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TOTALLY NOT FAKE NEWS: No Time to Celebrate for the Texans…They Got Football To Play

Finally, they are back in, division play

NFL: DEC 18 Chiefs at Texans
Need to up the intensity for the finishing kick against the AFC South
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HOUSTON – Three more games. That is all that will be left for the Houston Texans as the 2022 season winds down. However, this does not mean that the Texans will just coast by and play out the string. “Finally, after playing all of these NFC teams and all of those difficult, contending teams, we get to play against squads we match up well against…the AFC South” noted one unnamed coaching staffer indicated. “This is the real measuring stick for this season for us. How do we stand up with our ‘true’ peers. Two games against teams under .500 and another matchup against a team that is practically at .500…this is what we really plan and play for. This is who we built our roster to face.”

In some cases, the numbers seem to bear this assessment out. Against AFC South Opponents, the Texans are 1-1-1, with a dead even (0) point differential. Against everyone else not in the AFC South, the Texans are 0-11, with a mere -109 point differential. Yet, even facing competition more in line with the roster goals of the Texans, there are still some significant obstacles.

“Had quite the interesting defensive planning meeting earlier with [Defensive Coordinator and Head] Coach Lovie [Smith]. Wanted the team to learn a few things from the last game we had against the Titans. So, he popped in the game tape, taking great pains to highlight the performance of the defense against the run. Yeah, it was not a good day. Coach kept repeating those Derrick Henry runs, when he just rushed over, through and past us in that game. His message was all ‘Okay men, how are we going to make sure that you don’t play like [Easterby] on the field?’”

For some, it was a quick answer. “Don’t worry coach, he won’t be embarrassing me on the field!” exclaimed rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

“Well, that’s awfully brave of you, Stingley, since your lame [Easterby] won’t even BE on the field Saturday.

“Coach, when do I lie? I tell you [Derrick Henry] ain’t gonna embarrass me on the field, he AIN’T gonna embarrass me on the field!”

NFL: Player Headshots 2022
That face when you know you won’t have to face a full-on Derrick Henry
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Others were a bit more defensive (see what we did there) about their previous performance.

“Coach, hey, I did manage to make a few stops on that human bull moose last time,” retorted Texans safety Jonathan Owens.

Without missing a breath, Lovie Smith looked at the screen and narrated: “Yeah…you did. Granted, it was all 15-20 yards down the field, and usually in the NFL, you want to try to hold running backs to plays to far less than double-digit yards, but yeah, in a sense, you did limit Henry from breaking the all-time rushing record.”

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Oh...well, maybe next Owens
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the multi-quarterback attack of Mills and Driskel continues to drive the Texans’ offense.

“Hey, I just noticed something, and I was wondering if you did too,” quarterback Jeff Driskel asked. “The past two weeks, the Texans have put up the most combined points over a two game stretch this entire season (47 points). Looking at the previous scores, I am not seeing those type of numbers present. What, do you suppose has been the main cause for this offensive explosion? I mean, there have been a few shifts in motion, blocking, routes and play-calls, but I feel like there is something else…something else….what, or WHO could it be?”

All the while that Driskel was pontificating, he kept stretching his arms out, and pointing both of his thumbs in the downward motion towards his upper back, seeming to highlight the name on the back of the #6 Jersey he was wearing.

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys
That’s MR. OFFENSIVE WEAPON Jeff Driskel to you!!!
Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

“Wait, wait…I know the answer to this one. I know it!!!” exclaimed Quarterback Davis Mills, “Now, if I could get just a little help to write that answer on the whiteboard…” It was at this point that our reporter noted that Mills was unable to move his arms, as they were both taped to the front of his chest, along with a football held in both of his hands, with copious amounts of duct tape.

“Davis, you know what Coach Lovie talked about in the team meetings. Turnovers are a killer, and you have to hang on to the ball, with both hands and held tight against your body” Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton noted.

“Coach, I am a quarterback. At some point, I have to let go of the ball when I throw it.”

“Actually, it is probably best that the ball never leaves your hands for any reason. Less chance of you turning it over, which is has been a bit of a trend with you.”

“Coach, how am I supposed to function with my whole upper body tapped to this football?”

“At least you won’t fumble this one!!!!”

Maybe Pep Hamilton is on to something here...

With that, our reporter immediately ran away from the Texans training facility, hoping to keep what little of his sanity he could still manage. Regardless of the nameless scribe who covers it, rest assured that the Texans’ Desk at Totally Not Fake News will continue to be there to bring you all the latest and greatest updates. And now, this message from our editorial staff:

We at Totally Not Fake News are not usually in the business of endorsements. As an impartial and completely objective news entity that reports facts alone, such ‘editorializing’ could be seen as endangering our vaunted neutrality. However, the Editorial Board at Totally Not Fake News will offer endorsements when warranted. That is why we at Totally Not Fake News are offering our complete and total endorsement of Jeff Saturday as Permanent Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Some had issues with Mr. Saturday’s interim hire. However, we think that Mr. Saturday will be the best coach for the Colts going forward.

Unburdened by such handicaps as “experience,” “conventional wisdom,” and “a basic understanding of how to coach beyond mid-level capable high school football,” Mr. Saturday has infused the team with a new resolve and identity. His Colts teams play an exciting brand of football, one that captures the imagination of fans of all affiliations. In particular, his leadership in the fourth quarters of games against Dallas and Minnesota rate among the most exciting in recent memory. Giving up 33 points in a quarter to “America’s Team” is excitement enough, but then his inspiration of a lackluster Minnesota team to take a 33-point halftime deficit and turn it into an exhilarating 39-36 win for the Purple Gang…that takes special skill.

The NFL has suffered through some mediocre and uneven play in 2022. However, with Mr. Saturday leading the Colts, “dull” is not a word you will associated with the Colts. Sure, we understand that Colts fans may not be thrilled with this endorsement, as they are 1-4 under Coach Saturday. However, we ask that Colts fans think of the greater good. Take Houston for example. Mr. Saturday single-handedly removed the stigma of being the city responsible for the largest blown lead in NFL history. That glory can now reside in Indianapolis.

Given all the primetime dates the Colts have this season, entertainment and memorable performances are a must to keep eyeballs on the screen. Remember the pain of the 12-9 Colts’ win against Denver earlier this season on a Thursday night game, when Frank Reich led the team? Would you rather a boring Colts win, or an exciting Colts loss? For the collective NFL, we think that excitement is the correct answer. Thus, we at Totally Not Fake News would ask that Mr. Irsay take this apprenticeship he’s given Mr. Saturday and make it a full-time job.

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
Jeff Saturday: Our Pick for Permanent Colts’ Head Coach
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images