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Incompletions: Texans-Buccaneers (Santa’s Little Helper)

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With so much to write and talk about after every game, and person isn’t enough to write about it all, the Masthead joins together and writes about another AFC South Championship.

NFL: Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Weston:

Dose: One Game of Jameis Winston (Football/NFL)

Body Weight: 220 lbs.

The holidays. Family gathering around the campfire. This time, the fire was a retractable roof sliding glass door installation. After all the talking, lifting, and shivering, I finally had the chance to relax and have some time to myself. I’m not a loner by any means, but I do cherish my spats of isolation and quiet in such a loud and demanding world. To make the most of my time, I took one dose of Jameis Winston football. I was in the middle of an 18 hour fast. My stomach was empty. My mood was rambunctious. Before kickoff, I meditated for 15 minutes, focused on my forehead, with one goal—to visit new spaces.

I found myself stuck at this point of the year. A truck splattering mud across the forest. The same experiences and doing the same things. The same football watching. Run establishing. Mismatches not fully realized until the second half. Nothing mattering unless Will Fuller is healthy and active. Bizarre games finding the same conclusion. I wanted to break through and out of this decrepit and stagnant cocoon.

Looking back on it, I wish I had eaten something. I was empty. Just consciousness sitting in skin. I could feel it coming along immediately. My body grew heavy and sank under the ocean of all reality. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My body melted into the couch and my mind melted into the screen, devouring this dimension until it encompassed all the others.

My mind melded with Jameis Winston’s. I could see the world from his eyes. We shared the same thoughts.

“Man coverage. Man, I love tacos. Bradley Roby with outside placement. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ve been making this throw in practice all week. I love Justin. I wish it was Mike. But I love Justin. He’s going to be a star in this league.”

Somehow I was able to discern this through a buzzing transmission.

Blast off.

Everything had a holographic sheen around it. The audio around me was distorted. Rich Eisen repeatedly said Deshaun Winston, Jameis Watson, and Justin Watson. This couldn’t be right. Nothing felt right. My own skin felt disgusting; it was green and malodorous. I wanted to shave it all off until I was nothing more than sinew and tendons. I tried to control my breath and scratched at the bundles of fur laying next to me. Nothing worked. I wasn’t watching the game. I was experiencing it. I was delving deeper into madness.

It would only get worse. The shadows on the wall started to move, and soon their movements became a menagerie of shape shifting predators, charnel house sculptors, forked tongued liars, all wretched, each one more horrifying then the one preceding it.

They began to dance and move with the clock’s ticking rhythm, which matched the turning of the circling ceiling fan. Everything all at once and in unison. I tried to move, to make the ticking stop, but I was stuck, oh, I was stuck. Make it stop. Make it stop. I’m going to be like this forever.

I suddenly realized how alone I really was. The troglodytes of the darkest most despairing parts of my subconscious grabbed their spears and their knives, and crawled into focus, breathing their stinky fish breath into my consciousness. No one loves me. No one would miss me if I was gone. The isolation and seclusion is a scapegoat for my fears of opening up. Fears of rejection, stemming from that most horrible feeling, inadequacy. I wanted to open my mother up and crawl back into her womb. A Costco weighted blanket would have to do.

I had to go for a walk. I needed a change of scenery. I had to escape the shadows running along my walls, haunting, these menacing malicious beings. I breathed. It’s okay. It’s okay. I found the loops on the collars. I stepped out the door.

I flew into the sunlight. The chirping birds. The blue winter sky, not quite bright, slightly dimmer, but just as blue. My feet were my hands and my hands were my feet. My nostrils were the size of Mare Crisium. Woof. I couldn’t stop laughing at the Labrador yapping.

Things calmed down in the third quarter when I returned home. Two long drives. Perfectly rational field goals. I was able to break out of that same loop of maleficent despair. Above the water, I could savor what I was seeing, relish what I was in. I watched that wooden ship sail in its pirate decor. The fibers in the couch morphed into spiders and tickled me with their webs. I realized that I, and my dogs, as mammals, are connected and all the same, a microcosm of anything and everything else.

I’m seeing colors I’ve never seen before. Things are so connected and square and true. To live is to wander through a never relenting expanse of beauty. I hope it never ends, but even though it will, I’m alright with that.

Things eventually stopped squirming. The cannons stopped firing. The Titans were no longer chasing after me. My mind has opened up. My ego is calcified. The Texans are 2019 AFC South Champions.

I stepped into the shower and cried, allowing my tears to fall into the warm waters, like fast running water bouncing off rocks and coagulating back into fiery froth. I screamed.

I GOT IT.

I GOT IT.

I finally found it.

Exp Year: 2019

Gender: Male

Age At Time Of Experience: 37

Published: 12/23/2019

THESE DOORS ARE OPENING UP:

THE BUCCANEERS ARE 30th IN PASS DEFENSE DVOA AGAINST DEEP PASSES:

Kenneth L.:

I think everyone needed a moment before responding! First, congrats to the Texans for clinching their fourth AFC South championship in five years. That is a casual dynasty that cannot be ignored. Bill O’Brien has kept this team winning for several years now, but it’s time for the next step.

In terms of this game, there is not much positive overall. The defense was as opportunistic as they were flawed. A lack of pass rush allows any secondary to be picked a part. Without Jadeveon Clowney or J.J. Watt, the Texans have no way to pressure the QB.

Offensively, the run game was tragic. Zero productivity. We’ve seen every rush the Texans have in the playbook. There was nothing new today. There were no wrinkles or dynamic plays anywhere. They were without a couple key players on defense, but that’s as good as the defense will get talent-wise. Thankful for the win, but they have to play better to beat better teams.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone. This decade has been unique and memorable.

17 CARRIES FOR 24 YARDS ON FIRST DOWN AGAINST THE NFL’S BEST RUN DEFENSE:

KENNY 94:

Does Jameis Winston get an AFC South title shirt too?

Had it been anyone (besides Gardner Minshew II) playing today, I don’t think the Texans would’ve won. Winston made sure we were leaving Tampa Bay as AFC South Champions.

If the Texans play like they did today, they are due for a first round exit. I can’t comprehend how there are so many weapons on offense yet we can’t consistently score at least 27 points a game. They need to put DeAndre Hopkins back on the outside to show everyone why he’s the best WR in the NFL. Putting him in the slot isn’t effective in terms of scoring points constantly.

J.J. is supposed to return in the playoffs, and let’s hope he can return to form quickly. The pass rush needs him. Houston’s secondary wasn’t that bad today. They didn’t have no pass rush helping them whatsoever. They can’t cover forever .

It was ugly, but once again the Texans found a way to win. Here’s to hoping Fuller is good. Bubble wrap him for Week 17 and have him right for the playoffs.

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE:

BIGFATDRUNK:

The 2019 Houston Texans have a point differential of +14. DVOA has us ranked 17th. In every way, shape, and form, the 2019 Texans are a .500 team. However, they’ve been extraordinarily lucky in being on the right side of one score games. The Chargers have very similar stats and rankings, but they are 5-9.

This was a very stereotypical Bill O’Brien game. The offense never clicked, in large part due to running Carlos Hyde up the middle non-stop for an incredibly unproductive 1.6 ypc. Continually facing 2nd and 3rd and longs, the offense was constantly behind the clock. Watson’s apparent foot injury really impacted his accuracy.

And then there was the defense, which once again saved BOB’s hide/Hyde. Jameis Winston was a turnover machine today and, as it should have, it cost the Buccaneers the game. Literally.

I’ve seen this movie before. Unless we play a backup QB, the Texans will be trounced in our only playoff game. Then, while every other team gets to improve via the NFL Draft, we’ll be holding our kittens.

AHHH ,THAT FLORIDA GLOW:

TEXAN_REVJ:

It wasn’t pretty, but the Texans successfully clinched the AFC South and a playoff berth. While this should be cause for celebration, the way the Texans played didn’t exactly give me any hope for the playoffs. I feel like this has become the tone of this franchise. We know the Texans are good enough to make it to The Dance, but they are the kid that sits on the wall the whole time. Translation: They don’t have what it takes when the big moments come.

Deshaun Watson played what may have been his worst game of the season. He looked hobbled and kept grabbing at his ankle. I suspect he won’t play next week and that should give him a chance to heal up before we probably play the Bills. The “Where is Will Fuller?” situation this season has been noticed by the national media, and they are right. For whatever reason, when Fuller isn’t playing, we are a much different offense. I had hoped that having Kenny Stills here might alleviate some of those worries, but either he is incapable of playing in a similar role to Fuller, or the coaches are refusing to use that match-up.

It’s been almost an entire season and the Texans haven’t scored on an opening drive. Whatever you think of Bill O’Brien, this is the most telling stat regarding his preparation and coaching ability. The first 15-20 plays of a game are normally scripted by an NFL offense. Yes, those plays and strategy may change depending on unforeseen circumstances, but typically teams have an idea of how they want to attack. At this point, the Texans should have at least gotten lucky at some point and put it in the end zone on the opening drive; instead, it’s become a practice of futility. I blame BOB’s unreasonable desire to run the ball at all cost.

Speaking of that, how dumb was it to continue running the ball against one of the top run defenses? The Texans’ defense started this game with pretty much the best case scenario. We were making Jameis look like the scrub he is and the Texans’ offense refused to capitalize. Instead of going out there and slinging the ball around with one of the best QBs in the league, BOB elected to continue running power plays up the middle of a stout defense. The Texans should have been up big at the half. Instead they were tied.

Still, I have to give credit to Houston’s defense. They forced the human turnover machine into four picks and recovered a fumble. They were the reason the Texans won today. Was it pretty, no. However, it might just serve as a wake-up call that if they think they can cost into the playoffs and compete, they are sadly mistaken. This team will have to play near perfect football to win in the playoffs. Will they be able to do it? I’m not sure, but it should be fun to find out.

THE SOUTH IS USUALLY ENOUGH: