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Hair of the Dog Week 13: Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans

A matchup with massive playoff implications...just like we all predicted before the season started.

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

For the EIGHTH STRAIGHT CONTEST, a Houston Texans game came down to the final two minutes, with the margin being within one score. During this stretch, the Houston Texans have gone 4-3 in such contests. After holding on for the 22-17 win, they are now 5-3 in such contests. For awhile, it looked like Houston might have a comfortable win, jumping up 13-0 and 22-10 at various points in the game.

Yet, this is the 2023 Texans. All games henceforth shall come down to the final two minutes, with the margin of the score to be within one score. Likely the Texans shall hold the lead, but it is not a given. The opposing team, if trailing, will get the ball within the Texans’ 25 at a minimum, if not the Red Zone. If the team surrenders a FG, then it is game over. If it is holding the opponents out of the end zone, the odds are better. Just expect that for the rest of the year. Houston goes up by a 3+ score margin? The opponent is coming back to within one score. Houston down 20+, even in the 4th? Plan for the team to get within one score with under two minutes. It is all but NFL law.

Your Battle Red Blog Masthead had their expressive and passionate takes on this game that came down to a goal-line INT at the end. With all of that emotion, we probably used a lot of language that is not anywhere close to decorum. Hence, many of those words have been edited with [KITTEN]. All for classic work manners. With all of that, on to the ‘Dog:

HAIR OF THE DOG ISSUE 21, VOL 13: DENVER BRONCOS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (or where playoff fates are not based on the judgement of a bunch of people in corporate suits).

vballretired

Thankfully the Bstdad will not be in attendance here, but we can hear his chants, “you can’t beat Denver.” Denver has been a thorn in the side of Houston fans since the vaunted Stagger Lee play in Oilers infamy. Soak those painful memories away with #Bartesian. They have a nice and naughty collection for the holidays. Celebrate our ascension into the playoff hunt or drown your sorrows at our meek exit from them. Either way you are covered with #Bartesian. As we have become accustomed, we at Battle Red Blog and its parent company SBNation remind you to use #Bartesian responsibly. Please do not drive or operate heavy machinery while using #Bartesian. Keep your hand on that remote and enjoy the second game as well since the NFL was kind enough to flex us back to a noon start. It’s business as usual here in HTown.

Joe

hey, everyone!

Even though I was really rooting for the Texans to beat the Jaguars last week to simultaneously take a division lead and add some padding to our wildcard lead, I’m now desperate for a victory today. I’m worried about next week’s Jets and Christmas Eve’s Browns game because of their defenses, and losing any of these games could deal a serious blow to Houston’s playoff chances. Not only that, but Denver has really improved the past month, something I never would’ve expected after that Dolphins game when they gave up 70 points. They have the same record as Houston and, and even though they have a worse offense, they’ve recently defeated the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve been forcing so many turnovers that I’m really worried they could make this an ugly game, putting us in serious dire straits in these last few weeks. So, I was nervous about last week, but now that we lost, I’m REALLY nervous about this game.

The AFC just had to be a minimum 10-win season to make the playoffs, again

vballretired

Realistically this is a week to week thing. We are capable of beating anyone or losing to anyone. I’m almost in a zen like state of zero expectations positive or negative.

l4blitzer

We are playing with house money…it would just be nice for the budget to last until the playoffs

vballretired

Very true. This one could help decide the COTY race as well. This team plays an entertaining brand of football and usually all close games.

l4blitzer

Well, this team has been 1000x more entertaining than whatever we’ve seen the past 3 seasons. All the pressure comes next year, so make the most of the bonus session

vballretired

That also depends on FA. They will definitely spend but what do they spend on? Getting say a center or guard might be better but won’t generate the hype. Get a big named skill position guy and the expectations fly off the charts.

l4blitzer

There are many powerful forces in the world. SEC money is one of them…Bama in the playoff…oooo-kkkkkaaaaayyyyy.

Of course, the Rose Bowl of Michigan vs Alabama will be the game you want both teams to lose

vballretired

So I’m guessing wash, Michigan, Alabama, Florida st?

Patrick

If the Rose Bowl isn’t Washington/Michigan then the Rose Bowl ain’t the Rose Bowl.

l4blitzer

Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama (in that order)

FSU, 13-0, is ranked 5

vballretired

That actually makes some sense. Ballsy but I respect ballsy.

Patrick

I kind of wanted them to leave out Texas just to see the chaos that would ensue

l4blitzer

Well, FSU is at the point that they will hold winter tryouts for their QBs, but still, Bama and the arrogance of the SEC….and I say that as a fan of a SEC squad

Joe

I hate Alabama

vballretired

Honestly do you see FlaSt beating anyone in the top six or seven? I know TCU is out last year under these conditions but they did not want a repeat of 2014 when everyone on the planet knew that FLAST would get rolled in the title game but put them there because they were undefeated

l4blitzer

Darth Saban strikes again.

Joe

I would’ve rather seen Florida state in cuz I think Alabama proved against Auburn and south Florida and Texas this season that they’re very inconsistent

I think those 3 games should absolutely boot them from consideration

And sec was not that good of a conference this year

l4blitzer

I would think the Seminole D will keep it close, and they would get the extra practices to get the 2nd/3rd string QBs some more reps before the Bowl Game. Likely FSU would be 4, and given how the Harbaughs have been in the playoffs, I’d take my chances with FSU

l4blitzer

I will admit though, Bama’s Oline was looking real good against Georgia

vballretired

Oh I agree but again it’s the criteria. If you are asking me to pick the best four teams right now I can’t pick Florida St. if you are asking me to pick the top four resumes then I can’t pick Alabama.

Patrick

And this was always the problem with having a committee pick teams based on an unquantifiable rubric.

Joe

You’re right but like so did Georgia Tech’s a few weeks ago

Is it possible Georgia d-line was just sucking the past few weeks

Patrick

And have no consensus about what that rubric includes.

Joe

SEC routinely gets their [KITTEN] beat by ACC opponents too so I just straight up don’t trust SEC teams half the time

vballretired

All very true. It sucks that Florida St lost their QB but there is no way you can consider that the same team that went 12-0. It sucks that they took care of business and as someone whose school has been screwed before I would have asked the committee to buy me dinner first, but it makes sense from a particular point of view. It always does which is why expansion was inevitable

l4blitzer

Ah, guess I just wanted to see the SEC and Stankey lose their collective [KITTEN] over being shutout of the playoffs. The entertainment value…

Patrick

I’m still waiting to hear about all the other bowl matchups.

l4blitzer

NYC 6 should be out around 2:30 EST

vballretired

I’ll be in the Animal Kingdom that day.

Joe

Okay now it’s almost game time!!!

vballretired

My wife has already told me that I’ll lose my phone if I’m chatting while we are in Disney.

Patrick

I understand.

l4blitzer

Of course, to add to my Sunday football “get off my lawn” mood, I am in a part of the world where we don’t get the Texans national broadcast, but stuck in the Yinzer sphere of influence. Back to the Acme internet methods of normal.

Joe

Can’t believe how many linemen Houston has lost to season ending injuries this season. I think it’s 4 or 5 players now

vballretired

Almost like they want you to buy Sunday ticket. Geez it’s almost as if it’s coordinated or something.

Joe

Hahaha me too. But so far having the Steelers on tv has added for a really entertaining other game to watch, as an exercise in insanity

l4blitzer

I had hope, since the Ravens are off today, but nope…the power of the Yinzer cannot be undone

vballretired

The NFL has this whole tv thing figured out

Patrick

Oh [KITTEN].

I forgot this was going to happen to DirecTV

vballretired

I lose Fubo on December 12. My wife saw the monthly charge and freaked out.

Patrick

Yeah, I’m canceling it the second I leave Houston.

And we’re off.

vballretired

It being Fubo or DirecTV?

Patrick

Fubo.

vballretired

Yeah, it’s nice for sports but costly

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

Run on first and second down

l4blitzer

…scramble on 3rd down

Patrick

Not a great start. Not their worst but definitely could be improved.

vballretired

I know there was some disagreement on the site about the importance of of the running game

Nice coverage there

Patrick

Phew, that was close.

Got a stop early. Nice.

vballretired

Yeah, that works

DEN POSSESSION

l4blitzer

Dueling 3 and outs

vballretired

Frank Ross is a witch

Patrick

But I was told Will Anderson was a bust, don’t even think about it.

HOU POSSESSION

l4blitzer

Frank Ross Special Teams strikes again

Patrick

Oh my that barbecue

[KITTEN] Jordan, you had a whole [KITTEN] lane to the end zone.

Joe

BREVIN JORDAN!!!

l4blitzer

Momentum…a tough thing at times

Joe

He gets like one pretty good reception a game haha

vballretired

Mr December

Joe

I like the Andrew Beck touches though

l4blitzer

As bad as Denver has been at guarding TEs, this is a game you would’ve really wanted Schultz

…and Denver with the bad flag. Let’s keep that going

Patrick

No joke. Fantasy stats alone said Schultz would’ve eaten today if he weren’t hurt.

Joe

This guys name is browning

Patrick

Go for it [KITTEN]

l4blitzer

Maybe play action on second down…oh well

vballretired

You can’t gain one kittening yard?

Joe

Almost an obj catch by Andrew Beck haha

Go for it!

Feed it to beckkkkkk

Patrick

Well at least Ammendola didn’t biff it there.

Joe

Remember when they cut Amendola for like 3 days

Patrick

Lesson clearly learned.

Joe

I guess that was their form of a punishment for missing that game winner

Patrick

I love the Amazon ad with the llamas.

Joe

3 days in the timeout

MATT AMMENDOLA WITH THE 29 YD FG: HOU 3 - DEN 0; 10:11, 1st

vballretired

Ok, clearly the run game has turned back into a pumpkin.

DEN POSSESSION

Patrick

Where is our tush push? Where is the Texans’ Booty-Scoot Boogie?

Joe

Javonte Williams former guy with Tar Heel

Joe

I would like to see a Texans version of the tush push

vballretired

And it’s THIRD DOWN

And it’s FoURTH DOWN

l4blitzer

A Will Anderson type of game…yes please

HOU POSSESSION

Joe

LETS GOOO

vballretired

I’ll take it

Patrick

I think I need an explanation for how these IHOP items are Wonka-related? Just because they’re purple?

vballretired

Nico Collins

Joe

NICO COLLINS!!!!

OH MY [DURGA]

Patrick

Pat Surtain II injured.

Joe

HE’S DAVANTE ADAMS

I like seeing the Pierce CHUMs but I also like scoring lol

That was fast haha

Patrick

[KITTEN], why. Why did we run that?

vballretired

Maybe the yards per carry running game is just not going to cut it

Yards plural is a bit of a misnomer

Joe

Alright there’s a good Pierce run

Patrick

Ugh.

Joe

UGH

that was so close to being another mvp play

Still kinda was

Patrick

DEFEND THE STROUD!!

vballretired

Maybe running on first and second down is a way to kill drives

Joe

DEFEND HIMMM

he’s getting spicy!!!!

Patrick

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Joe

Cj stroud is so famous

Patrick

PIERCE TD!!

Joe

Heavy dosage of nico Collins on this drive

LETS GOOOO

Patrick

Nonononono not Tank

vballretired

That’s his first of the year

Joe

Oh no!

Patrick

[KIIIITTTTTEEEENNNNN]

vballretired

[GATITO]

Joe

Oh no is he getting carted off the field?

This is awful

Patrick

According to Pancakes he is.

vballretired

If you had said that Pierce would have his first rushing TD in week 13 you’d know everything you need to know about our running game.

Joe

I hope he’s okay

At least Devin Singletary had like 2 or 3 good games

That made me so so happy

DAMEON PIERCE RUSHING TD. TEXANS LEAD 10-0

Patrick

He had a towel over his head. He’s missing some time.

BRONCOS POSSESSION

vballretired

That’s a good play design by the Broncos

Desmond King has entered the chat

Patrick

I’m so confused by the announcers saying nice things about the Texans.

vballretired

And it’s FOURTH DOWN

TEXANS POSSESSION

vballretired

There must be some sort of rule in Physics where our top four receivers can’t all be healthy at the same time

Patrick

The football [DURGA]s know the world isn’t ready for that yet.

vballretired

Ok, here comes Ammendola

13-0 TEXANS

l4blitzer

Officials missed a facemask…cool.

AMMENDOLA GOING 2 FOR 2: 38 YD FG: HOU 13 - DEN 0; 12:54, 2nd

vballretired

Maybe they need to do this yo-yo thing with kickers every week. You gotta earn your spot every week big guy

DEN POSSESSION

Joe

No problem!

l4blitzer

Although for Ammendola, it probably helps the percentages when you can make kicks a lot shorter than 50 yards

Joe

I hope tank dell is okay, he’s been essential for our passing offense. Hopefully Nico Collins, Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and maybe some more John Metchie will be able to compensate for losing him for the near future

l4blitzer

Stroud with 153 yards, and Collins with 114 of those…might be an effective combination.

Joe

I liked that infamous Matt Nagy open kicker competition he ran during the 2019 offseason. Everyone made fun of him but I think it ended up giving them Cairo Santos who’s been one of the leagues best kickers since

Joe

Yeah I’m really liking this

Collins is nearly at 1000 yards on the season now

l4blitzer

Gotta tackle Anderson

Stingley going to have to be on his game today.

Joe

Derek stingley might’ve gotten there a little early

WOOOO

big run stop on third down!

Sheldon Rankins making big plays the past month

Patrick

We need to talk about Dameon Pierce.

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

Ok, settle in for the CHUM

Patrick

Brevin Jordan, today you become a man.

vballretired

Mr. December shows up every December

Joe

He’s a little spicy I gotta say

l4blitzer

Forward motion…this is a good thing

Joe

Don’t see a lot of #9 tight ends

l4blitzer

Hmmm….not a good play sequence there.

Patrick

The center got flagged for tripping.

l4blitzer

Meanwhile, the Steelers offense reverting to the Canada regime

Ah…see, Scruggs playing 10-degree chess to help Pierce up those rushing stats

Ok, that last run…not so much

vballretired

Ah the standard rush on first and second down and then punt

Granted it was first and long but still

l4blitzer

…and Frank Ross will kill another player after this one.

DEN POSSESSION

vballretired

Slowik is like a governor on a golf cart

l4blitzer

A very New Jersey Jets scoreline: 7-2 (NJJ with 2)

vballretired

Judge with the two run bomb in defeat

Patrick

Nice special teams play there.

l4blitzer

MOAR Punt practice

vballretired

We have excessive competence on the Texans. It’s kittening up the Vegas odds. That’s 15 yards.

For the love of Durga

Can we play football now?

l4blitzer

Hey, what do you know? Houston is not punting again

Patrick

Desmond King dragging Russell Wilson straight to [KITTEN].

And then they do that and I want to kill myself.

vballretired

Okay, name the dullest movie/tv show you can think of

Patrick

Lint Busters.

l4blitzer

Is Denver waking up a bit here?

vballretired

The officials have to sit strapped to a chair for 24 hours until they realize we don’t watch them throw flags

Watching whatever kitten show we can come up with

Maybe a Jets game or “Stop or my mom will shoot”

l4blitzer

Man…Wilson just got that out of there.

Patrick

But you repeat yourself

vballretired

He’s short

[KITTEN]

l4blitzer

This was the Wilson that bedeviled Houston in his past two visits to NRG

Patrick

That’s not nice talking about Wilson like that.

vballretired

I see what you did there

TWO MINUTE WARNING

l4blitzer

We need that patented “Beeeennnnnndddddd but don’tbreak” defense

vballretired

Or something

Where’s Joe with one of those psychic turnovers?

l4blitzer

RedZone with the picture of BO’B, with the score underneath it showing LAC 3 - NE 0, late in the 2nd quarter

vballretired

Would you rather have Hackett or BO’B as your OC?

Patrick

Is killing myself an option?

l4blitzer

The Jets with a 3 run RBI to cut the ATL deficit to 7-5

Joe

My stream blew up so my psychic powers have been dulled

Hahahaha

That made me actually laugh

I think I’m finally fixing my stream now

We’re back!

l4blitzer

Now the Broncos in the red zone

vballretired

Unfortunately it always is although a permanent solution to a [KITTEN]ty entertainment option

Patrick

Blech.

I guess BOB, even though I feel gross saying it.

vballretired

Like sitting through a Sylvester Stallone vs. Steven Seagall movie. It’s a waste of two hours but it’s only two hours

l4blitzer

Wonder if NE fires BO’B to rehire McDaniels after this season? Provided Darth Belichick is still there after the end of the regular season

vballretired

Nope and nope

l4blitzer

Pitre with a submarine shot on the TFL

Patrick

Talk about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic though.

vballretired

That’s like the string quartet at the end of that movie

l4blitzer

Is it just me, or is the ref’s voice cracking….maybe some nice honey tea, after he immediately leaves the game

Patrick

Sooo close to getting him there.

l4blitzer

Thought they had the sack, but it will force the FG

Patrick

The Saints/Lions game just murdered an official.

vballretired

Field goal time

Anderson is playing one [KITTEN]uva a game

Patrick

But he’s a bust, just ask Twitter.

LUTZ WITH THE 34 YD FG: HOU 13 - DEN 3; 1:24, 2nd

vballretired

I can’t. I’m not on Twitter.

Patrick

Did we get the ball to start the game?

vballretired

Yes

l4blitzer

Didn’t think we would see so much action out of Desmond King, but so far, it is working

Patrick

Thought so, then we better get some points here.

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

That would be nice

l4blitzer

Let’s not go with the CHUM here Slowik, ok?

vballretired

Mothertrucker

Patrick

A screen that sorta worked.

Yep, still feels weird.

l4blitzer

Ponies just fumbled inside the BESF red zone

Joe

ugh

l4blitzer

Well, this season, the WR screens have been somewhat effective

vballretired

Oh [KITTEN] that was wide open

Joe

Metchie was there!

l4blitzer

So close…

Well, disappointing, but at least no turnover…

DEN POSSESSION

HALFTIME: HOU 13 - DEN 3

HALFTIME REACTIONS

Patrick

Could be better could be worse. Texans looking pretty good so far.

Joe

So far, this has been a great game for Houston. The Texans defensive line has been able to disrupt the line of scrimmage enough to trouble Denver’s rushing attack and get to Russel Wilson. Sheldon Rankins and Will Anderson Jr. are having good games. On offense, CJ Stroud and Nico Collins have showed up with something to prove, and I’m really worried about the Tank Dell injury. I’m interested to see how Noah Brown and John Metchie fill in for him, but he’s a big loss if this injury ends up being serious. Brevin Jordan and Dameon Pierce have been nice surprises, as well.

l4blitzer

Overall, good playing by Houston. The loss of Dell may linger large in this game. A few missed chances by Houston to really put Denver in a big hole (a short FG and a missed deep ball to Mitchie by Stroud). Can’t let Denver and Wilson hang around too long…they have been doing this all throughout their winning streak. Then again, Denver has made some dumb mistakes to put themselves in a 10-point hole. Won’t be shocked if this game comes down to the final two minutes, as is the modus operandi for this team since Week 5.

vballretired

Ok, at the half we have to be absolutely estatic with the defensive effort. Will Anderson is a man among boys. The offense has done some good things but this offense is like a golf cart with a governor. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it is essentially a device that controls the speed. Bend it and that cart will go 30 MPH (not that I have any direct knowledge or memory of actually doing this). The running game is this team’s governor. You run on first and second down and you punt. It’s just that simple. If you pass on one or both downs you usually get a first down. A golf cart without a governor can get harpooned in a bunker or lake if driven by a drunken jack[KITTEN], but Stroud is stone cold sober. Let’s bend that sucker and let this offense go full speed.

Patrick

Ole Miss/Penn St for Peach Bowl

l4blitzer

That’ll be an interesting matchup. Maybe Ole Miss will actually prep for this bowl game…going for PSU, but still…might be entertaining at least.

Patrick

Georgia/Florida St Orange Bowl

l4blitzer

In theory, a good matchup, but the GA(K) factor…hard to read that one.

vballretired

That’s interesting. It’ll be a blowout but interesting

Patrick

Mizzou/Ohio State Cotton

l4blitzer

…and ATL with a 3-run homer to go up 10-5 on the NJJ

vballretired

That’s four SEC schools on NY or playoffs

l4blitzer

Of course, watch the SEC claim the Longhorns if they actually win in the playoffs

That Washington/Texas match looks like it is going to be bonkers

Patrick

Go Huskies.

Aw [KITTEN]. [KITTEN]ing Liberty University made a NY6 Bowl. Them vs Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.

l4blitzer

Looks like they are calling Dell officially out for the game

THIRD QUARTER

DEN POSSESSION

Patrick

Have a day WAJ!

l4blitzer

Is this his 1st multi-sack game?

vballretired

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a two sack day

l4blitzer

3rd and long…

Joe

Hey I got the Texans game is on my tv now!

The Steelers game got a weather delay hahaha

vballretired

And it’s THIRD DOWN

l4blitzer

That was an impressive chase down by Greenard

vballretired

If one don’t get you the other one will

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

Ok, no turtling allowed

Joe

Here we go cj stroud!!!

I’d like a nice long drive here

l4blitzer

Given that the Steelers are down 10-3 at the half, wouldn’t be surprised is Pittsburgh would just rather that delay lasts a long, long time

vballretired

Like until April when they can draft a new QB

Or maybe sign every failed first round QB on the open market

Joe

Two bad DPUMs

vballretired

[KITTEN]. Stop running the damn ball

l4blitzer

Well, Denver, in theory, is not a great run stopping team.

Joe

NICO COLLINS AGAIN!!!

vballretired

What did I say at the half?

l4blitzer

Wait…did Pierce screw up the 1st down run?

Patrick

They have the game on two screens which are half a minute apart.

vballretired

That explains it

Do not run the ball!!!!!!!

l4blitzer

While I am ecstatic about Collins, you would have thought that Denver would like try to shut down those deep plays to Collins

vballretired

Of course

l4blitzer

Illegal Formation: the official penalty of the Houston Texans

Not a terrible run on the next play

vballretired

So we are back to this [KITTEN] again

[KITTEN]

Thanks refs

Joe

I’ll take another field goal I guess

Glory to the all fg offense!

vballretired

Well we are in Ammendola range

AMMENDOLA WITH THE 38 YD FG: HOU 16 - DEN 3; 8:51, 3rd

Patrick

vballretired

Keep him under 40 yards

Joe

Hahaha

l4blitzer

Meanwhile, Miami taking the Commanders to the Gulag 38-7

vballretired

That’s awesome. My kind of art right there

Joe

If he gets a few more field goals he might be in afc special teams player of the week conversation

vballretired

But I thought Jack Del Rio was the problem in DC

Joe

I’m sad about this turn of events

l4blitzer

Well, that and trading away your two best pass rushers at the trade deadline

Joe

I was hoping Sam Howell and the commanders would just have a solid season overall this year

l4blitzer

A friend of mine at that game posted on social media that he might have yelled at Doug Williams to start warming up

Patrick

Chargers and Pats in a barn burner it’s 6-0 Chargers in the third.

vballretired

That whole staff is dead man walking on the green mile

Joe

What in the world happened to Justin Herbert

l4blitzer

Saints making it interesting against Detroit

vballretired

The Pats can play defense.

DEN POSSESSION

Patrick

Bad coaching I think more than anything.

l4blitzer

Do we want the BESFs to win? They still lead the Ponies 17-13

vballretired

Staley is like the Keith Richards of coaches. He’s already dead but just doesn’t know it.

l4blitzer

Keith Richards died back in 1982, but is well, well preserved.

vballretired

Heroin will do that

Joe

DESMON KING TOUCHDOWN?!?!?!

Patrick

SCOOP AND SCORE!!!

vballretired

Holy Durga!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe

BOOOOOO

BOOOO

THEY CALLED IT BACK

Patrick

He clearly had possession, it’s a fumble.

[DURGA][KITTEN]

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

Come on. You owe us refs

l4blitzer

Man, what did the Texans do to the refs’ association? Did Cal say something about their mommas?

vballretired

Ok, at least it’s a punt

Joe

Oh that was so bad

Patrick

How badly do you have to piss off the refs where they start giving calls to Sean [KITTEN]ing Payton of all people.

l4blitzer

Did someone wearing Texans’ colors stand them up for their prom dates…please, tell us?

vballretired

It’s a gift to the gamblers. Payton has nothing to do with it

No turtling

l4blitzer

Wait, the refs should have made that a catch for Jordan as a make up call

Patrick

We can stop with the running now.

vballretired

And we are turtling

l4blitzer

Of course the officials would confer…and it would go against Houston

Joe

MAN that was so close to a fantastic catch by Brown

l4blitzer

Not really a catch, but still, expect that Houston will lose every ref conference from here on out

DEN POSSESSION

Joe

Yeah the refs are definitely not throwing us any bones hahaha

vballretired

When you have two officials disagree it should go to the booth

Joe

I like how we’re on in agreement with that with no conversation needed

l4blitzer

One official was going to call it a catch, but then the other was like “We need to talk…this is the Texans…incomplete”

Oh, to be mad about the refs…this is a feeling long forgotten until this season

Joe

Hahahaha

Joe

You’re right about that

Good team problems

vballretired

It should be 23-3

Patrick

Did the NFL hire all the soon-to-be out of work PAC12 refs or something? Because it would explain why they’re extra [KITTEN]ty lately.

l4blitzer

Oh gee…MOAR flags

…and on Houston…

Joe

Let’s see how they twist this onto Houston

are you serious

Eat my [KITTEN] refs

Patrick

Snort my [KITTEN], ref.

Joe

I don’t even care if it’s right

vballretired

It was

Joe

Nice tackle by Christian harris

l4blitzer

Refs held their fire on the flag for a play…a Christmas miracle

vballretired

Trying some measure of objectivity

l4blitzer

Rationality, in sports fandom…unpossible

vballretired

Me fail English?

Joe

NOOOO

l4blitzer

The one Bronco you don’t want to catch the ball…just did

Joe

there should be a flag for holding!!!

Patrick

And there is.

vballretired

I’m behind y’all

Patrick

Sigh…

vballretired

Gee that touchdown would have been nice

Patrick

OPI [KITTEN] he pushed off.

WILSON TO SUTTON FOR A 45 YD TD: DEN 10 - HOU 16; 4:47, 3rd

vballretired

No turtling

Joe

Oh man Sutton clearly pushed him!

l4blitzer

Don’t think that will be an issue now…have to open the game up…or at least in theory, Houston will need to do so.

HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

No PFI either way

Kenneth L.

Sounds like a lot of broncos are there

vballretired

Just a good play by Wilson and Sutton

Patrick

There’s an unfortunate amount of orange out there.

l4blitzer

At least Stroud is being allowed to throw…3rd and short

vballretired

I’m a play behind

l4blitzer

Not for long. The game is about to revert back to the Yinzer market

Two bad drops by the H-town receivers

In this quarter

vballretired

Thank Durga they didn’t hand off on that one

Joe

Oh boy

Now I’m nervous

l4blitzer

And that drop really hurts

vballretired

That’s terrible

[KITTEN]

l4blitzer

Oh, the refs allowed a timeout. Would’ve thought they would go with the false start call

Patrick

Ughhhhhhh

l4blitzer

Ouch…who would have thought that the Brown drop would be that painful, but man did the O-line fail in those two plays

DEN POSSESSION

Patrick

STINGLEY!!!!!!

vballretired

They’re are turtling. It’s like some cosmic force that allows no blowouts

Joe

OH MY GOODNESS

l4blitzer

Are you sure??? Have the refs thrown a flag??? No DPI? No Offisdes?

Joe

STINGLEY!!!

Patrick

Sure as [KITTEN]

APPARENTLY, AN ACTUAL TURNOVER: STINGLEY WITH THE INT; HOU POSSESSION

l4blitzer

I would be ticked about the run call, but given how bad the pass blocking was…

vballretired

Stop running the ball please. I beg you. Please stop.

Patrick

Wow that pass

vballretired

How do he get that there?

l4blitzer

Jordan makes up for the earlier drop

END OF THE 3RD: HOU 16 - DEN 10…BUT THE FIRM OF STROUD/RYANS IS INSIDE THE DEN 10

vballretired

No turtling

Joe

No turtling!!!

This is a golden opportunity

Which actually our defense has been getting more and more of this clutch turnovers

l4blitzer

Is Detroit about to blow it in NOLA?

Joe

Once the Texans can start scoring touchdowns of these turnovers, we’re perfect

vballretired

Stingley at least statistically justifying the draft slot now

l4blitzer

Decent run by Pierce

Joe

Good run by Pierce!

vballretired

Solid

Patrick

Nico to the house!

Joe

WOOOOOO

LETS GOOOO

huge touchdown

Nico having a career game

vballretired

That’s his 20th TD right? For Stroud?

Go for two

Joe

Well you can’t win them all haha

STROUD TO COLLINS FOR THE 3 YD TD: HOU 22 - DEN 10 (2 PT ATTEMPT FAILED); 14:16, 4th

l4blitzer

Stroud needs to work on those 2 pt INTs…got two of those these season. They don’t count as INTs, but still…we have (recently elevated) standards

vballretired

Second INT on a two point conversion attempt. Thank Durga those don’t count

Patrick

Honestly if the only picks he throws are on two point plays I’ll be over the moon.

vballretired

Beat me to it

l4blitzer

BESFs with a 2 pt return on an INT…so see, you have to cover those boys and girls

Patrick

CORGI RACES!!!

vballretired

Boy that fumble TD would have put this game on ice

Patrick

I missed the [KITTEN]ing corgi races!

l4blitzer

Will they be on YouTube?

Joe

Wait there we corgi races????

DEN POSSESSION

Joe

I WANNA SEE THEM TOOO

l4blitzer

And the Cards with a fumble recovery

Patrick

Sigh…

l4blitzer

Shocked…shocked that the Texans got another flag…

At least they aren’t of the pre-snap variety. They were doing that way too much earlier in the season

vballretired

Them explaining why we are getting jobbed

l4blitzer

Need to force some 2nd and 3rd and longs here

Patrick

[DURGA] [KITTEN]ing [KITTEN] someone tackle him for [KITTEN]’s sake.

Joe

Oh no!!!!!

l4blitzer

That was not what we asked for Houston…

vballretired

We can’t breathe easy. Ever.

WILSON WITH THE 1 YD TD RUN: DEN 17 - HOU 22; 12:04, 4th

vballretired

No turtling

l4blitzer

Falcons/Jets still playing a baseball-esque 13-8 score

HOU POSSESSION

Patrick

It is still 6-0 Chargers over the Pats and they’ve almost gotten to the two minute warning.

l4blitzer

Who’s pitching for LA in that matchup?

vballretired

Not Kershaw

Patrick

They haven’t given up runs so it’s not Kershaw.

l4blitzer

And it is not the playoffs, so there is that.

Patrick

[KITTEN] you beat me to it.

That was offsides.

l4blitzer

Nice to get a score on this drive, but no dumb plays and at least a few 1st downs

Joe

Okay Texans game is back on in Pittsburgh area again haha

Steelers game got delayed again

l4blitzer

So much for that 1st down or two

DEN POSSESSION

Patrick

STINGLEY AGAIN!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOW

Joe

OH MY [DURGA] DEREK STINGLEY JR

AMAZING INTERCEPTION

what a catch!

vballretired

Holy kittens

STINGLEY WITH THE MASSIVE INT AND THERE ARE NO FLAGS ON THE PLAY; HOU POSSESSION

vballretired

Stop. Running. The. Ball.

l4blitzer

12 yards rushing in the 2nd half. We don’t’ have good run blocking at all.

Joe

Oh man

Only one timeout left now

Patrick

Uh oh

l4blitzer

…and Denver is not a great team stopping the run

Joe

Here comes the butt push!

LETS GOOO

right up the [KITTEN]!

He took it from Beck too

Oh and the refs are taking him off the field for that!

They’re like “you’re playing too good now”

Patrick

Oh [DURGA]

l4blitzer

Mills time…joy

Joe

Get some Davis mills snaps here

alright

MILL COMEBACK

and here comes cj stroud haha

Patrick

Thank Durga

l4blitzer

Lions can’t shake the Saints

Joe

I think Nico Collins might break 1000 this game lol

Wasn’t expecting that today!

l4blitzer

Denver playing the bold strategy of letting Collins make the big plays. Not asking them to stop, just observing

Joe

Oh [DURGA]

What’s going on????

JUST GET A FIELD GOAL

vballretired

Stop. Running. The. Ball.

Patrick

The [KITTEN] was that?

l4blitzer

At some point, the offensive line will have a consistent series in this second half…maybe

vballretired

Bobby Slowik deciding we don’t need no stinkin first downs

Joe

Man I wanted some points here

Always a cardiac game with the Texans

vballretired

You took us out of it by running the [KITTEN]ing ball

DEN POSSESSION

Joe

OH NOOOO!!!

Patrick

Guuuuh…

l4blitzer

Ya know, we don’t need to repeat Denver’s strategy with Collins for Sutton

vballretired

This one is on the zebras and Bobby Slowik

Joe

Third down!!!!

Please don’t be a repeat of last week I’ll cry

COME ON ANDERSON

CONE ONNN

BOOOOO

Patrick

[KITTEN] these refs.

vballretired

I guess

l4blitzer

The patented ref 3rd down conversion. Seems like it was warranted, but still

Patrick

I don’t want them to die but I would not be sad if they had chronic infected testicle syndrome or something.

vballretired

Dysentery

Joe

Oh man my heart

l4blitzer

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, a Houston game within one-score at the two minute mark

Joe

Oh my [DURGA]

TWO MINUTE WARNING

Joe

Oh you have to be kidding me

4th and one

Patrick

Fractured fibula for Tank Dell.

He’s going to IR

vballretired

[KITTEN]

[KITTEN]

[KITTEN]

Joe

NOOOO

oh no!

Terrible

Okay here we go

They can win for him now

Patrick

[KITTEN].

Joe

NOOOO

okay turnovers now

Fourth down again

Patrick

One more, c’mon.

Joe

Oh my [DURGA]

My heart!!!! Is gonna split!!!

DEN 2nd TO

Patrick

I’m gonna be ill.

Joe

Oh my goodness now Houston is using their TO

HOU TO

Joe

Me too

Okay here we go!

Oh my [DURGA]

AAAAAA

CURSE YOU RUSSELL WILSON

Patrick

I hate this game so much.

Joe

Oh my [DURGA] I hate this

l4blitzer

Can’t say I am shocked. We don’t have the guy to clog the lane on these short yardage plays

Joe

My legs are shaking!!! Someone make it stop!!!

Derek stingley save meeeee

AAAAAAAA

AAAAAA

Patrick

JIMMIE WARD!!!

Joe

OH MY [DURGA]

TEXANS WITH THEIR 3RD INT OF THE GAME (JIMMIE WARD); HOU POSSESSION

Joe

JIMMIE WARD SAVES THE DAY!!!

Texans win!!! Texans win!!!

FINAL: HOU 22 - DEN 17; TEXANS MOVE TO 7-5 AND LOG THEIR FIRST WIN OVER RUSSELL WILSON

l4blitzer

I really hope none of y’all have serious cardiac conditions as we watch all of these games this season

Joe

That was absolutely incredible!!! That was an insane defensive effort, and all 3 of those turnovers couldn’t have come at a better time. Derek Stingley Jr and Jimmie Ward have now single handedly launched the Texans into playoff contention!

vballretired

They sure as [KITTEN] didn’t make it easy.

Patrick

They never do.

GAME BALLS

  • WR Nico Collins: Aside from Tyreek Hill, I can’t think of a WR who has been so strong at home. nine catches for 191 yards and a TD. Nico was lighting up the Denver secondary in the first and second half. How he kept doing that in the second half is beyond me, but then again, this is a Denver defense that surrendered 70 points in game. They played well, especially in the second and fourth quarters, but Nico at NRG is nigh unstoppable.
  • CB Derek Stingley Jr.: In the past three games, Stingley has logged four INTs. He got two today. His second INT in the fourth quarter might have been the game saver. Pitre was beaten badly on a seam route by Denver WR Sutton, but Stingley closed in, played the ball perfectly and had arguably the best looking catch of any player in this game. If Stingley mis-times it, that is a Denver TD and perhaps, a Houston defeat.
  • DE Will Anderson Jr.: Two sacks, along with five tackles, two TFLs, four QB hits and one pass defended. He and the Most Interesting Defense in the World made the day rather uncomfortable for Russell Wilson. The defense, which has been susceptible to giving up a lot of yards via the air, the defense more or less contained the Denver passing attack, holding them to 164 yards through the air, forcing three sacks and three INTs.

SHOULD BE FORCED TO WATCH KEVIN JAMES’ IMPRESSION OF SEAN PAYTON ON REPEAT FOR A FULL WEEK WHILE EATING RAW ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS:

  • The Texans Second Half Rushing Attack: While the strength of the team is the passing game, there has to be some semblance of a running game, at least to keep the opponents honest. In the first half, the team rushed for 77 yards. A nice number, especially against a team seen as weak against the run (Denver averaged 152 rushing yards allowed/game). In the second half, Houston logged all of 12 yards rushing. Denver’s defense front proved especially problematic for Houston, and the offensive line will have some tough moments in the film session. Still, the run blocking is somewhere between horrid and really suck. Pierce is not have a great sophomore season, but this line and run blocking is really, really not good.
  • Ref-Ball Part Deux: The Texans have come far enough in their evolution that ref calls are actually making a difference. Some of the penalty calls were warranted. HOWEVER, missed targeting calls against Denver and that inexplicable call in the third quarter, when King was outright robbed of a fumble recovery for a TD will give many in Houston a complex that the refs are out to get the Texans. The team logged eight penalties for 81 yards vs. Denver’s two for eight yards. Yeah, the refs might get more boos than opposing teams from here on out.

With that, the Texans move to 7-5. They are still in eighth position, but hold tiebreakers over the Steelers and have games against Cleveland and Indy left this season. They have matched the win total from the past two seasons combined. They get a chance to add to it next Sunday, when they make the trek to the Meadowlands to play the New Jersey Jets. Kickoff slated for noon CST.