clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hair of the Dog, Divisional Playoff Round: Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens

The season that went full circle, beginning and ending in Baltimore.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sometimes in life, you actually do get symmetry. Where things start, they also manage to end. The idea of the circle can be appealing. The whole Ying/Yang and smooth start/finish...there is something that strikes a chord in the human psyche. However, there is a lot in life that is far from symmetrical. Additionally, sometimes you would rather not see things end the way they began.

So it goes with the Houston Texans. When the year started way back on September 10, visiting M&T Stadium, the Texans were breaking in a new QB, new head coach, and generally hoping that things would not be as bad as they had been the previous years of the 2020 decade. There were flashes of promise, but that game ended in a 25-9 beating. Fast forward to January 20, 2024. Houston was on a magic carpet ride of a season. A winning record, a division title, and coming off a thorough beating of the Cleveland Browns. There was more optimism that Houston was a better team and that they maybe had better than a puncher’s chance in this game. For a half, they managed to keep it close and tied.

Then the second half. Baltimore, led by presumptive MVP Lamar Jackson and as brutal a defensive front seen in Baltimore since the early 2000s took over the game. Houston defense ran out of gas, the offense couldn’t move the ball, the M&T home crowd was fully engaged and Houston’s season ended as it began, with a no-doubt loss to the Baltimore Ravens. A tough loss, but overall, arguably the most pleasantly surprising season in franchise history.

As always, you Battle Red Blog masthead had their real time takes on this game. Whether braving the elements of single-digit wind chill temps or watching from the comfort of home, there was plenty of commentary. Also, plenty of emotion and colorful language used, so in classic Hair of the Dog tradition, we’ve edited those words for reading in more professional settings.

And now, for the last time for the 2023-24 Texans, on with the ‘Dog:

HAIR OF THE DOG DIVISIONAL ROUND: HOUSTON TEXANS @ BALTIMORE (OR THERE’S SOMETHING FAMILIAR ABOUT THIS PLACE…)

l4blitzer

Houston going for a lot of firsts today: 1st playoff road win, 1st Divisional Round win, 1st win in Baltimore…you get the picture

Vballretired

Okay, we get a 19th football game and none bigger than this. It’s time to bust out #Bartesian. Yes, it could be absolutely glorious or absolutely soul crushing. #Bartesian has you covered both ways. Drown your sorrows in a perfectly crafted [KITTEN]tail. Celebrate Texans dominance with a great new concoction. If it’s a nail biter you are good too. Calm those nerves with just the right mixture. Whiskey? Rum? Tequila? Vodka? Gin? Yup, they have mixtures for them all. As per usual, those of us at BRB would like to remind you not to drink and drive while enjoying Bartesian.

FizzyJoe

This is it! This is the biggest success story in the NFL, because of how unprecedented it is and the fact it’s still going on. This season has steamrolled into one of the best in Texans’ history, completely reshaping my view of what the Texans already are could be into the near future. All of the sudden, the Super Bowl window is open, and we’re as close as we’ve ever been right now. This team has tons of momentum, and I don’t know if any team can stop them. A rematch with Baltimore will be a perfect way to gauge how far this team has really come since Week 1. I’ll be happy regardless of what the outcome is, but MAN this victory would be so sweet. Pleeeeaase CJ Stroud and Nico Collins make my dreams come true pleeeeaase

vballretired

Jacksonville literally did it last year. It’s not unprecedented. Great? Yes. Unlikely? Yes. However, teams go worst to first literally every year. Let’s wait another four or five hours before calling this unprecedented.

l4blitzer

And so it begins

Patrick

Nice seats!

l4blitzer

Not my seat unfortunately. Just a perspective shot. I’m going to be way up at M&T…and yeah, it is cold

Patrick

Well here’s hoping the whole Stroud in cold weather thing isn’t a thing. And I’m sure your seats will be lovely wherever they are.

vballretired

I’ll bet.

I think it’s Stroud in wet

l4blitzer

Dropping some money here, but not THAT much money

It is more stroud in the rain

vballretired

I’m Al it’s certain he’s played in cold weather in Columbus

Patrick

Y’all are probably right, it’s rain I’m thinking of.

l4blitzer

This will be the view for the game

Patrick

Still pretty good.

l4blitzer

From where Fairbarin was warming up, looks like anything over 50 is going to be iffy. Was well short from 54-55

vballretired

Well that neutralizes Tucker as well

vballretired

15 minutes out

FizzyJoe

Let’s goooo!

Nice view

Oh man I’m so nervous

I’m at da sports bar for this game

Hope there’s a lot of happy yelling today

l4blitzer

I think I am completely surrounded by Ravens fans…so far, all cool

vballretired

Wearing Texans gear or going incognito?

We got Fubo going so I’ll likely be one play behind you guys

I’d love to be inside those pitch meetings when they randomly throw letters together and decide this is our new medication

Patrick

Fubo here too.

This is not conducive to a psychologically calm watching experience.

vballretired

Calm watching experience? What are those?

Patrick

It doesn’t exist but this is not going to help matters.

Texans won the toss and will receive!

That’s surprising.

vballretired

Okay let’s get nasty then

FizzyJoe

ITS TIME!!!!!

vballretired

First Texans possession

Patrick

Let’s kick this pig.

FizzyJoe

clowney revenge game

vballretired

No pig kicking on that play

Kenneth L.

Let’s gooo

vballretired

Not looking good

Patrick

Not uh...not ideal.

FizzyJoe

Well not a hot start

That’s okay we started slow against the browns last week too

Kenneth L

Rough 3 and out

vballretired

No run game might be a problem

l4blitzer

MVP chants starting

vballretired

First Ravens possession

First down Ravens

Patrick

[KIIITTTTEEENNNN]

vballretired

That’s better

[KITTEN]

Patrick

I hate Lamar Jackson.

vballretired

It’s a [KITTEN] cheat code

Patrick

[KITTEN] cheat code.

vballretired

Owe me a coke

We are screwed

Kenneth L.

They are driving

FizzyJoe

Christian Harris!!!

Patrick

Maybe, I don’t know, cover them or something novel like that?

vballretired

Nice play there

Patrick

Noice.

vballretired

Third down. Get off the [KITTEN] field

FizzyJoe

That shoestring tackle ended up being a very big play

vballretired

Get off the [KITTEN] field

Kenneth L.

I’ll take it

FizzyJoe

I’ll take a field goal

Kenneth L.

In the cold…

FizzyJoe

Now it’s time for Stroud Mode

vballretired

3-0 Baltimore leads

l4blitzer

Was kicking with wind at his back. Probably would go for it if going the other direction

vballretired

That might be a factor later

Patrick

Okay, trying this again.

vballretired

Texans 2nd possession

FizzyJoe

I do like the Singletary dump off every now and then

vballretired

Ok, that’s better

FizzyJoe

Time for Collins maybe

Kenneth L.

Run game looks horrible

Patrick

That is decidedly not better.

vballretired

Ok, maybe don’t run it on first down

Kenneth L.

Tepid

FizzyJoe

WOOOOO

Patrick

Very much not enjoying this. Much not a fan.

Kenneth L.

Kyle Hamilton is killing us

vballretired

How in the [KITTEN]?

Kenneth L.

He could’ve been a Texan

FizzyJoe

Singletary!

Patrick

SORCERER!

FizzyJoe

Laremy Tunsil just in time with the false start again

vballretired

MOAR flags

Kenneth L.

Laremy

Patrick

Oh boy, here we go.

vballretired

Ok, that works

FizzyJoe

Oh boy flag time

Ughhhh

vballretired

Just stop

Patrick

Of [KITTEN]ing course.

vballretired

Out of field goal range

Thanks refs

l4blitzer

Crowd getting to them

FizzyJoe

OH MY GOODNESS

vballretired

Mother[KITTEN]er

Kenneth L.

It’s gotta be loud there

Patrick

Oh [KITTEN] me.

Kenneth L.

Three penalties on this drive

FizzyJoe

Well that was a bust

vballretired

Well, that wasn’t on Stroud

Kenneth L.

The pass rush is really good

vballretired

Second Baltimore possession

FizzyJoe

They’re gonna start running the ball heavy now

Need a great game from the defensive line

l4blitzer

Annndddd we have the first shirtless guy of the day

vballretired

This is the best regular season team in the NFL. You need them to play badly or you need the game of your life.

Patrick

Maybe he’ll get frostbite and die.

FizzyJoe

I wanna see them frosty nips!

Now we just need a streaker

Patrick

I’m quite sick of hearing about Harbaughs.

vballretired

Maybe there’s a third brother that’s a doofus

Patrick

The Cooper Manning of Harbaughs?

vballretired

But dumber

Third down

FizzyJoe

Defense is locked in now!

Patrick

Just want the third leg of a family to work at like a Home Depot or something.

vballretired

MOAR flags

Patrick

Give me a [KITTEN]ing break with the flags.

FizzyJoe

Yeah if had both Harbaugh brothers were in my team’s stadium I’d be embarr[KITTEN]ed

vballretired

Ok it’s on them

So they punt

FizzyJoe

3 and out!

vballretired

Third Texans Possession

MOAR [KITTEN]ing flags

Patrick

NOBODY PAID HUNDREDS TO THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO WATCH YOU ZEBRAS!

Kenneth L.

Who even is that

vballretired

That’s four flags and we aren’t out of the first quarter

I’ve never turned down a game to go to the grocery store. That’s not a thing. It’s never been a thing. It will never be a thing.

Patrick

I demand to know how desperate for money Fubo is that they accepted a 45 second ad from a company that makes plastic office chair mats.

Kenneth L.

Clowney looks great

vballretired

STOP RUNNING ON 1st down

[KITTEN] Schultz

FizzyJoe

Schultz with the butter fingers

Kenneth L.

blech

Offense looks lost

FizzyJoe

NICO COLLINS!!!!

Patrick

I’ll be [KITTEN]ed.

Kenneth L.

Let’s good

vballretired

Still can’t afford these unforced errors

Kenneth L.

Good spot

What are we doing

vballretired

Fifth flag

Ok, that’s better

Kenneth L.

Gorgeous ball

vballretired

No running game will kill us

FizzyJoe

Oh man that was too close

vballretired

[KITTEN]

Patrick

DON’T DO THAT AGAIN.

Kenneth L.

Wow that could’ve easily been a TD

FizzyJoe

Man it’s a flag party!

Kenneth L.

Yall this is awful

vballretired

Durga [KITTEN] it all to whatever the Hindus call [KITTEN]

Patrick

This is the Jets game again.

vballretired

Can’t kick from here

They’ll try though

Kenneth L.

Oof let’s see

Patrick

Okay he’s good and cursed now, Buck just said he’s been having a good year.

FizzyJoe

Glory to the all fg offense!

Patrick

Tie game. I’ll take that after whatever the [KITTEN] I’ve been seeing on the field.

vballretired

3-3 Texans tie it up on a 50 yarder by Fairbairn

l4blitzer

The wind is picking up…and it is getting colder

Kenneth L.

So far I’ll take it

Quick quarter

vballretired

We are on pace to commit 24 penalties

Patrick

But what else is new?

vballretired

Third Ravens possession

FizzyJoe

Oh jeez

Please the [DURGA]s of football do something to stop Lamar Jackson

vballretired

I hate Lamar Jackson

FizzyJoe

He’s just so fast!

I don’t know what player on the Texans defense can keep up with him

Maybe like pitre or stingley or something

vballretired

There you go

FizzyJoe

[KITTEN]

vballretired

[GATITO]

Patrick

[KOSHKA]

vballretired

[KATZCHEN]

vballretired

Here it comes

FizzyJoe

Maliek Collins!

Shoot

vballretired

Nevermind

Third down. Make them kick

FizzyJoe

I HATE LAMAR JACKSON

l4blitzer

Really need a spy on Jackson

Patrick

Or a [KITTEN]ing bolt of lightning.

vballretired

Of course

Patrick

::begins eyeing Spec’s on DoorDash::

vballretired

They are actually playing decent rush defense on guys not named Jackson

FizzyJoe

Nooooo!!!!

Their offense is looking good

vballretired

Touchdown Ravens

Kenneth L.

That was a good drive

Ugh

Doesn’t quiet the crowd

l4blitzer

Stadium rocking after that…literally. ..and a fan fell down a couple of seats…

vballretired

10-3 Ravens with a touchdown pass to Aghilor

Patrick

vballretired

At least we won’t be shut out

Fourth Texans possession

FizzyJoe

Finally, a good CHUM

vballretired

Razzle dazzle

Bad spot

No

FizzyJoe

SHOOT

Patrick

So are these refs incompetent, corrupt, maybe a bit of both?

vballretired

Just no

Patrick

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh...

Kenneth L.

[DURGA] [KITTEN]

Patrick

I am displeased.

Kenneth L.

Just not a good call

Patrick

I am highly displeased.

Kenneth L.

Scruggs getting schooled

l4blitzer

Scruggs got eaten alive on that 3rd down

vballretired

Fourth Baltimore possession

That was a [KITTEN]ty spot on that second down play

Patrick

How long do you think the folks who made the ad for Pepto Bismol had to discuss what the signal would be to indicate diarrhea in that commercial?

Notice how I’m doing all I can to not talk about this game.

vballretired

Are chiropractors going to allow that home remedy to stand?

There you go

Patrick

Finally a sack!

FizzyJoe

ALRIGHTTTT

vballretired

Geez

Third down

FizzyJoe

Give the flag to the RAVENS

UGHHHH

I HATE THEM

l4blitzer

MOAR flags

Patrick

OH COME ON

vballretired

Of course

Of [KITTEN]ing course

Kenneth L.

Bad call

vballretired

For the love of Durga

Kenneth L.

Ball doesn’t lie baby

vballretired

That’s 20 yards then

FizzyJoe

CHRISTIAN HARRIS

He’s got Lamar’s number!

vballretired

Finally!

Kenneth L.

Good job!

He almost got out of it

vballretired

5th Texans possession

FizzyJoe

WOOOOOO

OH MY [DURGA]!!!!!

Patrick

WE’RE STILL IN THIS ONE!!!

vballretired

Scratch that. No possession

l4blitzer

Or, you could do that…crowd is now at quiet murmur

vballretired

10-10 on a 67 yard punt return by Steven Sims

Patrick

I’m halfway to collecting on one of my prop bets.

Kenneth L.

GAME ON

FizzyJoe

Yup!!!

Steven Sims just earned his entire paycheck on that one play

vballretired

Those are the kind of plays they have to have

Baltimore is legitimately better but a busted play here and there and…..

5th Baltimore possession

Patrick

If it bleeds we can kill it.

Oh boy Chris Berman interviewing Patrick Mahomes, I think I’d rather kill myself.

vballretired

We just need chip tech to shut down certain voices

FizzyJoe

CHRISTIAN HARRIS IS COOKINGGGG

vballretired

Third down

l4blitzer

Crowd is quiet

Patrick

They’re on offense.

FizzyJoe

3 and out again!!!!

vballretired

5th Texans possession…..maybe

Patrick

[KITTEN], that pick would’ve cracked the Ravens.

vballretired

No kidding

Let’s get a sustained drive

Patrick

Just something, anything, to let me think the offense has not completely lost its marbles.

vballretired

It’s not really them shutting us down as much as penalties and drops

FizzyJoe

LETS GO STROUD!!!

vballretired

There’s Hutchinson’s one catch

FizzyJoe

Not another false start

This is ridiculous

vballretired

This OL sucks [KITTEN]

Kenneth L

Ugh offense

Patrick

How the [KITTEN] do they clean up the penalties?

vballretired

Two minute warning

Patrick

[KITTEN] that went fast.

Kenneth L.

I have a wedding at 7 so I need it to end quick lol

vballretired

You’ll be the mayhem guy not paying attention to the wedding

l4blitzer

Throwing contest…more passion for that vs the BAL offense

FizzyJoe

NICO COLLINS!!!!

Oh my goodness oh my [DURGA]

vballretired

Nice

Patrick

::grumble, grumble:: Slowik only 36 years old, where’s my oatmeal ::grumble, grumble::

THAT’S BETTER!

FizzyJoe

Oh my goodness it’s happening

Oh my goodness

I don’t like Michigan but they’re starting to warm on me cuz of Nico Collins

vballretired

Collins again

Patrick

Gotta get the running game going somehow.

Have we tried connecting Singletary to a car battery?

vballretired

Darn it

Third down

Patrick

Ugh...

vballretired

Time out Texans

Patrick

Guess now’s as good a time as any, especially if it avoids the false start which might’ve made my head explode.

l4blitzer

Wind died down here

FizzyJoe

Aw man

Well as long as they get a field goal here

vballretired

Ok, Fairbairn time

l4blitzer

However, not a good kick there

FizzyJoe

NOOOOOO

Patrick

[KITTEN].

Kenneth L.

Awful kick

vballretired

No Good. It’s still 10-10

Kenneth L.

Special teams will be so important

Patrick

That kick is entirely FizzyJoe Buck’s fault.

vballretired

I bet it’s brutal licking in these conditions

Patrick

TWSS

FizzyJoe

SACK!!!!

vballretired

Yes!!!!!!!!

Patrick

Now we’re freakin’ talking!

l4blitzer

Crowd antsy

Now here comes the boos

FizzyJoe

TWO SACKS IN A ROW

vballretired

Again!!!’nnnnn

l4blitzer

When did we channel the ‘85 Bears ?

Patrick

[DUUURRRRGGGGAAAAA][KITTEN] YES!!!

vballretired

Third and forever

Timeout Texans

Patrick

Lamar going to the locker room early?

vballretired

Okay, Christian Harris gets half a game ball. If I told you it would be a tie game I suspect you’d take it. Obviously the offense committed WAY too many pre-snap penalties but it’s essentially 0-0 with 30 minutes to play. DeMeco making some excellent adjustments.

FizzyJoe

Great first half overall! It was rough at first and they’ve been inconsistent at keeping g Jackson contained, but they finished that 2nd quarter extremely hot. Offense was moving the ball, defense is SWARMING, and defensive line is looking better. If it wasn’t for the missed field goal, this would’ve been a perfect 2nd quarter. Texans are looking like they deserve to be here, and if they can keep this rolling in the 3rd quarter, i like our chances! we cant keep Lamar contained though, so points will have to start coming

Patrick

I mean that’s one thing to consider. This has been one of the worst halves of Texans football we’ve seen this season and we’re still tied with the Ravens.

If they iron out the penalties (pause for canned laughs) this could be winnable.

vballretired

There’s always Bartesian

Patrick

Third quarter. Steel thyselves.

vballretired

6th Ravens possession

[GATITO]

Patrick

Oh come on, not Harris!

FizzyJoe

Come on Texans!

vballretired

Better

FizzyJoe

Oh no not Harris

Shoot

vballretired

This is not good

Patrick

A pick six would be lovely right now.

vballretired

Well almost

Patrick

[KITTEN] Pitre, you almost redeemed yourself there.

vballretired

Touchdown Lamar Jackson

Patrick

Back to “we’re [KITTEN]ed” mode.

Kenneth L.

Just got punched in the mouth

l4blitzer

No contain up the middle…that is the Ravens’ best play

vballretired

17-10 Ravens on a 15 yard touchdown run from Lamar Jackson

FizzyJoe

SHOOT

Patrick

So we’re gonna adjust, right? We’re going to make this not happen again right there’s going to be a change from how they [didn’t] handled that play, right?

Because that [KITTEN]ing sucked.

vballretired

This reminds me of that 2011 Ravens playoff game

6th Texans possession

Decent play

Patrick

I hope Lamar Jackson gets a surprise veterinary bill that is significantly higher than he expected.

l4blitzer

Ravens killing the stretch run

vballretired

Why?

Kenneth L.

We can’t run

Shultz getting open

Patrick

I’ll take that.

vballretired

Ok. Don’t [KITTEN]ing run the ball

Kenneth L.

We can’t do anything with the run

Patrick

Great, now we’re [KITTEN]ed. Joe Buck just mentioned Stroud hadn’t been sacked yet.

vballretired

What did I just [KITTEN]ing say?

MOAR flags

Patrick

Against the Ravens. That’s different.

vballretired

On them

Don’t run the ball

Well that kind of run is ok

Patrick

Unless it’s Stroud, and even then don’t do it.

vballretired

Stroud is our leading rusher

Ok, that’s different

Patrick

Oooooh, do that again.

vballretired

Don’t do that again

Patrick

That was weird and dumb. Throw that play in the trash and set it on fire.

vballretired

Third down

Just a few yards short

l4blitzer

Another drive to nowhere. Ravens D too good on pursuit

Kenneth L.

Their defense is phenomenal

vballretired

7th Ravens possession

That first down call killed you

Patrick

The WT[K]ery pass didn’t help matters.

vballretired

Need a play

That’s not it

Patrick

If they can get eight YPC whenever they want this game is going to end fast.

vballretired

We are getting chummed

FizzyJoe

Oh [KITTEN]

Kenneth L.

I don’t like what’s happening. They are about to bust this open

vballretired

When you have ten seconds to throw

Patrick

You could’ve baked a [KITTEN]ing pie in the time that Lamar Jackson had in the pocket.

vballretired

Better but still

FizzyJoe

Blake cashman!

vballretired

Fourth down

FizzyJoe

I think they held him

Noooo don’t go for it

Patrick

This is going to end poorly.

FizzyJoe

Pleeeease don’t

vballretired

I hate Jackson

Patrick

I hope Lamar Jackson’s cat gets polio.

l4blitzer

Lamar running…and the MVP chants continued

FizzyJoe

Curse you, Lamar Jackson!

vballretired

Ok, something

l4blitzer

Uncle Mo with Baltimore now

vballretired

Maybe we will stop running the ball

Kenneth L.

Here we go

Patrick

I didn’t want to go to the Super Bowl anyway. It looks crowded.

FizzyJoe

Goodness gracious

vballretired

No 20th game for you

FizzyJoe

Turnover, please!

Kenneth L.

Need one

Patrick

59% of all plays are blitzes? Maybe we need to stop?

vballretired

Well [KITTEN]

l4blitzer

Ravens finding something on the defensive right side

vballretired

Nelson down

Patrick

Fine, shoot your prisoner.

l4blitzer

He’s up

Kenneth L.

Here come the injuries

vballretired

Concussion likely

FizzyJoe

Oh man

l4blitzer

We’ve matched our penalty total from week 1

vballretired

For the love of Pete guys

Kenneth L.

Cmon man

vballretired

They aren’t going to snap that. [KITTEN] it’s dumb.

End of the 3rd Quarter

Patrick

Will Anderson hurt.

vballretired

The story of this game will be two-fold. First, just too many little mistakes. Nothing huge but enough to derail you. Second, the Ravens are just a really good football team.

FizzyJoe

It just keeps pouring on

Kenneth L.

Nelson is done

Wait is Anderson hurt??

That was a great play call

FizzyJoe

NOOOO

vballretired

Isiah Likely with the touchdown catch

l4blitzer

Welp…if the oline and Stroud have anything left, now would be a good time

Patrick

I saw someone say that, but I have no confirmation.

l4blitzer

Surprised that Baltimore didn’t go to Likely sooner, given how we suck at covering the TEs

vballretired

24-10 Ravens on the 15 yard TD pass to Isiah Likely

FizzyJoe

[KITTEN]! [KITTEN]! [KITTEN]!

Sorry

vballretired

Ok, time to abandon the running game

FizzyJoe

Yea it’s all stroud time too

It’s now or never

Patrick

l4blitzer

Baltimore owning TOP by nearly 9 mins

vballretired

You seen the one with Ivan Drago?

Patrick

Remind me.

vballretired

One punch and little FizzyJoe is out

It’s on YouTube

Patrick

I’ll have to go look for it later.

l4blitzer

MOAR shirtless Big Dan…

vballretired

Texans Possession

Patrick

This is the kind of moment that defines a season. Do the Texans respond, or is this the prelude to the end of the season?

vballretired

Season has been defined at this point

Patrick

Okay, more like make or break.

Wait, that doesn’t work either. They need to respond now is my point if they want to keep it going.

vballretired

We will go with that

Stroud can at least build on his legend

Timeout Baltimore

FizzyJoe

Big time third down here

l4blitzer

Ravens Dline won that drive

Patrick

Yep, we’re done.

FizzyJoe

Don’t say it yet!!!

Turnover and we’re back in it

vballretired

Baltimore possession

Our offense has scored three points. I can’t put it on Stroud. We just played a better football team.

Patrick

l4blitzer

Ravens Super Mario Brothers

vballretired

Bartesian will mix that for you

FizzyJoe

Copyright infringement

vballretired

They are out of gas

Of course…..flags

The stupidest penalty in sports

Ask me if I give a [KITTEN] if two guys are moving?

FizzyJoe

See now the refs are gonna give the ravens some flags to make it look more balanced in the end

vballretired

I don’t think I’d run Jackson if I were them

FizzyJoe

Now Perryman is hurt

vballretired

Tired and hurt FizzyJoe

l4blitzer

He walked off…but this cold is really hurting

vballretired

Joe Buck and not our [Fizzy]Joe

Kenneth L.

The end is near

Patrick

So what kind of alcohol mixes best with Diet Dr. Pepper?

I’m thinking rum? I feel like rum is the answer but I don’t know.

vballretired

My only friend the end

Rum or bourbon

Patrick

Not a big bourbon guy so rum it is I guess.

vballretired

Whiskey?

FizzyJoe

At least I’m already drunk

Patrick

Eh, Scotch is about all I really touch when it comes to brown liquor.

vballretired

Bacardi then?

Patrick

Bacardi works.

l4blitzer

Anderson back in

FizzyJoe

Justice Hill my nuts

vballretired

Appleton if you got it

Anything to keep from talking football

Patrick

They’re completely gassed and I don’t blame them.

vballretired

2022 rushing defense activated

FizzyJoe

Yea really

At the worst possible time

There’s a good play from Greenard

vballretired

You just can’t have a game where your offense can’t sustain drives

l4blitzer

Some Texans [fans] just left…ah well…

Emphasis on 66 being eligible

Looks like Jackson ended the narrative of coming up short in home playoff games

vballretired

The story of this game will be Jackson. He was just too much. I’m sure Tank Dell and a better line would make a difference but this is a really good Baltimore team.

FizzyJoe

Oh man

That’s it

Ravens just choked out the Texans on that drive

vballretired

31-10 Ravens on Lamar Jackson’s second TD run

Patrick

This team had holes, so a Super Bowl run would’ve been highly improbable, but fun to ponder. But the great news is we have a full offseason with a ton of resources to fill those holes (preliminary TWSS).

l4blitzer

Have we only had 3 possessions, or 2 in the second half…

vballretired

Plus that’s 100 yards rushing for him

Three I think but I could be wrong

That coke commercial was just weird

l4blitzer

So much shirtless Big fan Dan…

vballretired

Texans possession

l4blitzer

Overall…a house money season. Expectations start now

vballretired

Challenge on kickoff

FizzyJoe

Man…

vballretired

That’s a [KITTEN] move

Patrick

This is definitely the most rookie game C.J. Stroud has had all season, I think.

l4blitzer

When you have as many points as penalties…

vballretired

Holding on the offense

Is it on him though?

Another penalty

l4blitzer

More penalties than points

vballretired

This game is not on Stroud

FizzyJoe

Well now that’s super it

Even more than the first game?

vballretired

Scrub time

Patrick

I’m not saying it’s on Stroud, it’s absolutely not on him. It’s probably more a testament to the Ravens defense than anything else.

vballretired

Plus just not having weapons. Getting someone better than Woods as the third receiver is a must

Dell is good but being tiny means you need insurance

l4blitzer

Ravens Dline and Jackson won this game…no shame in that this year

FizzyJoe

Absolutely. Dell returning will be a big boost for the offense next season, but a third big receiver (either from the draft or free agency) would do wonders for the offense

I also think defensive tackle and anywhere on offensive line would be good targets for the draft this year

l4blitzer

Really need help/depth at guard next round

vballretired

That and a better second back than Pierce

I feel like you load up with as much offensive talent as possible

l4blitzer

Now it is the Delvin Cook show…if only Gordon didn’t fumble all the time…coulda been him

vballretired

Two minute warning

31-10 Ravens

34-10 Ravens on another Tucker field goal

l4blitzer

Pierce in on the kick return

FizzyJoe

What a crummy game

l4blitzer

And he fumbled…

Patrick

Fine. Sure. Whatever.

FizzyJoe

Still though, despite this loss, this was a fantastic season. The Texans went farther than I ever could’ve dreamed of, and basically punched their Super Bowl window open for the next several years. I am fully on board for the CJ Stroud era. This was the best year I’ve ever had covering the Texans, and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 8 months

vballretired

Of course Pierce fumbled. Of course he did.

l4blitzer

Texans running to end the game. Heading out to try to recover feeling in my toes and fingers

FizzyJoe

Poor Texans :(

Absolutely fantastic season, though. Let’s go all in on next year

FINAL: HOUSTON 10 - BALTIMORE 34: HOUSTON FALLS TO 0-8 IN GAMES AT M&T STADIUM, 0-5 IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS AND 0-5 IN ROAD PLAYOFF GAMES.

Patrick

GAME BALLS:

LB Christian Harris: Once again, Harris had himself quite the game. In particular, his work in the first half to limit Lamar Jackson did much to keep Houston in the game. He finished the day with seven tackles (six solo), a TFL and a QB hit. He also earned some good admiration from the Baltimore crowd (who does know something about good LB play).

PR/KR Steven Sims: A player on the roster who was noted for some explosiveness, he managed to make a significant impact when the game was still in the balance. His 67-yard punt return for a TD showcased his speed and determination, shaking off some form tackles from the Baltimore special teamers. He also chipped in two kick returns for a combined 52 yards, offering Houston some not terrible field position during the game.

Baltimore Defensive Line: Gotta give full marks to that lineup. While Lamar literally and figuratively ran over the Texans’ defense, the Baltimore D-line made life a living [KITTEN] for Stroud and the Houston offense. They shut down the stretch runs from Singletary and while they didn’t sack Stroud and had the same number of hits on the QB as Houston (five), they forced Stroud to scramble around and disrupted the timing that has been so critical to Houston’s success. To win a Super Bowl these days, you need a hot QB and a hot DL. Right now, Baltimore seems to have that well in hand. They keep this play up, Baltimore might secure its third Lombardi trophy since 1999.

SHOULD BE FORCED TO...YOU KNOW WHAT, NOPE, GONNA TO DO THIS:

True, from the Texans’ perspective, there was a LOT that went wrong and it can be called out (six pre-snap penalties on offense, Fairbairn missing a key FG, the defense unable to stop Jackson, Slowik going with the weirdest, most complicated looking 1st down play that ended the last effective drive the Texans had in the game, etc). HOWEVER, this season was the definition of “house money”. That the team even got to the Division round, that they were tied at the half with the best team in the NFL in their house, a house of horrors for Houston, and given everything that has happened since 2019, I feel that we can leave out the negative call out for now. The overall season is a win, and therefore, we’ll skip this part.

SUPER-DUPER-MOST-AWESOMEIST-GAME BALL POSSIBLE:

Why, to you, the Texans’ fanbase, of course. Not just because you read this article on this fan site. The reason is that after suffering through the worst stretch of football in Texans’ history, on and off the field, when the team was not only bad, but oh so boring to watch, Houston was actually fun to watch, and they actually gave the fans a reason to care and give a [KITTEN] about the team. For those that stuck it out during the dark times, this was a most welcome season of relief and joy. For those who are coming back into the fold, welcome back. No judgements here, as given all that is going on in life, if you chose not to burden yourself with a wreck of a team that was Houston, can’t argue that. Now, we all look forward to what should be a fun off-season and the promise that the next few seasons should hold.

With that, we bid farewell to the 2023-24 Houston Texans’ season. See y’all back around the draft and/or the return of preseason football.