The last time I wrote the Post Game Recap, it was after the Texans got beaten rather badly by the Patriots. If we’re going to recap this game, much like last time, I’m going to need some mood music:
Okay, let’s start with what went wrong.
The Texans came up against one of the best defenses in the entire league. The Vikings’ unit was stifling from beginning to end. Such was this stifling that at one point, late during the first half, this was an actual statistic:
Texans yards by penalty - 49— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 9, 2016
Texans yards by offense - 30
The offense’s issues mostly centered around their line, which couldn’t generate space for Lamar Miller in the run game or withstand pressure from the Vikings’ pass rush. It didn’t get much better when Jeff Allen was ruled out with a concussion, which in all honesty made very little difference to the offensive line’s efficiency. Brock Osweiler was constantly under harassment from the Vikings’ defensive line and suffered badly for it. Unable to throw from a stable base in the pocket, Osweiler skipped the ball around the field with the accuracy and velocity of someone who had wandered onto a football field by accident.
As for the defensive side of the ball, there were multiple injury problems that the Texans had to deal with. They lost Johnathan Joseph in the first half after Joseph had gotten toasted by Adam Thielen for the game’s first touchdown. The Texans’ secondary, which was already missing Kareem Jackson, also lost Quintin Demp, leaving only Andre Hal as the starting member of the secondary left on the field. Not that it would have mattered very much, as the Texans’ defense seemed insistent on playing off man coverage and allowing Sam Bradford to throw to wide open receivers on shorter routes. Much in the same way that the Kubiak teams of old would build up a early lead and then let an excellent defense take care of the rest, the Vikings got ahead early and stayed there for the remainder of the game, adding further touchdowns by Matt Asiata and a Marcus Sherels 79 yard punt return touchdown to cement their dominance. Such was the special teams concern that at one point during the game, the Texans used Brian Peters as the kicker (Peters would later leave with an injury as well).
Now that we’ve gone through the negatives, let’s talk about the positives! Jadeveon Clowney had a reasonably good game, recording 3 tackles for a loss. Whitney Mercilus had a sack and a half. C.J. Fiedorowicz had some nice plays. We’re still first in the AFC South. None of us have to watch CBS again for another week or so unless we want to (AND WHO WOULDN’T, WITH ALL THOSE GREAT SHOWS LIKE NCIS, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, AND NCIS: NEW ORLEANS?).
This was always going to be a tough game. No surprise that we lost it. I’d be surprised if there was at least one reasonable person out there who thought that this outcome wasn’t possible, if not probable. The issues that this game highlighted are big ones, but not ones that haven’t been visible for the past few weeks. The offense was catatonic. That’s been due to the offensive line’s struggles, offensive playcalling lacking any kind of adaption or creativity, and Brock Osweiler struggling to throw the ball accurately. The Bears and Titans games showed there was some semblance of offensive capability, but it’s been offset by teams game-planning better for the Texans’ offense and the Texans’ coaching staff just not having an answer to this. The only hope is that over the next few weeks the coaching staff finds a way to make this offense start working, or things are only going to get worse.
I’m done for now. I have bleach to consume and crying Jordans to paste onto various Texans players’ faces. The comment sections are all yours to react, cry, or scream to your heart’s content, so do enjoy.