get things fixed for the 2017 season. If Monday night is any indicator of how this team will perform for the rest of this year, however, put a fork in the 2016 season; it’s done.

The hot-handed Matthew Stafford brings his Lions to NRG on Sunday, followed by the sweet release of the bye week.

What do you think needs to be done to get this team back into the Red Zone? Let us know in the comments below.

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