Everyone who has graduated high school has felt it. You head back home for Thanksgiving, you gorge yourself, take the pants off, fall asleep, and after hours with your family you’re ready to go out and see some old friends. Everyone picks some bar in some general vicinity close to those old haunts, a location that provides nostalgia, and general good feelings. So you try and talk to those who didn’t talk to you, those who you drew genitalia in textbooks with, and try and use your new knowledge and experience to start a fire that you couldn’t find the matches for before.
Years go by. Eventually you return and no one is left. Everyone is gone. It’s now the younger siblings of those who used to be there. Your class has all found families, has little ones, has moved too far away to return, or is floating without their creators living in this realm any longer, removing the need to ever return home again. A new set of young adults are taking tequila shots, waving money at cowboy boot wearing women, none of them know who you are, and you are the last one left. Quickly you leave, feeling strange and out of place, and you head to another location, off in a strip mall, one that appropriately matches the sheer terror, the existential dread.
Nobody cares about the Houston Texans anymore. Just about everyone is over it. The threads are bare, the tweets that used to do numbers are ignored, even the people you count on to provide information to you aren’t around. You, reading this, and us, writing this, we are the last ones left. Constipated. Ridden by gout. Rubbing against our waistline. Already excited for the first when we can shed skin, begin anew, and what has happened before creates new avenues through draft prospects and free agency.
The game itself didn’t matter. The Houston Texans benched Justin Reid for reasons unknown, after Nick Caserio and David Culley bloated about communicating clearly being a key part of the culture. Tytus Howard finally moved to left tackle. Tim Kelly schemed up two deep passes outside the numbers. The terrible Texans defense, that subsists entirely on turnovers, could only muster two, and were drowned in the ocean of the Jets horizontal offense.
What matters now is the future. By losing, the Texans are slated to pick number three overall, and are a half game up on the Jacksonville Jaguars at 2-9. They see each other again in three weeks. Locking up a top five pick is what’s important. Losing to Zach Wilson doesn’t. Suckers. The Jets are now at fourth overall.
This season was always about what they can get for Deshaun Watson. Houston will be set to trade him before next year’s NFL Draft. By doing so, they should get another first round pick in this year’s draft, hopefully two, and this decision has to springboard the next good Texans team. If the bounty is slim. If Caserio whiffs on the picks. The Texans may not be good again for the rest of the decade. Yes, that’s a real possibility.
The good news is you can take this feeling and do something about it. The immensity of time that has passed you bye, the dreaded feeling of a future death, the incalculable shooting pain of being behind your peers, has hit us all at once. Whatever it takes, however long it takes, that is the mantra. Plan and prepare. Look ahead to next year. The real work takes place this February and March to ensure we don’t end up in the same spot at the same place this time next year.
THIS IS REX BURKHEAD’S TEAM:
Rex Burkhead and David Johnson pic.twitter.com/5czk1qxAhv— Matt (Double__Underscore) Weston (@Matt__Weston) November 28, 2021
Before the game, it was announced that Justin Reid would be sitting due to “culture.” If you are sitting your best, young player on the entire roster for culture, the problem is with you, not Reid. The whole thing looks petty.
The game? I’d say the game was played in the same spirit of poor decisions. The Texans play calling was off the charts terrible on all sides of the ball.
The Texans 32nd ranked offense by DVOA was dominated by the Jets 32nd ranked defense by DVOA. The Texans got a short drive for their first touchdown, and then a shot play for the second today. After that second touchdown drive, though, the offense did absolutely nothing.
Defensively, the Texans were gouged for 4.6 yards per rush, and the worst quarterback in the NFL, Zach Wilson, didn’t have to do much. The Texans should have been stacking the box and forcing Wilson to beat them, but they didn’t.
Today, the Texans cemented themselves as the worst team in the AFC. Congrats?
WHISK AWAY TO THE SHADOWS:
My take on the Justin Reid story is that if I were the Texans, I would try to make as little news as possible for the remaining 7 games, hide in the noon CT window and just teleport to the off-season as quickly as possible— Mike Meltser (@MikeMeltser) November 28, 2021
Perhaps the most winnable game on the schedule and the Texans go all Texans on this one. The home team found a way to make Wilson and the Jets look like a smart, well-balanced team that can overcome a tough start on the road. In particular, Robert Saleh and his staff, suffering a brutal season under the unforgiving lights of the NYC media, out-schemed, out-adjusted and throughly out-coached David Culley and his staff.
The series of plays at the end of the first half defined this game. Particularly where the Texans couldn’t figure out what alignment to be in, especially with a possibly injured linebacker, and the Jets exploiting that to run the ball into the end zone and making the obvious substitution to execute the well-run read-option on the two point conversion just speaks volumes. The subsequent third down slow-developing run play when the Texans had a chance to stem the momentum tide at the end of the first half only further affirms the image of the 2021 Texans.
The defense wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t do near enough to break a very breakable Jets team. The less said about the second half offense, the better. Whether Reid would have made a difference is debatable, but the optics continue to look worse for this team.
At this point, barring another five takeaway performance in a rainstorm against a wounded/disinterested team, I wouldn’t expect another victory before the 2022 season. Yeah, the team improved draft position, but with this staff, assuming they are not all purged, and while under the McEasterby regime, can you really expect any hope for a competitive playoff team within the next three to five years?
I don’t agree with sacking a coaching staff, especially a head coach, after only one year, but with this type of undisciplined, uninspired performance against the one team that they should have beaten, a performance that is more the norm than aberration, I won’t cry too many tears if they all get their pink slips on Black Monday.
THAT FOOTBALL FEELING:
Platinum lot #Texans November 28, 2002. 10:00 am. This is what happens when ownership cares more about Easterby than everyone else based on their words and actions. They don’t see how insulting that is at all. #ThatFootballFeeling pic.twitter.com/Ytvb8prndk— Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) November 28, 2021
I need to book an appointment with Tim’s psychic.
Well I did say this would compare to the garbage bowl that was the Houston v. Miami game, and in that regard it delivered. The Jets’ defensive line up against yet another brand new Texans’ offensive line combination bore exactly the kind of putrid fruit most of us expected. Brandin Cooks, and Nico Collins were great against a terrible defensive back group, and yet that matchup never truly got exploited the way it should have due to Houston’s woes in the trenches combined with terrible play calling from everybody’s favorite week one offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. Brevin Jordan caught a touchdown against a fellow fifth round rookie who apparently had his cleats tied together so that was nice?
Some of these losses are easier to stomach than others but it’s downright disheartening to see winnable games be put further out of reach because this coaching staff insists on tying a hand behind its proverbial back. This feels nothing like the Brian Flores tank for Tu’a campaign, nobody is laying it all out there for David Culley as their head coach. If anything, they are blindly agreeing for fear of getting benched.
I don’t really have a hard opinion on the Reid benching because it doesn’t really move the needle by much in terms of winning games, but moments like these can’t be great in regards to whether or not he stays in Houston next offseason. Based on what Ryan Clark said it seemed like Reid was pointing out some valid concerns, not unlike what the masthead does on this blog on a weekly basis. For that to end in a benching just reminds me of the toxic positivity remarks we made in the offseason. On the flip side of that, I can understand as a coach not wanting to be undermined by your players in front of the team, but to me it seems pretty telling of how this new BoB-less coaching staff is resonating with players.
YES, YES, YES:
Still shaking my head at Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone.— Roll ‘Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) November 28, 2021
Do you know what you have to do to make three-dozen five-stars guys look like Vandy walk-ons?
I was at the game yesterday. To say there was a lack of energy at NRG is an understatement. The fans were clueless to bad plays, the Jets fans were try-hards, and the guy at the Fudruckers counter didn’t know the difference between grilled and fried chicken. ARE YOU KIDDING ME GUY? How have you gotten this far in life without knowing the difference between grilled and fried chicken. Maybe it was the audacity of me to ask for grilled chicken at a sporting event, but that’s what three years in San Francisco will get you. We’re all lost at this point.
The offense lacked purpose. There are real, legitimate problems front line. That was the second worst game I’ve ever seen Max Scharping play. Charlie Heck is NOT the guy. Let me repeat, or be more explicit. Charlie Heck is not an NFL caliber offensive lineman. The interior of the offensive line was putrid and couldn’t hold up. They desperately need Laremy Tunsil back, who probably could play with a cast on his hand but that would be tooooooo much effort for a guy making the number one lineman salary in the league.
Rookies looked relatively strong yesterday. Brevin Jordan is talented and fast. You can see the coaches want to call plays for him, which is a good sign for a young tight end. He’s not fully built out yet, which he will need time to do. I’m interested in him developing into a run blocker. For now he’s an interior pass weapon with serious upside. We’ll see what he can become outside of that.
For interior defensive lineman Roy Lopez, he’s a quality one-gap player who can disrupt a run game and force the offense to pivot around him. He suffered a foot injury and disappeared from the game in the second half. There was a point where he should have fell on a loose fumble, but instead tried to tuck it and run. Mistake probably caused us the game, if it wasn’t already a lost cause.
Overall, it was fun to go to the game and see all the new faces. It’s an entirely new group of fans at the game.
ADJUSTMENTS ARE FOR WIGS AND PIGS:
I’m the last two games the Texans have had 12 second half drives.. it went like this:— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) November 28, 2021
1 TD (five yard drive)
1 missed FG
1 turnover on downs
1 end of game
50 plays / 109 yards
After the first two scores, I thought for sure the Texans were going to screw up and win this one. Thankfully, they reverted to their true selves (the team leadership, not the players) and gave the proverbial pooch a good screw.
While clinging to the hope of higher draft picks is all that’s left this season, seeing the bull[kitten] of Justin Reid getting benched is just another affirmation that as long as McEasterby is calling the shots, this team is going to suck painfully. If those two are still calling the shots this time next year, the time to hang up Houston Texans fandom may have already arrived...
WE’VE ALL SPENT TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS: