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Incompletions: Texans v. Packers (A Return To Normalcy)

With so much to write and talk about after every game, one person isn’t enough to write about it all, the Masthead joins together and writes about how things usually are, and how they came to be once again.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Ahhhhhh, yesssss. This is Houston Texans football. Those previous years, the glowing autumns under Gary Kubiak, and the bare minimum Bill O’Brien scratched out of this roster in the afterglow has once again fruited the Houston Texans football we grew up with, that which we are accustomed to. 2020. 2017. 2013. 2010. This is Houston Texans football. 12-4. 11-5. 10-6. These are the outliers. This season is a return to normalcy.

This season was unlike those previous ones though. This season was the damn finally bursting after two offseasons of hilarious roster mismanagement, absurd resource allocation, a failure to understand value, and pushing out more than what was pushed in, all in the name of culture, and being tough smart and dependable, instead of what really matters—being talented.

2017 was the result of Tom Savage, a curse Bill O’Brien placed upon this franchise by selecting him in the 2014 NFL Draft instead of starting caliber quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, or Jimmy Garoppolo, or Derek Carr, so they could build up the line of scrimmage, get A+++ draft grades, and six years later, have zero of these players still on the roster. The defense was bad. Deshaun Watson lost close games until his knee blew up in practice. The team was probably going to be entertaining and mediocre. Savage turned it into a catastrophe. I can still hear the great pineapple man in the sky singing. I can still see Chris Ivory’s hair clenched in Jadeveon Clowney’s hands. I can still see Los Angeles Rams touchdown catches. I don’t feel anything.

2013 was the result of Matt Schuab’s arm wilting after years of carrying a horrendous defense as things never finally clicked together, until they did, only for them to be mangled by Albert Hanynesworth. Injuries. Turnover misfortune. The inability to win a close game. 14 straight losses. I’ll never be the same.

2010 was a string of close losses that only the Texans could lose. The Fail Mary. Andre Johnson’s Monday Night battle red performance all for naught. An awful defense that needed to be rebuilt. I was under the influence for the entirety of 2010. I don’t remember much of this.

Sure there were other sad seasons, and other bad things that have happened since 2002, but I was a fat teenager then and have most it blocked away. Yet, these lugubrious stretches are what Houston Texans football is all about. It’s what we know. And, still, regardless, we’ll be here every weekend still watching our favorite football team, because time is love, and we still love this stupid team, no matter what.

There will be others who will drop away. Zoomers who only understand what Deshaun Watson is, and have no idea how deep the abyss is. COWARDS who do other things, because they’re worried their ‘mental health’ maybe negatively affected by a bad football team. Phony fans who only watch ‘good football’. Sickening creatures. Empty shells. These weaklings will never be able to fully appreciate goodness, because everything is in and of itself. Without these jaunts down to the cellar, the glimpses from the balcony can’t be fully felt and understood, cherished, and later embellished.

So I come calling to you, to stay and stick around every Sunday. To keep reading and listening. To keep watching miraculous Deshaun Watson games, empty sets, spread formations, Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard pass sets, David Johnson turning his back into tackle attempts, Will Fuller running real fast, Brandin Cooks screaming after a eight yard reception, Jacob Martin interior pass rushing flailing, the embers of J.J. Watt’s fire, Zach Cunningham missed tackles, Vernon Hargreaves III never finding the ball, Romeo Crennel’s cozy persona, BIG ALMOST PLAY P.J. Hall, Anthony Weaver blitz schemes that rarely land, and whatever the hell Lonnie Johnson Jr. is—since the Texans especially don’t know.

I’ll still be here. We’ll still be here. And you should still be here too. Because this is the true form of Texans football. It’s something to be relished. It isn’t something to cower in fear from.



The defense was bad. The offense was bad. The inability to run the ball will kill this team week after week. There were mistakes, but I think David Johnson’s fumble at the end of the game is a perfect play to represent things so far. We recover an onside kick, which rarely ever happens, just to fumble the ball 10 feet into the air. It was beautiful.

The Packers did what they were supposed to do and Aaron Rodgers had a very nice game. Aaron Jones wasn’t here, otherwise it would have been a much harder beat down. The secondary is irredeemable. Shoot them all into the sun. I think that they have to start working the phones for deals, regardless if Jack Easterby is the one pulling the strings. This is misery, but this bed was made in the offseason. Now we’re all just laying in it.



The defense played far better than I expected, but they still gave up 35 points.

Deshaun Watson has been balling out since BOB was fired, almost to no avail.

Most importantly, week in/week out, this roster is exposed as a giant fraud. The defense is trash with little talent. For all the investmenting in the offense, they cannot run the ball at all.

As far as I’m concerned, let’s use empty backfields the rest of the season and shoot for 100 point games.






That the Texans lost today was no surprise. That Aaron Rodgers and the Packers used this game as a bounce-back from the loss at Tampa Bay is no surprise. That the defense is a significant liability is no surprise. What was surprising was that this team played so lifelessly for so much of the game. Urgency and timing just were not there. While Green Bay has a better defense than Jacksonville or Tennessee, it felt like the offense was its own worst enemy. The fourth quarter, on the last drive where the Texans still had a legit outside chance for cutting a 15 point deficit to a single touchdown and two point conversion, the team was playing as if it was still early in the first. I get the desire for balance, keeping defense honest, but our running game, especially what they tried to run today, is just not there.

Watson will get hit no matter the formation. The team can pass the ball and did make plays outside of garbage time. However, David Johnson is not a great fit as a running back to move the ball between the tackles. He was actually not a terrible pass-catching option. However, the team still seems hell-bent on justifying the trade. We lost that one. Take the beating and just try to play to win, which for this team will be relying on Watson and his stable of wide receivers and pass-catching running backs (when we actually use them that way) to make explosive plays in the passing game, and having the defense and special teams do just enough to hold off other teams to win in a shootout.

There was not a lot redeeming about this game on the whole. I guess if there was anything remotely positive, it was the non-Fairbairn aspect of the special teams. A blocked punt with the posterior of a Texans’ player (completing the NFL Follies trifecta of the “Butt Fumble” the “Butt INT” and now, the “Butt Block”) and the actual recovery of an onsides kick. At least Fairbairn made two field goals and two extra points, but for what he is paid, he should be making 41 yarders at NRG. Still, Tracy Smith’s Special Teams Squad does seem to make more positive plays than negative. Watt made a few defensive plays to help his trade value, but on the whole, this game was way more painful to follow than it should be, especially with Watson and this offense.

Jokes about the bye opening as a three pt favorite notwithstanding, it is going to be very, very interesting to see what the team does over the next 9 days leading up to the trade deadline. Who gets traded, what do we get back in compensation, or do we even bother? At least that speculation will be more exciting to follow than the majority of this past game.


How on Earth did Bill O’Brien expect to field a competitive defense with only four guys who would actually start on most teams at this level? The fact that Houston’s defensive backs were routinely burned by tight ends and wide outs getting behind them yesterday (yes, one of Green Bay’s tight ends smoked a Houston corner on a go-route... how does that even happen?), proving this might very well be the worst defense the Texans have ever fielded, is reason enough to re-hire O’Brien as the general manager just to fire him again.

With upcoming games against Baker Mayfield, Phillip Rivers, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill, what we saw yesterday is simply a glimpse of the rest of this season. As it stands right now, the Texans will need a ton of lucky ball bounces, bad officiating in their favor and opposing team injuries to even get 6 wins in 2020.

As much fun as the offense has been to watch the last few weeks, the defense cancels that out by putting up a truly offensive performance every single game. How sad that one of the greatest defensive coaches in NFL history, Romeo Crennel, is saddled with one of the worst defensive rosters in the league when he got his 3rd, and most likely final, opportunity to wear the head coach hat. Not to mention the pain of watching J.J. Watt’s career flame out on such an abysmally bad unit.

At this stage, Cal McNair should truly clean house, firing everyone from Jack Easterby to the Mike Devlin and D’Anton Lynn. The stigma of Bill O’Brien’s culture needs to be exorcised so a new regime can get this team heading back in the right direction before it’s too late for Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt.