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Hair of the Dog: Texans-Cowboys (Careful Where You Step; There’s Dog Mines All Through The Two Yard Line)

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Ever wonder what the masthead says about the Texans while nobody’s looking? Well scroll down and you’ll find out! Don’t tell no one.

Dallas Cowboys v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Is it ever wrong to be ungrateful for a win? Because this win feels kind of hollow, all things being equal. It’s great that the Texans beat the Cows 19-16, it’s great that we’re only one game back in the AFC South title fight, it’s just great to get a win period. But something isn’t sitting right about it.

The Texans should’ve scored more than 19 points. A lot more. They got to within the five yard line five (5!) times and came away with a touchdown exactly once. The rest were either field goals or a turnover on downs. The offense was by no means bad last night. If it were, the Texans wouldn’t have even sniffed the red zone, as has happened in the past. But a lot of their red zone (read: within the five yard line in this case) woes can be boiled down to playcalling. Our Brain Genius O’Brien somehow managed to dial up exactly the dumbest possible play at every turn. In a twisted way it’s quite breathtaking, like managing to dodge every single raindrop in a storm except backwards.

And that’s not even taking into account the number of times Brain O’Brien tried to kill Deshaun Watson. To be fair, Watson displayed some lemming tendencies as well, but Brain should know better by now than to call some of these plays. He’s even said, as recently as halftime LAST NIGHT that he had to do a better job of playcalling.

On a side note: Can we please start a running tally on how many times he has said that up to this point and beyond? Because it’s reached Kubiakish “it’s on me” levels of irritating.

That the Texans were not up by at least two scores can be attributed directly to the playcalling and to the fact that after four-plus years Brain O’Brien has not learned a [kittening] thing about how to coach an NFL team. That it required overtime and a return to the ever-present All-Field-Goal-Offense (which I invented as a joke but O’Brien seems to have taken literally) to eke out a win is beyond frustrating; and is a fundamental problem to the future of the Houston Texans.

And if he somehow managed to get Deshaun Watson hurt on his designed run plays, may Durga have mercy on his soul because the people of Houston will not.

But it’s a win. A win over the Cows. I’ll take it, but I’ll always wonder what would have happened with a better red zone performance.

Anyway, let’s get to the game itself.

As always, in finest Hair of the Dog tradition, all swear words have been replaced with the word [kitten] to make this safe to read at work. You’re welcome.

Pre-Game Thoughts:

MDC

In what can only be blamed on bourbon and idiocy, I picked up the Texans’ D in a fantasy league this week (Bears are on bye, so I needed a fill-in). I’d say I’ve cursed them, but I’d say the Native American burial ground under Reliant/NRG/Astrobox/Whatever is the real cause of any curse. I’ve just exacerbated it a tiny bit.

Capt Ron

Keys to Texans winning tonight: Put the Honey Badger AND Cunningham on Elliott and hit that sum[kitten] every time he moves. Double and triple-team Lawrence to protect Watson at all costs.

Oh and perhaps have someone other than O’Brien calling plays, but that may be asking too much all in one game.

UT

The Seahawks forced a fourth down and the Rams were going to punt. Seahawks take a timeout, gives the Rams a chance to change their mind and go for it on fourth down. Rams convert, Seahawks can’t stop the clock, game over.

Why does this feel like something Bill O’Brien would do?

MDC (to UT)

Nah, he’d have three timeouts left, but NOT take one despite having 10 men on the field, then claim “it’s not my job to make sure people are on the field on fourth down.”

BFD

I’m going to enjoy trolling Cokeboys’ fans way too much to be healthy tonight.

Also, I think Capt Ron nailed the key to the game and the season with the somebody else calling plays. Iced milk, please!

As of right now, the Cleveland Browns have both the better record and more aggressive head coach. That’s...depressing.

Weston

[KITTEN] TEMPLE TEXAS

UT

Mike Florio, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison are all picking the Texans to win.

We are soooooooooo [kitten]ed now.

Luke

Kendall Lamm and Davenport the starting OT’s.

First Quarter:

Texans give up a first down on third and 10.

UT

Same problems on third down.

MDC

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

UT

See, other teams can run screen plays and they work.

MDC (to UT)

Because they don’t run dumb [kitten] bubble screens.

Luke (to UT)

It helps when your secondary can’t tackle.

It also helps that Dallas’s O-Line is freaky athletic and can get down field faster than anyone.

Texans force Cows to settle for field goal, trail 3-0.

Luke

That 5 yard out route is going to be there all evening. All it’s gonna take is Dak seeing it and Dallas can milk the Texans off-coverage.

Also I don’t think having Tyrann Mathieu has added many if any wrinkles to RAC’s Cover 4 scheme.

MDC

Who would have guessed a run up the middle on the first play?

Diehard Chris

Davenport starting at LT, Weston can live again!

UT

In field goal range far ahead of schedule.

This will be a delicious field goal.

MDC (to UT)

I love it when a plan comes together.

Fairbairn shanks field goal, Texans still behind 3-0.

UT

We didn’t need that field goal anyway. It’s not like it’s the primary element of our offense or something.

MDC

Wasn’t a chance in the world he was gonna make that, was there?

Luke

Just stop kicking. If this weekend has taught us anything it’s just that we need to stop kicking.

BFD

There are so many ways in which this team is disappointing. It must be like being married to me.

UT

Once more with feeling y’all: [KITTEN] THIS SECONDARY.

Vega

Frank Bush loves this secondary

BFD

Tyrann Mathieu completely hooked on the play action. Mathieu seems to be getting worse with every game.

MDC

“Sit down when you pee!” -Clowney to Elliott (probably)

Luke (to BFD)

It was [kitten]y communication as it always is, Mathieu drifted to fill the short gap and KJax didn’t shift over to cover the gap. Mathieu bit but the rest of the defense didn’t adjust.

Also that move by Clowney on Tyron Smith was beautiful.

Cows kick another field goal, lead 6-0.

UT

The Cowboys stole our playbook.

Weston

I’m glad Clowney is mainly playing DE.

Luke

I like to think that Vander Esch was born with that neck roll.

MDC

I like how BO’B’s attempts to be creative are the most obvious things ever and don’t catch the D off guard at all.

UT

That was a fantastic run by Nuk.

Vega

I feel like we should abandon any play that doesn’t include throwing downfield.

MDC

Agreed, Vega.

UT (to Vega)

That’s exactly what they’d expect us to do, the thing which is working, and exactly what we shall not do.

It’s genius, really.

Second Quarter:

Weston

We need more LBs with neck rolls and cowboy collars. We need more fullbacks. We need more full backs with neck rolls and cowboy collars. I’m tired of all this [kitten] scoring.

Jeremy

The offense failing to realize that the Cowboy fanbase travels and gives home teams fits is not a good look.

MDC

John Gruden would like to interview you to be his OC, Weston.

UT

This will be such a sweet field goal.

Luke

I’ll give Bill O’Brien credit for scheming the middle of the field open by using some TE’s to clear out the LB and S’s into the flats.

Not bad use of follow routes either to force zone defenders deeper into their zones in order to create separation underneath.

Watson the quick toss to Coutee Pie and the Texans take the lead 7-6.

Jeremy

Hooefully the first of many Keke TD’s.

MDC

Easiest TD pass of his career.

Weston

OMG SO CUTE

Kenneth L.

Keke, we love you

Are you scorin’

Say you’ll never ever leave

From the offense

Because I want ya (in the slot)

And I need ya (in the slot)

And I’m down for ya (to keep scoring)

Jeremy

We need to find a good nickname for Coutee because Coutee Pie won’t cut it. LOL

MDC (to Kenneth)

Been waiting on that one, haven’t you?

UT (to Jeremy)

I’m willing to workshop it.

Luke

That’s a Clowney TFL taken away because Zeke can turn 90 degrees in a single step without losing momentum.

Texans force a stop on third down, nullified by a Clowney offsides penalty.

UT

JJo did a thing and I’m not hallucinating it.

Of course we made a play in the secondary on third down so it can’t count.

MDC

Clowney is starting to make that a habit.

UT

And then JJo drops what would’ve been the easiest pick six in Texans history.

Capt Ron

“Coutee Pie, Sweet 16” is accurate and awful at the same time.

How about “Blade” since he cuts through the opponent like a hot knife?

UT

Did Al Michaels just call Deshaun Watson “Watkins?”

Kenneth L. (to UT)

100% he did

Luke (to UT)

Yup, our first Watkins of the night.

UT

It took the Cowturds beating Coutee repeatedly with a stick and leaving him bleeding in the moonlight for a penalty, but the refs finally called a penalty.

Capt Ron

I’d like to take a pipe to some of these refs across the NFL. At least they got that one right.

Weston

lol I have no idea what a DB can do. He hit him in the chest.

Diehard Chris

Seriously what the [KITTEN] was bill O’Brien doing with the offense in weeks 1-3???

Capt Ron

It was helmet to helmet on replay.

UT

Forget the offensive line, Deshaun Watson is going to get Deshaun Watson killed.

Luke

Oh no, Bill O’Brien got excited at the fact that a interior run worked that he wanted to call more.

Kenneth L.

UT, I agree but the angle Coutee was at gave little to no zone for the safety to hit him without it begin to the neck/head area. I think the speed of the hit made the call

Jeremy

Can someone please explain to me why Lamar was active and they don’t plan on playing him? He’s taking a spot on the 46 that Vyncint Smith could have had. With Keke possibly out, we could have used him.

Brain O’Brien wimps out and kicks calls for a field goal. Texans lead 10-6.

UT

In case that was too subtle, BOB should’ve gone for it there.

Capt Ron

FG from the 2 yard line?

That should be a firing offense for the OC & head coach. Especially since it robs the defense of a scoring opportunity.

[someone from the back of the room] “It’s the same guy, Ron!”

Finally! We get two for one!

UT (to Capt Ron)

It’s cost-efficient!

I’m really beginning to hate Geoff Swaim.

Luke

I love Zeke Elliot, how can you tackle someone that low to the ground?

MDC

I’m beginning to hate how badly they let Clowney get held every time.

Kareem Jackson intercepts Dak Prescott.

UT

KJAX WITH THE INTERCEPTION AND IS THIS THE REAL LIFE OR IS IT JUST FANTASY?!

Capt Ron

OB chimes in to defend himself on the FG call from the 2 yard line: “Hey, I’m just ranging the min/max for our kicker!”

A random cheerleader: “Isn’t that what like practice is for or something?”

Another random cheeleader: “Hey, if he can’t like hit a FG from like 2 yards, should he even like BE like an NFL kicker?”

Yet a third random cheerleader: “Why would anyone like kick from the 2 yard line when you can like run the ball into the end zone? Like, are there any MEN playing for Houston?”

OB: “Quiet!”

A fourth random cheerleader: “Well, half the crowd is like pulling for the Cowboys or something. Maybe if you didn’t like start the season 0-3 you would like have more Texans fans as they would like not have sold their tickets or something.”

MDC (to UT)

Don’t question it. Just breathe and nod and ignore the huge red flags.

UT

The Cowboys just got K-Jacked. It’s like hijacked but a couple of letters up.

Tim

Geoff Swaim was every bit of the 427th best tight end I have seen play at UT. I will always appreciate him.

Vega

Alfred Blue is our best running back.

UT

Al Michaels said BOB was “a little conservative” in the first few weeks and I nearly died of an aneurysm.

MDC

Let’s take a timeout when the other team is gassed and unable to stop the offense. Brilliant. Gotta make sure we have that BO’B redzone package ready to go.

Vega

I’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming interior run on this drive.

With the combination of Watson, this offensive line, and this receiving corp, every drop back is more emotional than a Hallmark movie.

BFD

Breaking News; Ryan Griffin is still [kitten]. #notbreaking

Luke

I like to think that the ball sailing through Ryan Griffin’s arms was a symbolic field goal.

BFD

Please [kitten]ing go for it.

Texans go for it on fourth and goal at the one yard line and come up short.

UT (to BFD)

Well...

MDC

The [kitten]iest.

Halftime Reactions:

MDC

Good decision to go for it. Dumb play call. Watson is taking a beating at the goal line.

Weston

God this is another stupid game, but at least it’s fun as [kitten].

Capt Ron

I love that they went for it.

But that was a miserable call from the dumbest a-hole to ever call plays for an NFL offense. Screw you, O’Brien!

MDC

Maybe we should just be happy it wasn’t a bubble screen?

Luke

Whatever the play call was, when it wasn’t immediately became, ‘’Can Deshaun run this into the endzone?’’

UT

There’s a part of me that would kill to see them run a jet sweep.

MDC

Or if you’re gonna run out of shotgun, spread out 4 WR and give yourself some options.

Capt Ron

The opponent’s area inside the 2 yard line (2 inch line in the latest case) is O’Brien’s Dunkirk! He’s just happy to ferry his men away from there safely.

Please fire this coach!

UT

Like everyone else, I love that he went for it; frankly I’m surprised he went for it too. But what in the name of great Durga was that playcall?

BFD

Holy kitten, I cannot believe that [kitten]-[kitten]ed play call. Brain O’Brain, OFFENSIVE SUPER GENIUS.

UT

Just because I’m seeing this in the halftime show I’m going to say it: Chuck Norris is overrated.

MDC (to UT)

Your computer is sending emails from 2005 again.

UT

It needed to be said Matt.

Capt Ron

Two trips inside the 2 yard line and OB comes away with 3 points?

We’ll accept your resignation as play caller at half time, sir.

UT

I will say at least the Texans haven’t looked like complete butt like they usually do in primetime.

Third Quarter:

Luke

Why is Alfred Blue’s natural body pose when holding the ball ‘’Vertical Plank’’?

Nuk fumbles the ball, Cows recover.

UT

Aw [kitten].

BFD

“I’ve got to do a better job calling plays in the red zone.” - Brain O’Brain

Every week, it’s the same old [kitten] with this [kitten]. It’s boring now, Brain. [Kitten]ing do something about it.

XOXOXOXOX,

bfd

MDC

[kitten]

Tavon Austin catch is ruled incomplete, Cows challenge.

MDC

Is that even a catch?

Vega (to UT)

What were you saying about looking like butt?

MDC

No “football move” to speak of.

Call stands, Cows lose timeout.

Texans challenge a first down, because reasons.

UT

Brain, baby, wyd?

Vega

What in the holy [kitten] is O’Brien challenging there? Is he looking to get a yard back?

MDC

Oh, cool, a pointless challenge. This will be fun and not a waste of a to.

UT

I’m sure this failed challenge won’t come back and bite us in the [kitten]. Absolutely certain.

Luke

God I love O’Brien challenging three yards against one of the best rushing teams in football

MDC

This is what he meant by “better calls,” right?

Capt Ron

I blame the administrators at O’Brien’s elementary school for failing to more effectively inventory paste.

Call is overturned, is ruled second and one at the six rather than first and 10 at the five. Quite a relief.

Cows score on obvious TD anyway. Great job, Brain. Cows lead 13-10.

UT

I really hate this secondary.

BFD

What a worthless [kitten]ing challenge by BOB. My Durga, he has to be the worst coach in the NFL.

MDC

I want Clowney to treat Elliott like Vincent Smith. Just once.

UT (to MDC)

[Kitten], treat him like Elliott Smith as far as I’m concerned.

Capt Ron

That would at least satisfy my darkest dream of Vader force tossing an Ewok into a tree!

Vega

Fortunately, I’m still so [kitten]ed about that challenge that I can’t get too much more upset about the TD.

MDC

[Kitten]... That’s good.

The TD was a given as soon as they got the fumble

Using a stethoscope on the QB on the sideline is a good sign, right?

UT

Okay, I take back the “not playing like butt” comment.

This half has been all [kitten].

MDC

Never, ever try to get a first down on third and long. Never.

Vega

There’s the special teams we know and love!

UT

Beautiful punt and we still can’t do anything with it because of bumble[kitten] special teams.

MDC

[kitten]it. What a moron.

Capt Ron

Special teamers who go out of bounds and touch the ball first should be dumped into the ship channel. It’s a VERY simple rule to remember!!

Justin Reid intercepts Dak Prescott. Call stands after review.

MDC

Is that allowed?! 2 in a game?

Capt Ron

Bracing for Houston to get screwed on the review.

Weston

Idk what a catch is anymore so I have no idea. I think it is.

UT

Maybe not, looks like it hit the ground so who the hell knows.

Capt Ron

Meanwhile, props to Joseph on a great game so far.

MDC

I think it is [a catch], but I’m biased

Vega

That’s a great catch by Reid.

Weston

I’m glad Joseph is finally playing close to the LOS

Capt Ron

Jason Garrett immediately instructs the Dallas defense to let Houston advance to the 2 yard line post haste!

Luke

Has Deshaun thrown the ball further than 10 yards this game?

UT

Cris Collinsworth has no idea what AWS is, does he?

Luke

Where is Will Fuller?

Capt Ron (to UT)

All Weather Slickers!”

UT (to Luke)

He and Lamar Miller are drinking somewhere in the basement and having a great time.

I can’t wait for the upcoming field goal.

Capt Ron

A designed run for Watson? After the beating he has taken? Fire this coach!

Texans tie the game again, 13-13.

UT

Glory to all field goal offense.

Brain playing for the tie again.

Weston

Ryan Griffin has dropped 2 touchdowns this game

BFD

Nothing like seeing Kendall Lamm flailing at Kyle Vander Esch.

Capt Ron

OK, well, for those keeping score at home...that’s SIX [KITTEN] points for Bill [KITTEN] O’Brien with three trips inside the 5 [KITTEN] yard line!

Fourth Quarter:

Vega

I think Prescott got dead on that one

UT

I’m surprised Watt didn’t get called for spearing there.

Turds challenging the catch. Will probably get overturned because [kitten] everything.

BFD

With the new rule, that should be a catch.

It wasn’t.

Capt Ron

Clowney made THREE swim moves on that sack!

MDC

The Michael Phelps sack

Weston

HEY look looping McKinney on interior blitzes look

Capt Ron

Followed by “Blue into the A gap!” OB going into full “settle for the tie” mode.

UT

Oh what the [kitten] was that?

MDC

Smith got a hand on it. But [kitten].

Capt Ron

Zeke blowing through Houston’s front seven like a toddler through a diaper after eating Skyline Chili.

BFD

Do you know what is worse than Skyline Chili?

Nothing. Nothing is worse than Skyline Chili.

UT (to BFD)

Our secondary. Our secondary is worse than Skyline Chili.

MDC (to BFD)

This is correct. Though Houston’s secondary comes close.

Weston (to BFD)

I like it!

We know you have bad taste, Big Matt.

Capt Ron

Let’s try and guess what Skyline Chili plays OB will call.

Blue up the A gap

Missile screen incomplete

Crossing route but Watson has to throw it away while scrambling

Punt

Weston

BFD Chris is singing your song

Vega

Looks like he waited till 2nd and long.

UT

Thank you for joining us today, Will Fuller.

BFD

That might have been the best screen pass in BOB’s career.

Vega

Yup. It also guarantees that he’ll call it 3-4 times a week until it works again once in week 12.

MDC

DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM, BFD!

UT

Pass interference against Arlington, gets us to the two, gird yourselves for the field goal.

Please think of something other than a run up the middle, Brain. Please.

Capt Ron

Ah crap! We’re back at Dunkirk! 1st and goal at the 1...

This may be the single worst display of play calling I’ve ever seen. It’s actually a little impressive.

Texans take the lead on, you guessed it, another field goal. Lead 16-13.

UT

Brain will never go for it again inside the five yard line, will he?

MDC

[Kitten]ing kill me.

I want to bludgeon O’Brien.

BFD

Hue Jackson >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bill O’Brien.

Vega

[UT], while I love going for it on 4th and short inside the 5, it’s absolutely the right call here. None of those statistical models that show the validity of being more aggressive on fourth down take into consideration the ineptitude of O’Brien’s play calling.

UT

I want to throttle the SNF crew for saying these [kitten] ups are because Dallas’ defense are doing anything special and not Brain screwing up.

Side note, [kitten] this secondary with a disemboweling cutlass.

MDC

What the [kitten]ed [kitten] was that [kitten]ed [kitten]?!

Capt Ron

For those keeping score at home, that is 9 points from 3 field goals for Brain from FOUR trips inside the opponent’s 5 yard line. This includes two field goals from 3 trips within inches from pay dirt!

Cows tie the game at 16-16.

MDC

Field goals galore!!!

Vega

Ok, these Call of Duty commercials are pretty funny

You know what we should totally do right now? Run the ball.

UT (to Vega)

Maybe up the middle?

Capt Ron

Blue up the mid......OMG! Minus 70 yards as he is stuffed for a loss because Dallas knew it was coming somehow.

MDC (to Vega)

BECAUSE IT HAS WORKED SO WELL

It’s almost like the Cowboys wanted us to throw short and we did.

Weston

what a time out

I hate this man for wasting everyone’s lives for so long

MDC

Did I see Joe Webb on punt coverage?!?

Kenneth L. (to MDC)

Yes. He made a good play on 3rd and 17 but whiffed there

Weston

I wonder if he gets the credit for the sack since he was going to miss it again

What a stupid football game

MDC

Al can stop saying “volksVAHgen” any time now.

UT

Lady and gentlemen, place your bets: How does Brain [kitten] this drive up?

MDC (to UT)

Plays for a 40+ yard FG

Kenneth L. (to UT)

$17.50 deep bomb to fuller INT

MDC

[Kitten] you, Joe Webb

BFD (to UT)

Screen pass FTL! (Prediction)

Vega

This Coutee kid is pretty good

UT

Would whoever had “really bad pass by Watson for a soul-crushing interception” please come to the counter to claim your prize?

Weston

It took 59:50 but Lamm finally murdered Watson

Vega (to Weston)

Blue was his accessory

Overtime:

Vega

[Kitten]it! I have to wake up in 6 hours.

Weston

I had Glover Quin flashbacks

Kenneth L.

This game should be over. Like wayyy over.

Crap. Cowturds with the ball.

MDC

If he didn’t show up and just let RAC call the entire offense, it would be a marked improvement.

Yes, I know RAC is the DC.

So, Zeke for 75 to win on the first play of OT, right?

Vega

I’m sticking with my last week’s prediction of a Dallas FG, and then O’Brien punting on 4th down for the loss.

UT

At least at this rate OT will be swift.

Weston

Frank Reich isn’t around to go for it this time

BFD

Jason Garrett is trying to out O’Brien O’Brien.

Capt Ron

Inside run for no gain. What a shocker....

Vega

Alfred Blue had a 17-yard run earlier. His other 16 runs have combined for 20 yards.

DeAndre Hopkins runs to the Cows’ 27 yard line after making what appeared to be 22 spin moves to get there.

Vega

Hopkins’ run just gave me motion sickness

UT

Submitted for approval: I dub that play The Spin Cycle.

Capt Ron

Hopkins is incredible. I can only dream what a coach like Shanahan, Reid or McVay could do with him, Fuller Coutee and Watson.

Luke

Don’t you [kitten]ing know it’s gonna be 3 run plays and then a FG.

Capt Ron

What happens to the state of Texas if this ends in a tie? Is it like dividing by zero? Worse?

UT (to Capt Ron)

It’s irrelevant, Dallas is not part of Texas.

Kenneth L.

Here we go...

MDC

Sigh...

Field goal is good, Texans win through simple purity of field goals 19-16.

Vega

I’m going to be dreaming about that Nuk run tonight.

UT

KNEEL TO YOUR FOOTBALL MASTERS, COWTURDS! KNEEL AND PAY FEALTY TO YOUR OVERLORDS!!!

Capt Ron

Love the win!

Still hate the play calling.

/collapses from unnecessary stress and anxiety

UT

Here’s the sick part, we’re a game back from the division lead now.

Hey! Let’s give out some game balls!

Offense - DeAndre Hopkins with the run that set up the game winning field goal (lol, the idea of a game winning touchdown).

Defense - Justin Reid with his first interception of his career, hopefully the first of many.

Special Teams - Ka’imi Fairbairn because glory to all field goal offense.

What do you think, BRB faithful? Got someone else you’d rather give the game ball to? Got a better nickname for Keke Coutee than Pie? Want to try to rename the run that Hopkins went on in overtime? We’re all ears. Let us know in the comments!