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Hair of the Dog (Texans-Bengals): Kicking (Repeatedly) the Dog

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The BRB crew discusses Saturday’s AFC South-clinching game against the Bengals, among other things.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Just like old times.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to be clever and write a pithy opening statement about Saturday’s game, especially when about 87.4% of said game was punting. And since it’s late (very late) on Christmas, I’m going to keep this brief so y’all can read what you ostensibly clicked on the link for: the semi-coherent ramblings of a group of Texans fans who may or may not know what they’re talking about.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Pre-Game Thoughts:

Weston

Rogue One is better than Blade Runner

UT

I haven't seen Blade Runner, but no it's not.

Diehard Chris

You can't bait me. It's Christmas.

Luke

Bless my soul, it’s really Christmas. Kevin Harlan is calling the game.

I'm so happy my sentence structure just went to kitten.

UT

Which is good, I like Kevin Harlan. Have they said who the PBP guy is yet? I wasn't paying close attention.

Luke

PBP is Harlan. Colour guy is Rich Gannon.

UT

That's a pretty good combo.

BFD

(to UT) Yeah, Gannon is a good listen.

(to Luke) It's spelled "colour."

(Moments later...)

LOLOLOL! I screwed up my own joke. I'm clearly not being the best blogmate I can be.

Luke

It's one of CBS's better combos. I thought it was going to be NBC, who would have had the coverage. Regardles, I'm just glad we dodged the JEEEEEEEEEM and PHEEEEEEEEEEEEL Bullet.

UT

Dammit, BFD, we just got him writing it properly, don't start confusing him with extraneous vowels.

First Quarter:

Luke

What the heck were the Bengals doing pre-snap?

UT

Good start for the defense, a three and out to kick things off.

(Bengals punt to the Texans)

WHY IS ERVIN ON THE FIELD?!

BFD

I'd like to once again give a vote to Romeo Crennel as Coach of the Year. Despite the horrific special teams and the league almost worst offense, this team is competitive week in/week out because of Crennel. Safety blitz on 3rd and 8 confuses Dalton enough to create havoc. Beautiful.

Luke

Delayed A-Gap blitz coming up big again. Also Reader's interior pressure on second down was great.

BRC

That's a nice first throw

(Jay Prosch does the unthinkable and gets a first down)

UT

Prosch did a thing. Whoda thunk it?

BFD

I hope Brock is only wearing the helmet because he thinks he looks cute in it.

UT

Maybe it's his good luck helmet? Hoping BOB sees things his way and throws him in because he doesn't want to be employed anymore?

Luke

If that Fuller route was towards the boundary, there might have been a chance, but that was pretty nice coverage by the Bengals.

BRC

Wow, Prosch does another thing. Fullbacks are people too today

UT

Let's not get TOO ahead of ourselves here.

BFD

Hey, now, BRC. Let's not get carried away. In the hierarchy, it goes wife, kids, husband, dogs, cats, fish, rocks, and then fullbacks. They are never people.

UT

A.J. Bouye with the beautiful defense of the ball there.

BFD

That Tyler Ervin is returning punts again is a dead giveaway our special teams coaching is grossly incompetent.

BRC

(to BFD) Give me an over or under on 1.5 muffed punts by Tyler Ervin tonight.

Capt Ron

I see Jeff Allen standing around watching his missed block sack Savage. Lovely!

UT

We've switched the Seahawks’ offensive line for the Texans. Let's see if anybody notices!

Luke

That wasn't a coverage sack so much as a Jeff Allen is bad sack.

BRC

Not a great punt either. 3 and out would be useful

Capt Ron

Jeff Allen must have a prop bet in Vegas for three AFC QBs to get season ending injuries on the same day. Seriously, get that motherKITTEN off the field!

UT

Damn, Clowney almost took down the Pride of Katy.

Capt Ron

Bouye is gonna get paid. Let's hope Rick doesn't screw that up.

BRC

Not sure we can afford him, to be fair.

UT

Rick Smith: "Well, I could pay Bouye a ton of money and have a really great secondary, or I could spend a couple million less on Brand X cornerback and use the savings to buy some Skyline chili."

I think we know where this is going.

Luke

Yes UT, yes we do.

Boy, does that look bad.

BRC

Boy I love staying up early in the morning to watch our punt coverage.

Luke

Nothing says Christmas quite like watching Shane Lechler punt.

Capt Ron

The O'Brien "face plant" offense ladies and gentlemen. 3 & out. We need better coaches and play design. This is pathetic.

UT

Nothing says Christmas like watching Tyler Ervin line up to receive kicks for reasons I can't even begin to understand.

Second Quarter

Capt Ron

Instead of doing what may actually work, let's continue to stubbornly force round pegs into square grids of turf on offense. KITTEN O'Brien and Godsey FFS!

UT

And another fine job by the defense.

BRC

Defense continues to look otherworldly.

(Texans go on offense, pass from Savage falls out of C.J. Fiedorowicz’ hands)

BRC

No way C.J., no way.

Must still be concussed.

UT

Savage with a good throw, it just fell out of Fiedorowicz' hands.

Capt Ron

Failing to convert on 3rd and short instead of failing to convert on 3rd and long. Not really an improvement. Thanks for the easy drop there, CJF.

UT

It's still better than the old third and "I give up" when it's third and long though.

BRC

At least we failed to convert due a drop rather than a terrible throw, right?

BFD

The Old Poodle Offense is still in full force.

Hey, Notre Dame? BOB still awaits your call.

BRC

Dalton not afraid of throwing at A.J. Bouye.

Think he's forgetting it's not A.J. Green

UT

o/~ Come, they told me, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt...o/~

Capt Ron

If Rick fails to retain Bouye, I may stop being a fan of this team. That guy is money!

BFD

The Tinkle Kitties didn't blitz at all last week. Now that he's facing a more sophisticated scheme, Savage is really struggling. Not surprising, and I still have more hope for him than Brock.

D.J. Reader and Clowney on run d are things. Glorious to behold.

Capt Ron

We may be witnessing the first 0-0 tie in NFL history tonight.

BRC

Clowney just backed that motherkittener right up.

Luke

Rex Burkhead has the same amount of first downs as this Texans’ offense.

UT

Clowney has demolished the Pride of Katy!

Capt Ron

Clowney gettin' some!

UT

Punting is winning!

BRC

Tyler Ervin makes a man miss! One whole man!!

Luke

Speed to Power to Sack. I love Clowney so much.

BFD

This game is going to end by 9:30 p.m., isn't it?

UT

I hope not. That's an hour longer that it should be lasting.

Luke

What's the odds on someone scoring before the half is out?

UT

We just got the first completed pass of the half. Let's not get greedy by talking about scoring.

Besides, you can't divide by zero anyway.

Capt Ron

What's scoring, Precious?

BFD

Savage's accuracy is terrible so far. Jekyll and Hyde performance.

Also, my assumption that he could outplay BOB's horrendous scheme was dramatically incorrect. I don't think Tom Brady could play well in this scheme. What absolute kitten.

BRC

The master plan is unveiled, as we slowly back the Bengals up by forcing punts until we get a safety to win 2-0

Luke

What is it with the Bengals offense pre-snap?

UT

K-Jax getting looked at on the sideline.

Terrific.

UT

Two minute warning. Oh my kitten, we really are going to go to the half scoreless, aren't we?

Capt Ron

This top-ranked defense of the Texans is really fun to watch. With all due respect, the offense is completely unwatchable.

(The Bengals march down the field)

UT

Yeah, we're not ending this half scoreless.

BRC

Remember it's Fat Randy kicking. Don't be so certain.

Luke

HOLD ONTO YOUR HORSES BOYS AND GIRLS, THERE IS A TEAM WITHIN FIELD GOAL RANGE!

(Randy Bullock kicks a field goal. Bengals lead 3-0)

BRC

Ahh kitten you, Randy.

BFD

FATKICKER shows us a thing or two. Or, you know, not really.

UT

OH SURE, NOW YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO KICK A KITTENING FIELD GOAL BEERCAN!

Luke

If Fat Randy kicks the FG, can we say that we scored and end the game there?

Halftime Thoughts:

BFD

bfd's halftime reaction, a bfd production

/bfd adds more rum to egg nog

//bfd sighs

///bfd adds more rum

fin

UT

I just wonder why bother with the egg nog with this friggin' game.

Capt Ron

Fat Kicker breaks the game wide open against his old team with a 3-0 score as time expires for the first half. That probably puts this tilt well out of reach for Houston unless the defense finds a way to score.

I would have [brought] coffee if I knew O'Brien was going to bring donuts!

UT

If I ever suffer from insomnia, I will think of this game and cure it in a twinkling.

BFD

I just lost my DirecTV feed. Not sure if bad thing.

UT

Both Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota have broken fibulas.

The wrath of the people's football team of Texas stretches far and wide!

Capt Ron

I'd be prepared to tolerate whatever happens in the next six quarters of football for this regular season if I thought things would improve next year, but clearly this offensive system is the joke of the NFL. It won't improve next year, because it isn't just QB performance. It's a KITTEN disaster of biblical proportion, and it won't get better until O'Brien and Godsey are ushered out at the end of next year.

Third Quarter:

UT

Hey, Polish Hat with a first down catch! We're already off to a better start than the entire first half.

Mike

Goals of draft and free agency: starter quality offensive lineman.

(Texans on offense)

BFD

DeAndre Hopkins with the most totes obvs OPI in NFL history. That was LOL-level kitten.

(the next play...)

UT

Looks like a facemask or roughing the passer call against Cincy.

BFD

The offensive line has simply been horrendous. Clark, Allen, and Sua-Filo have all had awful games.

UT

Rich Gannon just said that BOB is a good football coach and he would come out of retirement to play for him.

How many concussions did he get during his playing career?

(Texans’ drive stalls, Novak kicks a field goal, ties game 3-3)

UT

GLORY TO ALL FIELD GOAL OFFENSE!

Mike

Whew! I was beginning to fear we wouldn't get to see some kickball!

BFD

The Houston Texans' Old Poodle Offense goes for the throat yet again, seizing that field goal by its kittens.

BRC

Nick Novak sets single season franchise record for made field goals - GOAT.

Capt Ron

Perhaps Savage should consider a jersey number change. Just sayin'.

BFD

I've taken dumps that come up with better offensive game-planning.

UT

(to Ron) Seriously, it can't be that hard to get a T.J. Yates jersey for the Texans, right?

Mike

McNair: Bill, you realize this is football?

BOB: yeah! Soccer!

McNair: No, Football!

BOB: yeah! Soccer!

McNair: No! Foot! Ball!

BOB: Oh, football. Got it! Novak! Get in there!

Capt Ron

McNair should award Novak with the inaugural "Iron Foot" award. And then firmly insert it into O'Brien's chin hole with the zeal of a scaled ape while screaming, "I'm not going to live forever you stubborn, incapable motherKITTEN!"

BFD

D.J. Reader is having a heckuva game. I'm really digging this kid.

BRC

Reader is really hyped for this one. He's looking good.

Capt Ron

I seriously love this defense!

BRC

What college did Alfred Blue go to? I don't think the announcers have mentioned it yet.

UT

LSU.

BFD

The offense is really feasting on defensive penalties.

Luke

Tis the giving season.

UT

"Oops, I got 15 yards." "Oops, we got into the red zone!"

This is the accidental offense.

(Bengals commit DPI courtesy of one Adam Jones)

Luke

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

Pacman Jones is playing against us!

BFD

Refs making it rain for Adam Jones. #ISWIDT

BRC

We're going to be the Texans and let Randy Bullock kick a 50 yarder to win the game as time expires, aren't we?

UT

This game's going to be over before 8 p.m., isn't it?

Luke

I hope not. My reworked 12 Days of Christmas isn't ready yet.

UT

Field goal in 3...2...1...

(Nick Novak kicks another field goal, Texans lead 6-3)

Capt Ron

This contest might have been more interesting if they handcuffed O'Brien to Marvin Lewis and gave them both daggers with a 5 minute timer before releasing lions into the arena.

Mike

Sure would save a lot of time if they just bring out Novak as soon as they get in field goal range...

BRC

Nick Novak's field goal train keeps on rumbling.

Fourth Quarter:

Mike

What do you get when you take the 2015 Broncos Defense and add the 2016 Browns offense...

(Texans defense intercepts an Andy Dalton pass)

UT

QUINTIN KITTENIN' DEMPS, Y'ALL!

I can't wait to get that insurance field goal!

Capt Ron

Great work, Demps!

Patriots North would go for a kill shot in the end zone, but Patriots wanna-be South run up the middle for no gain. KITTEN you, O'Brien!!!

(The Texans’ drive stalls, O’Brien calls a punt)

UT

We couldn't even get the insurance field goal.

Kitten this.

Capt Ron

Lechler takes over after The Vomit go 3 & out. We don't even get a pathetic field goal from a turnover in enemy territory? McNair should step in and end this insanity already. It's clear where the issue is after 8 QBs have started in this system over three seasons.

(Brandon LaFell catches an 86-yard for a touchdown. Bengals lead 10-6)

BRC

Well kitten me sideways.

Mike

Well... that sucked.

Capt Ron

It must be late in the game, because the Houston defense is gassed and allowing the other team an opportunity for a big play touchdown. Thanks, O'Brien. That KITTEN offensive system of yours is the only one in the NFL that is capable of breaking this defense (from within).

BFD

That play sucked and everything, but OMFG look at this:

That's Clowney 40 yards downfield and actually running faster than Demps AND Joseph.

UT

Who looks more ridiculous running the ball, Savage or Osweiler?

(Alfred Blue runs for a 24-yard touchdown to put the Texans up 12-10)

BRC

No way did our offense just do that.

Mike

BLUUUUUUUUEEEEE!

Capt Ron

Maybe Cal took over play calling. Blue just ran it in like someone had his family in a bunker with a chainsaw.

(The extra point is blocked)

....and a blocked extra point. Hey, Izzo! Eat my shorts you KITTEN KITTEN (add some more kittens).

UT

Can we get a collection together to bribe Larry Izzo to stop putting Tyler Ervin in return situations?

Or ANY situations for that matter?

BRC

Pass rush has been good today, be it Clowney, Mercilus, McKinney, Reader or anyone really

BFD

I don't say this lightly: McKinney might be my favorite Houston LB since Robert Brazile. I think the kid is just now getting it, and he's got all the physical and intelligence skills to put it together.

UT

That was a beautiful pass and catch by Savage and Hop. He waited for the play to form and got it where it needed to go.

That would've been a pick had Osweiler thrown it.

Capt Ron

Brave and accurate pass by Savage to Hopkins!

BFD

BOB goes into the prevent offense with a ton of time left on the clock. I'm so done with BOB. He's utterly kittening clueless.

Weston

GIVE ME THAT GW RANDY BULLOCK FIELD GOAL

(Ed. note: For the last few weeks, Weston has wanted the Texans to collapse into a tie with the BESFs so that Week 17 would prove to be a winner-take-all SNF tilt. We assume he was dropped on his head as a child or something)

(Bengals try some trickeration, causing them to lose several yards of ground)

UT

BRIAN CUSHING IS NOT AMUSED BY YOUR FOOTBALL ANTICS!

BRC

How about that, Cushing?

Read it like a book.

BFD

That looked like a Colts special teams call.

Capt Ron

I love when Cushing goes full insanity mode!

UT

Crap. First down. And now they're in field goal range.

I blame Matt for this.

BRC

We've kittened it.

Come on Randy, miss it.

Capt Ron

Izzo's ass is hanging in the breeze right now. If they win this with a FG, fire that guy immediately.

BFD

I disagree. This is on BOB. We went into the prevent offense with six minutes left in the game. It's BOB's typical uber-conservative game calling that's costing us.

(Randy Bullock lines up to kick a game-winning field goal, and...)

BRC

THAT'S SO RANDY.

UT

OH FAT RANDY, YOU NEVER FAIL TO AMUSE ME!!!!!

TEXANS WIN ON A MISSED FIELD GOAL 12-10!

Capt Ron

Fat Kicker is the hero the Texans deserve.

UT

Merry Christmas to all and to all an AFC South Division Championship!

BFD

Beercan was trying to kick before it was snapped. Kitten, it should've been a false start.

Mike

They should know better than to try and beat Houston in a game of kickball!

Weston (the BESFs fan)

KITTEN.

Being alive is so unfair .

Post-Game Thoughts:

Capt Ron

I'd love McNair forever if he had the balls to fire O'Brien, Godsey and Izzo tonight so they can cry all day on Christmas. They are the three primary reasons this team continues to under-perform every week.

And yet, Houston gets to hang a banner thanks to a previously terminated kicker.

Go Texans?

Luke

I spent part of my Christmas Day watching that...........

Weston (the BESFs fan)

I was embarrassed watching this game with my family.

BFD

Sooooo....it was a pretty normal Christmas for your family?

Hey! Let’s give out some game balls!

Offense: Let’s give it to Alfred Blue, because why not? He scored the game-winning touchdown and was the only sign of life in the Texans’ mostly lifeless offense.

Defense: A.J. Bouye was defending passes and causing all kinds of problems for the Bengals’ receivers and showing why he’s going to be worth a lot of money this offseason.

Got a difference of opinion on who won the day for the Texans? Want to point something out to one of us that we might have missed? Add your thoughts to the comments section below.