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Hair of the Dog: Texans-Panthers

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The BRB gang get together to talk about this week’s game, if you can call it that, between the Texans and Panthers. Tune in and see the “pearls” of “wisdom” we drop.

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans
This is our lone offensive highlight.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

I try not to make Bill O’Brien the focus of this part of the HotD every week because it’s repetitive and frankly I’m sure a lot of you would get tired of me harping on about him week in and week out. But after watching the Texans game on Sunday, we need to talk about Bill O’Brien. Or at least I need to talk about Bill O’Brien, because that game sucked start, middle, and finish.

Now before I say anything, I know that what happened Sunday can’t be exclusively laid at the doorstep of William James O’Brien. Deshaun Watson looked awful. He held onto the ball for way too long, overthrew receivers when he did get rid of the ball, and generally had one of the worst games of his professional career. I will give you that, without hesitation.

That being said, Deshaun Watson did not call the play where DeAndre Hopkins, who had never thrown a pass in his life, threw an interception that resulted in removing a potential touchdown drive from the Texans and giving the Panthers an actual touchdown drive. Deshaun Watson wasn’t responsible for the scheme the Texans were in. Deshaun Watson did not challenge a blindingly obvious catch on the grounds that it was an incomplete pass. Deshaun Watson did not call a third timeout, leaving the Texans with no timeouts in the game with four minutes left to go.

These are the sins of Bill O’Brien in year six (6!) of his tenure as head coach of the Houston Texans. And in those six years, he has not improved. At all. His offense still has that patented “stuck-in-the-mud” motif that has been around since the wheels fell off of Matt Schaub. What we saw on Sunday would almost be excusable if it were one of the teams helmed by [UNPERSON] or Ryan Fitzpatrick or Case Keenum or Brian Hoyer. But this offense, this whole team, is entirely too talented to consistently end up with results like this.

This team is too talented for every other post-game press conference to end with variations of “It’s all on me,” “We didn’t do a good enough job as a team,” and “We’ll look at the tape and get it corrected.” These lines all play like when a child gets in trouble, apologizes, does nothing to actually correct the offending behavior, and then thinks apologizing again will get him off the hook.

This is not good work. If this is the best Bill O’Brien can do with this degree of talent on his team, I am not impressed and frankly neither should you be.

But me saying this is nothing new. This isn’t anything you haven’t heard before. And that’s why I have a question for those of you who do like Bill O’Brien: Why?

I’m being sincere here. If you like Bill O’Brien and you think he is a good coach, please point out one thing he did during this game that had a positive impact or neutralized a possible negative impact. For that matter, what do you think he actually does well that justifies his continued employment as the head coach of the Houston Texans? How can you possibly watch Sunday’s game and come away thinking that Bill O’Brien is still the guy who will get the Houston Texans, you know the team in steel blue with the bull logos on the helmet, to their first Super Bowl?

Because after six years of the Bill O’Brien experience, the Houston Texans seem to win despite what Bill O’Brien does on the sideline, not because of it. And if Bill O’Brien isn’t the coach who will get us to the promised land, then it’s long past time to move on from him.

Seriously, if you do think Bill O’Brien is the guy, I’d really love to hear why.

And on that uplifting diatribe, it’s time for the Dog.

As always, in finest Hair of the Dog tradition, all swear words have been replaced with the word “kitten” to make this thread safe for work. If you find any swear words in this post, please feel free to report them to us for a full and immediate refund.

Enjoy!

Pre-Game Discussion:

Kenneth L.

This HOTD is promptly named for my current state right now. Got to love west coast time zones for 10am NFL football

On a Texans-ier note, I believe they are going to go 4 to 5 wide a lot of the time today to spread the Panthers defense out. The defensive line is one of the deepest in the league

BFD

I just wanted to wish you all good luck. We’re all counting on you.

Diehard Chris

I am at the game today

Nobody told me the theme was “Kids Day” though.

Luke

Just get one of those hats with those little fans on top of it and you’ll blend in perfectly

Diehard Chris

My wife gave me .... applesauce.... on the drive in so I’m doing Kids Day right

UT

(to Chris) That’s living the high life.

First Quarter:

UT

I hate our secondary. Hate the [kitten] out of them.

Weston (to Chris)

Can I have your toy?

McCaffrey v. Cunnhingham is already starting like Kamara v. Cunningham

UT

The most “well no [kitten]” pass interference call I’ve seen thus far.

FUMBALAYA!

Scarlett with the strip sack which, thank [kitten], because that run had bad things written all over it.

Weston

lol Mancz is starting at RG. 4th different OL combination in four weeks.

Diehard Chris

Where is Fulton??

UT

I think BOB is trying to find the right combination of guys and when he does it will unlock the path to the Ark of the Covenant or something.

Diehard Chris

But Fulton has to be hurt?

Luke

Sorry, Cunningham vs McCaffrey and Gipson vs Olsen is going to be a blood bath.

UT

The last three plays were butt ugly. Like Spartans would’ve left it alone on a hill to die levels of ugly.

Weston

Fulton is ACTIVE idk what’s happening lol

UT

LET GO OF THE BALL DESHAUN!

Luke

That was a rough series

Weston

I don’t know why the Texans make the slide coverage calls they do, but it almost feels like they slide away from the blitzer.

UT

From the Texans’ 42:

6 yard pass to Fuller
Incomplete pass (penalty extends drive)
TFL
Sack
Sack
19 yard punt

That’s magnificently awful.

Diehard Chris

Deshaun not helping his own cause on that drive at all

(Panthers kick a field goal, take the lead 3-0.)

UT

It’s like he’s forgotten about getting rid of the ball again.

Diehard Chris

The Texans fan in front of me is SO MAD that there are Panther fans in the same row as she is. She lost her [kitten] when they cheered for the Panther sacks.

Weston

Ronde Barber has never watched these two teams play before. Max Scharping is starting at RT. Kyle Allen is a first round pick.

Diehard Chris

[She] literally told them to save that shit for their own home games. WT[K

Luke

I, too, share her dislike of people cheering for Deshaun Watson getting hit

UT

Oh for [kitten]’s sake. Did she really think they’d stay quiet or something?

Weston

lol i hope this ends with Chris going little league Dad and ending up on Deadspin

Luke

Chris if you end up on Deadspin make sure to yell out “Visit Battleredblog today!”

UT

Kenny Stills is limping. Why can’t we have nice things?!

Weston

DO IT FOR THE BLOG

UT

#TEXANSMAFIA

Second Quarter:

(Ka’imi Fairbairn misses a 52 yard field goal. Panthers lead 3-0.)

UT

ALL GLORY TO FIELD GOAL OFFENSE...OR NOT!

Diehard Chris

All kickers are just animated garbage

Weston

Houston’s injury luck comes to an end Stills is in the locker room

UT

It should’ve been you, Fairbairn. IT SHOULD’VE BEEN YOU!

Weston

Everytime I watch Angelo Blackson or Brennan Scarlett rush the passer I just scream internally that the Texans sent the Seahawks $7 million to trade Clowney, and extended both Blackson and Scarlett this year.

Capt Ron

Fairbairn will be packing his locker Monday

UT

(to Weston) It’s called cost-efficiency, Matthew.

Luke

Just fire the kicker and go for it on fourth down

Fire the punter too while you are at it

Weston

(to UT) I got some cost efficiency for you right here fella

Diehard Chris

In real time all the sacks seemed like they were on Watson but I have seen no replays

Weston

That was a good example of Tunsil’s kind of sloppy hand usage

Diehard Chris

Any word on Stills yet?

UT

(to Chris) Still watching Twitter for news but nothing yet.

Capt Ron

This Panthers defense is impressive

Watson’s improvisation > O’Brien’s play designs.

UT

Duke Johnson is the new Glacier.

(Ka’imi Fairbairn kicks a field goal, is barely successful. Game tied 3-3.)

Diehard Chris

Moar kicking yay

UT

We Need To Talk About Ka’imi.

Diehard Chris

I can’t believe they fire off a cannon - for a field goal

UT

I’m pretty sure that ball took some paint off the upright when it went through.

Weston

glory glory hallelujah

Diehard Chris

Please execute the kickers with the cannon thank you

UT

#KickingIsWinning

Capt Ron

Oh that would be fun! Kicker takes a shell from the cannon to the chest if he misses!

Diehard Chris

*face

But I’ll accept that

I just. Hate. Them. All.

Capt Ron

YES! “In the face! In the face!”

Texans’ lack of pass rush is annoying

Houston’s defense is making Allen look like Tom Brady out there.

(Mercilus with the strip sack and recovered by Carlos Watkins.)

Diehard Chris

Loudest moment of the game so far

Other than the sound in my head when garbage kicker missed that FG

UT

Sounds like that sound was a blood vessel bursting.

Weston

Whitney Mercilus owes D.J. Reader everything he owns for that sack.

UT

I can’t wait to see what kind of field goal this turns into.

BFD

If there is a constant theme to BOB’s career with the Texans, it’s that the defense continually bails him out of bad situations.

Capt Ron

The anticipation is killing me. How will this drive end? Field goal or missed field goal? Oh, interception. Because, yeah.

(Watson tosses to DeAndre Hopkins in backfield who throws an interception.)

UT

What the Cinnamon Toast [Kitten] was that?

Diehard Chris

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOKOKljpjlupuphpphpylphoyohphlhkhkkh

Omg guys

BFD

J[KK], BOB is the worst. I know I say it every week, but he’s the worst.

Weston

[KITTEN] YEAH I LOVE IT

Diehard Chris

Couldn’t see it live

Who was that pass intended for?

Capt Ron

RAC and OB need to go. Any other pair of coaches in the league would be motor boating with this roster

Weston

(to Chris) Carolina

UT

(to Chris) Either Hyde or Johnson, I’m not sure.

Kenneth L.

That was a terrible call

Right before the two minute warning we try to score now??

Absolutely the dumbest play call

With a short field

In the red zone

Weston

I would have loved to watch Jadeveon Clowney play with this version of D.J. Reader

UT

Exactly Kenneth, that’s prime field goaling time.

BFD

Reader’s been caving the pocket. Mercilus is taking advantage of it.

Diehard Chris

Texans end of half defense....

BFD

Incredible catch and throw by Allen and Wright there. [Kittenz].

Chris

LOLOL omg these trash [kitten] Texans fans

So mad about Panthers

UT

We had a short field and the two minute warning coming up and yet it’s Carolina that’s going to get the touchdown and why? Because BOB was feeling [kitten]ing cute.

BFD

What happened, Chris?

Diehard Chris

“How’d they even get these tickets??”

But that was said with drunkenness and anger

Capt Ron

How did Kevin Sumlin manage to screw up that A&M QB room to run off both Allen and Murray? Goodness!

BFD

Yeesh, McCaffrey just blew up the “you can’t run the ball against the Texans” rule.

(Carolina scores a late touchdown. Leads 10-3.)

Diehard Chris

Two time outs left for Coutee to hit a pass to Watt

Weston

More like Greg Van Roten ruining the you can’t run the ball against the Texans rule

UT

No, this calls for a 83-yard field goal attempt. Because the best way to fix a kicker’s woes (and an offense’s woes) is to attempt the impossible.

Diehard Chris

Hey as long as Hopkins is throwing passes, how about letting the ball boy call some plays?

BFD

My goodness Fuller is fast.

UT

Just a half a step shy of possibly tying the game.

Capt Ron

Since Houston GM, Sir William O’Brien Esquire, has such a short leash for poor performers, does this mean he fires HC O’Brien and DC Crennel tomorrow?

UT

Chris, was that you saying “how did they get these tickets” or the idiot Texans fans?

Weston

imagine overthrowing Will Fuller

Weston

Basic math alludes Ronde Barber yet again

Diehard Chris

(to UT) The Texans fans. Just so drunkenly mad that opposing fans bought tickets.

And they are very subdued visiting fans I should add

UT

Honestly a running commentary on the drunk fans might be more entertaining than this game.

BFD

I like being aggressive, but probably not when Allen is your QB.

Capt Ron

McCaffrey cuts through this defense like he’s leading with a lightsaber.

Weston

Allen is 10/15 so far! and two fumbles when hit from behind. Carolina should have attacked Houston

Also this another bad Watt game so far. Even Taylor Moton is beating him to the point of attack, the same Moton who allowed three sacks and 4 QB hits to Shaq Barrett.

Halftime Reactions:

Weston

Be better, J.J. Watt, Carolina is playing more man than they ever have and Hopkins should bust in the second half, it’s just a matter of time before Allen beats Houston with a deep bomb, D.J. Reader has been throwing Whitney Mercilus alley oops all season and should be a Pro Bowler.

UT

I just received word from the Ministry of Information:

The alleged WR pass from Hopkins never actually happened, it is an attempt at gaslighting by the pro-Carolina media and elements disloyal to Mother Houston. ANYONE WHO PROPAGATES THIS LIE WILL BE PURGED WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

Capt Ron

The Astros have home field advantage through the World Series!

Oh, you want Texans thoughts? Well, they need new coordinators on both sides of the ball and a new kicker.

BFD

Watson is 12/19 for 113 yards, or 5.9 y/a. That is ridiculous in a bad way, and it’s another testament to BOB being an absolute trash OC. Even Allen is at 7.8 y/a.

Weston

Baseball is dead. Nobody cares!!

UT

Baseball Lived

Baseball Lives

Baseball Will Live Forever!

Third Quarter:

Capt Ron

O’Brien says “poor play calling to blame for first half performance.”

You don’t say?!!!

UT

Hopefully this will be the good half.

BFD

(to Ron) What’s his excuse for the remainder of his five years?

UT

I don’t want to live in a world where the first half of this game was the good half.

Okay, he had receivers open that time, why is he holding onto the ball?

(Tytus Howard comes off the field looking injured.)

Capt Ron

There goes the first round draft pick.

Diehard Chris

Was that a drop by Hop or too long? God I miss so much live.

Capt Ron

(to Chris) Over thrown

UT

(to Chris) Out of reach.

Capt Ron

Watson missing the touch today in deep balls

Diehard Chris

Good Watson/bad Watson

I hope this is not always a thing

BFD

I would freaking hate to tackle Daniel Fells. Goodness [kittens].

UT

Kenny Stills is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Capt Ron

Punting with Anger is the best Houston has on the field today

UT

#PuntingIsWinning

Diehard Chris

Let Anger kick IDGA[K]

UT

Looks like Tytus Howard will be back on the field on the next offensive series, that’s a relief.

Capt Ron

RAC might not even be alive on the sidelines. Has anyone checked to verify we don’t have a “Weekend at Bernie’s” situation going on?!! This defensive scheme is trash.

BFD

D.J. Reader with amazing hustle on the screen pass.

(Watt gets a strip sack and recovers the fumble. Texans ball.)

Diehard Chris

There’s that man

BFD

Triple play by Watt.

Diehard Chris

99!!!!!

UT

Watt did the thing!

This field goal will be amazing.

Diehard Chris

And yes Howard is back

BFD

Hyde wasn’t this quick in college.

Weston

Everytime Watson dumps off to Hyde or Johnson my heart jumps in my chest that Alfred Blue isn’t on the field

(Watson runs the ball into the end zone for the touchdown. Game tied 10-10.)

UT

WATSON!

Capt Ron

Watson is a magician!

Weston

Hyde has had good professional seasons before, but it’s wild the improvement he is over Lamar Miller

Weston

[Love] how they use Watson as a runner on zone read plays when they really need it

Capt Ron

Keep running the option sweep!

UT

Fuller had a great block on that play.

BFD

The Texans really are the luckiest team in football right now.

Diehard Chris

DJ M[K] READER

BFD

DJ Moore broke Lonnie Johnson’s ankles on that [play].

Weston

It’s going to be really cool when Johnson Jr. is good by 2023

Capt Ron

Isn’t that the first year after Watt retires? Makes sense

Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey is inactive vs. Denver.

Make the [kitten] call, OB!

Weston

personal/back is my favorite injury description

Capt Ron

Are we talking about Correa now?

Weston

Jalen Ramsey

Capt Ron

Why does Ron Rivera’s facial expression always look like he just got news of his house being burned to the ground by Ewoks?

BFD

A line of Martin - Watt - Reader - and Mercilus in sub packages would make my [kitten] last longer than three hours.

Weston

lol Rivera’s house did burn down

Diehard Chris

Lonnie is so Kareem Jackson years 1 and 2 part 2

Capt Ron

#Texans QB @deshaunwatson is the fastest player in NFL history to eclipse 50 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns (27 career games).

Diehard Chris

Man what in the hell happened to 4 & 16’s chemistry

Capt Ron

(to Chris) Stills

UT

(to Chris) I think Kenny Stills getting all his throws is what’s thrown it off.

Weston

It seems like all Coutee can do is run drag routes and the depth of his other routes are off with Watson.

Capt Ron

“Punting with Anger” should be the name of a new band. Or maybe the next flavor introduced by BWW?

Weston

I hate Ronde Barber. I would have paid $150 to see this game in person so I wouldn’t have to listen to him

UT

Rivers McCown

The Texans are averaging 3.1 yards per pass and look exactly as discombobulated as that number would seem.

Diehard Chris

Secondary so trash

UT

This is a very 2010 secondary.

Weston

It’s been like this for three years now!

Angelo Blackson attempted a spin move and I loled

Diehard Chris

Are you sure he wasn’t just confused?

UT

I understand that but it just seems like it goes mostly unnoticed so I’m trying to shed some [kitten] light on it.

Diehard Chris

2019 Texans Secondary - Different, not better.

Weston

I know. I’m just saying what I’ve been saying for so long now.

BFD

I cannot believe an offense with Watson, Hopkins, Fuller, Coutee, and Johnson would be so kittening boring.

Fourth Quarter:

Weston

They’ve scored 10 points against a defense missing Kawann Short and Donte Jackson

Capt Ron

There are area high school coaches clawing at their eyes while watching O’Brien grind the gears on this offense.

(Carolina kicks a long field goal, leads 13-10.)

UT

Ka’imi Fairbairn just shouted “YOU CAN DO THAT FROM THAT FAR?!”

Diehard Chris

Wow a long field goal

But how

Capt Ron

13-10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter? May be out of reach for OB. Watson will need to improvise.

UT

Again? Again with the holding onto the ball [kitten]?

Luke

I’m checking in on the game via nflgsis, why does Hopkins have a pass attempt?

Diehard Chris

(It’s not just Stills)

UT

Luke, you don’t want to know.

Chris

Luke just walk away

LOL

Weston

Oh, Luke, you are in for a real treat

Capt Ron

::Waves hand::

“This is not the play call you’re looking for.”

BFD

30-yard mistake by McCloud there.

UT

Yes, a treat much like botulism.

Weston

I love how Carolina only needs to play Nickle with Shaq and Luke at LB

Capt Ron

Go back to the option sweep.

UT

Chris, what’s the word on the idiot Texans fans?

Weston

[Durga] [kitten] why can’t Houston escape from 2014 football

Oh yeah, Bill O’Brien is why.

(Bill O’Brien challenges a painfully obvious catch.)

UT

Bill., no, stop, what is you doing?

Diehard Chris

All the dims in this stadium know this challenge is a horrible idea

She’s smart enough to know this is a dumb challenge

Weston

Ask her if she wants to write for Battle Red Blog

Capt Ron

Let’s call a timeout after the challenge too.

UT

Don’t give him ideas Ron.

Diehard Chris

LOL Ron

Drunk Texans fans turning on each other over that challenge and I’m here for ittttt

BFD

No, it wasn’t a good challenge. J[KK].

UT

Call stands because well no [kitten] it stands.

Luke

Gotta have someone who will defend the hono[u]r of Bill O’Brien.

BFD

So, we really should talk about my new bidet.

Diehard Chris

22 been schemed open all game. HOW??

Weston

It’s the year 2037. The Texans still haven’t passed the Divisional Round. They have gone 9-7 in each of the last 18 years. Bill O’Brien is still the head coach.

UT

(to Weston) And he’s just a head in a jar.

Weston

Haha YES

T.J. Yates is carrying it around

This is the Futurama photoshop we need. I got $5

Diehard Chris

It’s time for 4 to say [K]T[K] I’ll do it myself

Weston

lol how is that not a DPI

UT

Now comes the part of the game where BOB runs the ball in a deeply misguided effort to chew the clock.

(to Weston) Honestly I’m really surprised they didn’t ding him for it.

BFD

He got his head around. I thought it was a DPI, too, at first.

Weston

Ahhh ok gotcha.

Houston is definitely going to put it all together and this one. They are going to go like 7-1 in one score games, we will spend the offseason discussing how this isn’t sustainable year to year while the other side argues this represents why Bill O’Brien is a good head coach, they go 9-7 in 2020.

UT

Glory to all-pass-interference offense.

Diehard Chris

Early request for all-22 look at whether the Carolina secondary actually was covering everyone on almost every pass attempt by Watson because that’s definitely how 4 is making it look.

BFD

BOB is Marvin Lewis part duh.

Weston

I love how fat Kyle Love is

UT

I think he’s just a more refined version of Marvin Lewis.

BFD

He yells a lot, so people think he’s good.

We’ve used all three timeouts now. No sense of urgency from the offense again. Same [kitten] every week from BOB.

UT

Oh dear [Durga] we just used our last timeout.

[KITTEN]. THIS.

Weston

hahahahahahaha

(Texans fumble the ball. Carolina recovers.)

BFD

No timeouts, and the Panthers have the ball deep in our territory.

UT

That’s the game, I think.

[Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitten] your face, BOB. [K]YFBOB.

Weston

Let’s [kitten]ing gooooooo

AWWOOOOOOOOOOOOO

(Watt comes off the field looking injured.)

Diehard Chris

Watt oh boy

BFD

Don’t take Watt away.

Diehard Chris

You know what would be greeeat right now?

Timeouts.

UT

On a play that doesn’t even [kitten]ing matter.

Diehard Chris

He’s ok

Bouncing on the sideline

Back in

BFD

That was a stupid play (pass to McCaffrey after Watt’s injury).

OMG, what a play by Allen.

UT

The only thing that was missing was Allen holding a cape and a sword.

BFD

That’s ball game.

Diehard Chris

Was Allen’s knee down? If only we had

A challenge

Weston

om[k]g

BFD

I am greatly looking forward to my write-up for incompletions.

Weston

that was like when the hunter ducks under a leaping lion

Capt Ron

0-2 against the NFC South so far.

BFD

It’s the same [kitten]. We can beat down on the trash in the AFCS, but we can’t beat “real” teams. LAC last week was a tremendous outlier.

Diehard Chris

And we’ll see if LAC actually turn out to be good

Luke

I haven’t seen anything yet but I can already FEEL what kind of game this has been

UT

This week won’t be much of a measurement though because they played Miami who is so bad that I think 11 of us could play Miami at least to a draw.

(Panthers score a field goal. Lead 16-10.)

Diehard Chris

Luke - almost EVERY pass play by Houston has had Watson hold the ball too long due either to amazing coverage or DW4 is still struggling badly with this or both.

UT

(to Chris) Dude, don’t spoil it for him!

Diehard Chris

Rally curious to see if the majority of Panther sacks were on 4

UT

There’s still a snowball’s chance, but it’s melting fast.

Don’t you dare give me hope here [Durgakitten].

(Texans lose to the Panthers 16-10.)

Postgame Reactions:

BFD

Man, Old Man Eric Reid outjumped everybody by a solid 6” there. Goodness.

GIVE ME MY INCOMPLETIONS, BIG MATT!

Kenneth L.

There’s so many people to blame this on

A very poor performance

Capt Ron

This team is horribly coached all around. Another unprepared group guided by bad play designs, poor schemes, and a dreadful performance by Watson as well.

Kenneth L.

O’Brien with some terrible play calling. Watson with terrible play management. Online with terrible blocking.

That game took forever

This team plays to the lowest common denominator

BFD

Always, too. That was such a great observation a couple weeks ago.

Kenneth L.

Jadeveon Clowney with a pick six. I am drowning in sorrow

UT

Furthermore I contend that Bill O’Brien must be fired immediately.

Game Balls:

No, I won’t give them out for today’s game and you can’t make me either. Okay, D.J. Reader gets a ball, but that’s it.

Got something you want to get off your chest about Sunday’s game? Got a good answer for the question I posed up above? Tell us in the comments; I’d love to see them!