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Hair of the Dog/Pelo del Perro: Raiders-Texans de Ciudad Mexico

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This was supposed to run two hours ago but the referee spotted the post here, instead. Go figure.

Houston Texans v Oakland Raiders
“If 29 so much as touches him, I’m tossing the flag.”
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

It’s sick in a way. This was one of the best all-around games the Texans have put together all season. Brock Osweiler wasn’t great, but he wasn’t the stuff nightmares are made of either. The defense was beating the Raiders’ offensive line and causing pressure on Baby Carr. Despite the lasers and the paper airplanes, the Texans were in it. They had a chance to win even going deep into the fourth quarter.

But damn, those refs sucked. They sucked early when they cost DeAndre Hopkins a sure touchdown, they sucked when they gave the Texans a pass interference call on a ball that was uncatchable, and they royally sucked when they botched not one but two ball spots late in the fourth.

Sure, you can lay the Texans’ loss on Bill O’Brien’s in-game decision making and you wouldn’t be wrong either, but that’s only one game. The NFL’s referees have been terrible for quite some time and do not look to improve any time soon. And really, we shouldn’t expect them too either. Why? Because the NFL is run by an incompetent simp who will cheap out on the integrity of the sport if it means lining the pockets of his billionaire masters with a few dollars more. Why worry about risking the long-term survival of the game we all love by sending out sub-standard officials and driving off customers with questionable on-field product when there’s short term profit to be made?

I’m not accusing the referees of being corrupt, though it would not be hard to make a case for it. Incompetence is just as bad if not worse than corruption (at least with corruption everyone KNOWS why the officials are making terrible calls). As long as you have referees who aren’t dedicated to this profession, who perform this job as a way to make extra money, you will continue to have shoddy officiating.

The NFL deserves better than referees who treat the job as little more than a glorified paper route. We, who watch these games, deserve better than the part-time employees the game is saddled with now. It’s time for the NFL to scrape together the money in its couch cushions (if the NFL had a couch, that is) and pay for some dedicated referees.

I’ll get off my soapbox now. Now hear the rest of the masthead complain about the refs and other things.

As always, swear words in the thread have been replaced with the word “kitten” to make this safe for work. You’re welcome.

First Quarter:

Vega

So, I was actually born in Mexico City. I expect this game to be like a true homecoming, complete with severe bouts of vomiting.

BFD

Braxton Miller returning the kick? That's a thing. It's nice to finally see SOMETHING done there.

Weston

Man that was a great block by Brown to take on the Mack bullrush and peel off on the stunt.

Vega

I think the refs should have to call all penalties in Spanish.

Weston

We should google translate this entire HotD into spanish.

Vega

Remember all that talk about the Texans giving Braxton Miller the ball in space? I'd like to see that. If only just to shake things up a bit.

(Hopkins with a catch and run that got called short due to referee incompetence)

tGC

The fact that that play was not reviewable saved us from losing that challenge.

Weston

No pass rush and Osweiler is throwing actual completions with accuracy.

tGC

Who is this QB?

BFD

The turf really seems to be playing a role so far in this game.

Vega

It's Mexican Osweiler. It's like regular Osweiler, only spicy.

BFD

MOAR FIELD GOALS.

Vega

Wooooo! No shutout!! Everything's coming up Milhouse.

tGC

Not a bad start let's have more spicy Brock. My colon can handle it!

(Texans drive stalls, Nick Novak kicks a field goal, Texans lead 3-0)

UT

GLORY TO COMRADE O'BRIEN'S ALL FIELD GOAL OFFENSE!

Vega

The problem with spicy Brock is that eventually you just kitten the bed.

SCT

Good, get the defense off the field so they don't get gassed in this altitude. Nice work, Clowney.

Capt Ron

A thorough screwing by the NFL's part-time refs. Maybe the camel's back is finally going to be broken with this crap. Pro tip: if they didn't blow it dead, they could have reviewed it afterward as all scores are reviewed. KITTEN the NFL and their refs!

UT

He didn't go out there, but I think he did go out a couple yards further down the line based on that replay they showed.

BFD

In real time, it looked to me like he stepped OOB.

tGC

No, it was a good call. MNF can't seem to show the right replay, but his right foot stepped on the line.

Capt Ron

Nope! I just rewatched the full clip and he stayed in bounds the whole way.

(The Texans punt on fourth and inches...for some reason)

Vega

Chicken kitten, punting this.

tGC

Surprised we're not going for it.

Capt Ron

Bad spot. These refs suck!

(Ed. note: Put that note in your back pocket, ladies and gentlemen)

UT

I'm surprised and I'm not, because OMG risk.

Weston

It looked like Miller stayed on Mack and rolled over him for the first. But still you have to go for it even if Osweiler is too tall to run a QB sneak.

BFD

Clowney is terrifying the Raiders' offensive line. It's early, but I think this is the best he's ever looked in a game.

Vega

Man, Clowney is having an impact on this game so far.

UT

Kitten it, Joseph, TURN AROUND!

Weston

Tuuuuuuuuuurn around...

Vega

Can't argue that call at all. Horrible by Joseph.

UT

I'm just waiting for you to start singing Bonnie Tyler, Big Matt.

Second Quarter:

Weston

If this was an iPhone voice memo message, I would have.

(Raiders score on a run, putting them up 7-3.)

UT

Yup.

Weston

Dear Bill O'Brien,

The other team can score too. You are going to need all the points you can to beat OAK. If you can't the run the ball, and have a QB with accuracy problems who has trouble with the tighter windows faced in the red zone, you really should have went for it earlier.

Sincerely,

Matt

Vega

I'm not a superstitious man, but if I were, I'd say that the chicken kitten call to punt on 4th and a nose hair just cost us a TD.

(Tyler Ervin muffs a kickoff, Raiders recover)

UT

Irrespective of how this muffed punt comes out, can we please, please, PLEASE be done with the Tyler Ervin experience?

Weston

WHOOPS, there is that 32nd ranked special teams.

Capt Ron

And special teams insets the dagger...

BFD

Ladies and giraffes, may I present you Tyler Ervin.

UT

Maybe we should turn this thread into a karaoke thread at this rate. Matt, your best Bonnie Tyler, if you please.

Weston

Only if it's Linkin Park's “In the End,” and I do the rapping and you do the singing.

UT

That might be the whitest rendition of Linkin Park ever.

BFD

Jadeveon Clowney is playing out of his mind this game.

UT

I think he's motivated to show that he's a better player than Khalil Mack.

(Osweiler nearly throws yet another interception)

Weston

Osweiler almost threw a pick six to me on that awful decision.

Capt Ron

Jon Weeks will return kicks before Ervin gets another crack.

Mike

If Ervin goes back to receive another kick, who ever sent him out there needs to be demoted to Pop Warner water boy...

UT

Glad to hear that Gruden thinks Osweiler looks panicked, because finally I know I'm not kittening imagining it.

Mike

Was that another Brock-thrown-fumble?

Capt Ron

I would pay good money to watch Goodell kill the head referee during halftime as the officials continue to tarnish "The Shield" with ineptness.

UT (to Mike)

No, but not for lack of trying.

Weston

They did have Brian Peters do kickoffs and they did use Jay Prosch as a punt gunner, so nothing on special teams surprises me.

(Lamar Miller runs for 34 yards and nearly gets the TD)

Vega

Hey, a run from Miller outside works out. How about that?

Weston

CRAZY, RIGHT?

UT

Only Brock Osweiler can turn a batted pass into a kittening sack.

Vega

Please don't kitten this up. Aaaaaand he kittens it up before I could hit send.

BFD

No more Ervin. Miller on the outside. Is our coaches learning?

Osweiler catches his own pass. Well? One out of two is a start.

(Braxton Miller catches a TD pass from Osweiler, tying the game at 10)

Great route by Miller, fine throw by Osweiler. Brock almost looks like a competent QB tonight. Almost.

UT

Maybe it's the thin air of Mexico City? If so, can we play the rest of the Texans' home games here?

Vega

It must be the exchange rate or something.

Capt Ron

Woooo! Tie game.

Vega

Novak loves him some Mexico City. He can kick touchbacks and feel like a grownup kicker.

UT

Braxton Miller fell down on the return and it's still better than all but one of Tyler Ervin's returns.

Vega

Who wants to bet that Tyler Ervin's injury was caused by O'Brien?

UT

Damn, Fiedorowicz doing things. He might actually have developed or something.

Mike

Game of inches: C.J. catches the sure interception...

UT

Attention, attention: Brock Osweiler now has more yards than he gained all last week.

Did...did someone just try to shine a laser in Lamar Miller's face?

I didn't imagine it, someone is shining a laser in the Texans' faces.

(Osweiler throws an interception)

Vega

And there's our Brocket launch.

UT

Welp. Ladies and gentlemen, your Brock Bottom pick of the week.

Mike

And the Brockerception returns...

BFD

Goodness gracious, UT, what a call. I thought I saw something, too, but I didn't put it together like you did. Well done.

I sometimes LOL at Kareem Jackson's open field tackles. He's just so crazy good.

Weston

Kittening Clowney, man.

Vega

Clowney is playing the best game of his career right now.

UT

Thanks, BFD. Sometimes having ADD can be usef--SQUIRREL!!

Mike

Man, good DB work by #29 of the Raiders...

Halftime Thoughts:

BFD

I think this is the longest Brock has looked like a competent NFL QB this season, which lasted about 28 minutes.

Vega

Do you think Derek Carr knows he's a mistake baby?

Weston

This defense is really good and all my doubts have been quelled. The Texans can't run inside the tackles. Osweiler is actually playing great by his standards and whatever by NFL standards, but that's better than being at Gabbertian and Keenumanian standards.

SCT

Raiders fans scoffed when I dedicated so much of their Q&A to Clowney. This is why.

tGC

Clowney. The rest is details.

Third Quarter:

(Derek Carr throws a really bad interception)

UT

Now that's a way to start a half, and that's a throw that would've made his big brother proud.

Mike

Nice! A.J. Bouye takin' advantage.

Vega

Don't worry, Raiders. Brock's got you.

Mike

Hello! McFly!

UT

Brock nearly got himself killed AND didn't get the first down! That's impressive?

Weston

There's no way they were cheering his toughness on that run.

Mike

Bad spot. He's 2.3 yards tall. Falling down he gets that first every time.

UT

Oh look, BFD's favorite player with the carry!

(Both Mancz and Brown come off the field limping)

Vega

Oh. Kitten.

UT

Mancz AND Brown coming off the field? Swell.

Mike

We need a practice squad just for our offensive line...

SCT

They are making a big effort to get Braxton the ball tonight. I'm in favor of that.

Vega

Ryan Griffin is getting blown up all night long.

UT

I'm not complaining about the [pass interference] call, but I'm not sure it should've been called.

SoCalTexan

Lucky penalty. That ball wasn't catchable.

(Lamar Miller gets the one yard touchdown, putting the Texans up 17-10)

Mike

Despite the coaching staff's illogic, Miller gets his anyway.

Weston

Best part about that drive is that it was 14 plays 65 yards and kept OAK off the field.

SCT

And now the defense is STILL fresh and ready to rumble.

(Bouye called for pass interference on Michael Crabtree)

UT

Crabtree friggin' fell down.

Mike

ticky tacky

Vega

Looked to me like their feet got tangled. Though, admittedly in real time, I thought it was a no-brainer PI.

Mike

If nothing else, at least Houston isn't getting blown out by a winning team in prime time.

SCT

C.J. Is really having a good game outside of that one drop. He looks like a real tight end finally.

BFD

THIS is what I expected from the Texans' offense after the first couple of games. THIS offense can compete. Boy howdy, this is a much needed change.

Fourth Quarter:

Mike

Seems like the best O-line outing of the year. Glad to see it!

UT

Just once I want to see the Texans try a fake field goal or punt. You know, for a laugh.

Vega

Stop it, UT. You know they'd try something like a long snapper pass, and it'd be returned for a pick six.

(The Raiders fullback runs for a 75 yard touchdown, tying the game at 20)

UT

I blame the laser pointer for that touchdown.

Capt Ron

Um, bad coverage plan?

SCT

A full game of great defense until one snap where they ignore that the fullback exists...

Weston

The Raiders’ inside linebackers are butt.

(C.J. Fiedorowicz leaves the field holding his arm)

UT

The one useful tight end we have and he gets hurt. Ugh.

Weston

I love to see DeAndre Hopkins smile again. I missed those teeth.

Mike

If nothing else, this game should make some of the haters settle down. A lot of the talking heads have the Raiders as the #1 team in the AFC, and Houston is giving 'em a run for their money in every phase.

SCT

Duane Brown has been wincing a lot out there. His knee is bothering him, but he's playing through it.

(The refs kitten up the kittening spot not once but kittening twice, but we’re not upset, don’t even worry about it)

Vega

What a kitten spot.

UT

The refs just kittened us on the spot.

Capt Ron

KITTEN the refs and the NFL. That is all.

Mike

Two bad spots in a row... total crap.

Weston

How about you don't run Akeem Hunt in short yardage situations.

OAK is talked about like that because of Power Rankings are all based around going up and down based on the week before and being 7-2, not because of their performance.

(Bill O’Brien challenges the spot and the ref’s eyes fall out of his head while reviewing the spot, still we’re not angry about it, not even a little)

UT

Holy kitten, kitten you refs.

Vega

Unbelievable.

Weston

Bill O'Brien makes too many dumb in-game decisions that good head coaches don't make.

Capt Ron

Consider me completely kittening done with NFL football until these kitten-bag refs are properly replaced with a better product.

Vega

Matt, I get that you don't like the call (and I agree with you), but that's kind of irrelevant. It was a first down.

Weston

I understand that. But they used their smaller back who didn't follow the block. I'm sure the review wasn't overturned because of the indisputable thing. They shouldn't have been in that spot anyways.

Mike

So, Refs take away D-Hop’s early touchdown.

Then bad spot on third stopping go-ahead drive.

Then bad spot on fourth stopping go-ahead drive.

The fact the refs make such inexplicable calls that affect the outcome of so many games every week really makes me question a lot...

Vega

I don't know why the call wasn't overturned, to be honest. Yes, I'm a biased observer, but it looked clear to me. The fact is, the spot was kitten twice in a row, and I thought the review would have overcalled it. No, we shouldn't have been in that position, but that's irrelevant. It was a kitten call by the refs.

UT

This is what I get for thinking the Texans might could win this game.

Weston (to Vega)

I won't argue that.

They aren't getting this ball back.

Hey! Let’s give out some game balls!

Offense: Lamar Miller was once again the engine of the offense, rushing 24 times for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Defense: It’s hard to say no to Jadeveon Clowney, who might have had his best game as a professional. He was consistently in the backfield causing problems for Derek Carr despite the Raiders’ vaunted offensive line.