The Texans haven’t had a truly disastrous season since 2013. That year was the worst, the worst of all time. The team went 2-14, losing 14 consecutive games in a row. Matt Schaub’s arm fell off and he pick-sixed his way out of a starting role. Brian Cushing had his leg chopped off by a Jamaal Charles cut block. Ed Reed, the supposed wizard who could magically beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, was cut midseason while Glover Quin continued to flourish in Detroit. Randy Bullock missed every field goal attempt. Gary Kubiak collapsed before halftime against Indy, and the Colts proceeded to blow Houston out in the second half. Rookies were cut the night before a game in Kansas City for smoking in the bathroom. Case Keenum was the best quarterback on the roster. The Texans lost a game to Matt McGloin.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the 2013 season. My brain does this thing where it remembers the last time something happened once it happens again. So this Christmas, I’ll think about last Christmas, but not the Christmases before that. With Houston stuck in the bowels of another disaster and with the return of NFC West opponents, thoughts from 2013 are clanging around my head. My brain is the monkey, and the 2013 season isthe cymbals.
2013 also featured a blowout loss to the Rams. It’s a game I’ll never forget. Going into it, we all thought there was no way the Texans would lose to St. Louis. The losing streak would come to an end. Instead, the Rams scored 38 points on 216 net yards. Matt Schaub got his leg snagged. Laying on the turf and writhing in pain, some fans in attendance at NRG Stadium proceeded to cheer that the greatest quarterback in franchise history got hurt. Those fans got their wish. In came T.J. Yates, who threw a bunch of short passes in a game that was already over thanks to a fumble on a kickoff that was returned for a touchdown. With 50 seconds left in the third quarter, this happened.
After five Schaub pick-sixes in a row, Yates came in and threw one of his own. He stared Garrett Graham down on a predictable out route. Alec Ogletree jumped it and returned it 98 yards for atouchdown. The universe opened up and provided us a beautiful and perfect moment, something so pure and congruent.
Leading up to yesterday’s Rams game, that is what I was thinking about. How absurd, how gross, how incredible 2013 was. How awful I felt every day sitting in traffic for three hours and sitting in front of a computer for nine hours being told no over and over again. How I was dying to be anywhere else in the world than where I currently was and doing anything other than what I was currently doing. How much I missed the sun after leaving when it was dark and arriving when it was dark again for so many days. How badly I wanted the next year to come and take me away.
When the game came on yesterday, I didn’t have to think about 2013 because we are all living it. Tom Savage was strip-sacked twice and threw an imbecilic interception into quintuple coverage. Will Fuller V was crushed and had his ribs vaporized. Johnathan Joseph guessed wrong and gave up a 94 yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods. The Rams turned 9-7 to 30-7 in what felt like seconds.
Then something so parallel and so perfect from the previous match-up happened. Tom Savage threw an interception to Alec Ogletree that he ran back for a touchdown.
It was of course taken away by the worst call I’ve seen in my entire life, a tissue paper defensive holding penalty. The 2017 season has taken J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and Deshaun Watson away. Naturally, it had to take away such a perfect play. There is nothing it will let us have.
Without Watson, we knew the Texans were going to be terrible. None of this is surprising. The rest of the season was going to be a landfill of smoldering corpses. Every week was going to be completely unwatchable aside from the occasional glimpse of sunlight, the Jabaal Sheard strip-sack, the Ogletree interception. It’s not even the losing. It’s the unwatchability of it all. It’s that time is finite and there is a better reality transpiring out there right now than the one we are currently stuck in. One with Watson tossing deep touchdowns to Fuller V, Watt working his way into being box score incredible again, Mercilus ripping around and yanking down offensive tackles...a reality with Texans football actually being fun to watch. Instead, here we are, watching Houston lose 33-7 to the Los Angeles Rams.
Tom Savage Is To Strip Sacks As [Name Redacted] Is To Interceptions.
If Jadeveon Clowney keeps up this pace, he might actually be #StatsGood at the end of the season.
The t-shirt said it best: ''Waiting for Next Year since 2002'.”
I'm simply numb and still in a state of disbelief at where this team is right now due to so many injured stars. It makes me so frustrated that other teams in the NFL find a way to continue to compete to some degree after losing some of their best players, but not our team. Let's face it, the Texans’ offense under Bill O'Brien has been a disappointment through its entirety with the sole exception of when Deshaun Watson was under center.
Clowney and the front seven had a strong first half, but the defensive secondary is truly missing A.J. Bouye. Kevin Johnson looked better this game, while Johnathan Joseph is losing the battle against the aging process.
As we have said since 2002, we are now waiting (again) for next year.
You Never Forget Your First.
First, I'd like to take a moment to remind all about one simple fact: Bill O’Brien has repeatedly said that Tom Savage would succeed, and O’Brien picked Savage to start the first game of the season.
Eh, screw it. The prosecution rests, your honor.
The Price Is Wrong.
I can't bring myself to talk about today's game because, guh, you saw what happened.
But I would like to bring this up.
BOB: "I've got to figure out how to coach this team better."
I'm sorry, what? You've been here for almost four [kitten]ing years now and you still don't know how to coach this team?
This ::gestures at Rams game:: is the best Bill O'Brien can do?
I understand that this is what he does. He takes all the blame on himself to not throw his players under the bus, but who believes any of this? Do you? I sure as hell don't.
To be fair, in context O’Brien is referring to specifically this year's Texans team. However, aside from the quarterback (which has been a revolving door since he was hired) what has substantially changed about the Texans? The names may have changed, but the results are effectively the same: squeaking out an above .500 record and a quick exit from the playoffs. And this game featured Tom Savage, the quarterback who has been fully indoctrinated into BOB's system. This is all we get? This is what BOB's vaunted offensive system generates without a talent like Deshaun Watson forcing him to change? If this is the best we get out of BOB, I am not impressed.
But that's not even the worst part of this video. Listen to the way he sounds and what he says. He sounds lost, like he doesn't know what else to do to fix this offensive scheme of his. More than that, he sounds defeated, like he knows at the end of the season that his number's up.
I think I'm officially done with Bill O'Brien as head coach of the Houston Texans.
Because if the one thing that stands between Bill O'Brien: Super Genius and Bill O'Brien: Super Dunce is Deshaun Watson, and the changes to the offense are not part of his playbook, then what does he offer? I have nothing against Bill O'Brien personally, but I think it's time we both start seeing other people.
Week One Starter.
Cue the end credits music for BOB and Rick Smith. The idea of continuing to go forward with them helming the ship is the true definition of insanity. #HardPass
Damn, I’m Jealous.
Been laid up with a stomach virus all day, but on the bright side I didn't watch the latest Tom Savage start— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) November 13, 2017
For the first time in I don't know how long, I stopped watching a Texans game. It literally might be the first. Not out of disgust or anger—I had ribs on the smoker and I just had other things to do rather than watch the inevitable demise of a team that was already down big at the end of the third quarter.
“Apathy” would be the word. This game played out just about like we expected, and the rest are likely to follow suit. It's just that kind of year until Deshaun Watson is back, seemingly eons away. Hopefully sunlight truly is the best disinfectant and the other issues with this team are exposed enough the rest of the way to merit an appropriate response in the offseason.
Instead of bagging on all that went wrong yesterday—and we all know there is ample material on which to bag—I choose instead to highlight some of what went right. Even in a truly odious performance, there were some good things to take away.
1. Jadeveon Clowney has continued to serve as a one-man disruptor in the absence of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. He’s a beast and makes watching the defense as much fun as it used to be at times.
2. Kevin Johnson played as well against the Rams as I’ve ever seen him play. If he can sustain that level of excellence moving forward, the loss of A.J. Bouye won’t sting quite as much. Which is nice, because the lack of Bouye hurts quite a bit.
3. Kurtis Drummond deserves to see his name in lights for doing a bang-up job recognizing a fake punt and then soundly tackling the receiver to keep him from getting a first down on said fake punt. It was a really nice play.
4. Tom Savage ensured that this post will live in BRB infamy for years.
See? It’s not all bad! Chin up! We just have to hang on until 2018.