Houston, TX – What a week it was. It all started out with a slugfest in Cleveland, where the Texans demonstrated that they could put up a good half of football on the road in a hostile environment against a contending team. “Going into the locker room tied at 14 against the Browns is about a good as we could hope for, to be honest. Got a bit miffed on that one missed pass by Taylor, but otherwise, he performed as expected” observed Head Coach David Culley. “It was so upsetting that I ordered Taylor to get back out on to the field and run some punishment sprints. He was all ‘Coach, it’s 3rd down and in a passing situation. It is probably not the best idea in the middle of a game to run a sprint to the end zone.’ I was having none of it. Told him point blank ‘You missed the pass, you gotta run the punishment sprints!’ He was starting to go on about how we are in the middle of the game, etc, but again, can’t allow people to be just free-lancing and all that. I am the head coach. Well, he did. Was a little ticked that he only ran the 15 yards, but the refs got in the way and the cameras and all that…I guess we will address that later.”
Of course, that sprint ended up with a hamstring injury to Taylor, and the second half saw the Texans’ top draft pick, Davis Mills, make is regular season NFL debut. “To be honest, it all caught me off-guard. I was busy on the sideline, working on the language for Mr. 2021 Defensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP Vernon Hargreaves the 3rd’s expected NFL Defensive Player of the Week acceptance speech, and then Coach Kelly comes up to me and says ‘Davis! Get ready, you’re starting the second half!’ Initially, I was startled, and tried to explain to Coach Kelly and Mr. Head Coach David Culley that I was doing all this important work for Mr. 2021 DPOY and NFL MVP Vernon Hargreaves the 3rd, but they told to e to shut up and get into the game. Well, if you get upended at work like that, of course you are going to struggle.”
“It was all that much harder as I kept hearing all those Cleveland players call me mean names and threaten to hurt me. Also, I gotta say, we were supposed to be playing in the “Dawg Pound” but I kept looking and looking in the stands, and I never saw a single puppy. Thought I heard some barking at one point, but when one of those big, mean, scary Browns players hit me hard, I kinda lost track of the noise location. I was pretty upset, but Mommy did promise me that we can go to the SPCA and get a puppy after practice this week.”
Unfortunately, the Texans ended the game with a 31-21 loss, and just as quickly had to turn around to prep for the only scheduled prime-time game of the season, a Thursday Night tilt against the Carolina Panthers. While these teams don’t generally play each other all that much, there were high emotions running on the Texans sideline coming into this match up. Some are ticked in a general sense, as Carolina has won the last three encounters. However, it was more personal for others.
“Wow, you should have seen the eyes on Danny [Amendola] in practice all this week” observed one unnamed Texans player. “I know he had that hamstring injury, and he was really working to get back on to the field for this game. Ever since we signed him, he has been talking nothing but Carolina, Carolina, Carolina. He was all over the coaches about this game since day one.”
“Strangely enough, he was all over Lovie Smith, wanting to play LB/SS for this game. Coach Smith was like:
‘Man, what are you talking about? We already have a ton of LBs and we don’t need any more CBs…Caserio has already brought in like 4 more or so since the season started. What are you playing at?’
“Amendola was not deterred in the slightest. He wanted on the field, especially on running downs, saying that he had to get on the field to help the team stop the running game and their top running backs at all cost. Especially when someone muttered the name ‘McCaffery’. Whoa, did that turn him mad. Gave a speech to Coach [Lovie] Smith I have never heard before in my life!”
We at Totally Not Fake News did obtain a transcript of that speech.
“Coach, McCaffrey tasks me! He [Easterby] tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him round the heavy set Goal Line Formations, round the four-wideout spreads, round the NRG Practice Grounds and round perditions’ flames before I give him up! That’s why we signed up to play this game Thursday, to chase McCaffrey around both sides of this field, until he spouts black blood and rolls face-bar up!!!”
Coach Smith apparently replied “What the [Easterby] are you talking about? What is your beef with that particular Carolina running back? He is a key part of their offense, but what did he do to you?
Reportedly from Amendola “‘Aye, aye! it was that accursed running back that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for-ever and a day!”
After that rather shocking recount of dialogue, the unnamed player continued: “I guess to humor him, or perhaps after Coach Smith took an extra long drag off of his Illini hookah, he allowed Amendola to practice tackling. Amendola took to it with a fury not seen here since some former Wisconsin alum who I think used to play here. Only he seemed to go for the head or the groin. Some strange motivational talk though…went something like this.
‘To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee, thou damned running back!’
“Well, the high wore off soon enough for Lovie and it took 3 players to drag Amendola off the field. Unfortunately, we had to tell him that he was out for the Carolina game. It hurt him, but he then started screaming something about ‘whoever of ye raises me that running back, he shall have this game check, my boys!!’”
Yet, there were other concerns coming into the game, as the team would not have Tyrod Taylor for this game. Davis Mills was tapped for his first real NFL start, but that did not relieve him of his duties to help out Mr. 2021 Defensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP Vernon Hargreaves the third in his year-long coronation of his self-acknowledged glory. “What, [Mills] think that starting gets him out of his work? I’m a starter too. Yeah, didn’t get a pick, but still on pace for nine interceptions this season, and if I get multiple picks, I am back on the path to one a game.” boasted the supremely confident cornerback. Aside from Jeff Driskel, the team did not have any other quarterback options on the roster. Absolutely no other options that it could legitimately consider at all.
Injuries and all, the game proceeded. However, it did not proceed the way the Texans planned. Carolina came away with a 24-9 victory. Davis Mills got his first start, his first touchdown...and hit so hard at times that he told Mr. 2021 Defensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP Vernon Hargreaves III that he couldn’t carry his pads back to the locker room after the game because he had to run to his next calculus class at Stanford. About the only Texans’ player who seemed in a good mood after the game was Amendola. Maybe it had something to do with McCaffrey leaving the game due to a hamstring injury, and that he didn’t have to surrender a paycheck for that to happen.
All in all, it was a jam-packed and chaotic a week as had ever been seen in Texans history. The quasi-bye will be greatly appreciated as this team figures out just what is next, be it more vengeful wide receivers, rookie starters or the burgeoning annual award candidacies for some players. More to follow.