The Texans’ run defense and do-just-enough offense was a cantankerous clanging piece of metal composed of different conjoined pieces during their nine game win streak. They beat bad passing offenses that couldn’t throw the ball, and aside from Denver, couldn’t run the ball either, but did so anyways because it was the safer alternative. Throw in a reversal of one possession game luck from 0-3 to 5-3, and now 6-3, and you have the Texans as the current #2 seed in the AFC.
There were holes in that area between the shoulder and back plate where the heart could be reached from behind. Shot from above, and at a downward angle, the clavicle was exposed. Last week the Colts were the first team since the Colts to take advantage of Houston’s cornerback play, and finally threw the ball downfield against them. On defense they blitzed Deshaun Watson, similarly how Cleveland did in the second half, and Tennessee and Indy did in earlier matchups, to keep Watson in the pocket and create immediate pressure.
Beating the Jets by seven isn’t ideal. New York created six blitzed five at a time, and used stunts to confuse Houston’s offensive line, and rushed around the chipping and the pulling to bring down Watson six times. Sam Darnold has been awful this year with spats of sublime. He had thrown 15 interceptions, was without his two best running backs and Quincy Enunwa, and was still able to roll outside the pocket, pick the holes in Houston’s zone coverage, and find Robbie Anderson open against man coverage. They did the same sort of things Indy did. It worked. The Jets ended up losing, but they lost a game most were expecting to be a slaughter.
Last week’s game isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s welcomed, and not even in a masochistic sense. These holes have been there the entire season. Teams just weren’t targeting them, and instead were banging maces and morning stars and halbreds into Houston’s chest. This way of winning games wasn’t going to work in January. Aside from Baltimore and Tennessee, each one of the AFC playoff teams can both throw the football and shred Houston’s secondary. Tennessee and Baltimore could blitz Houston and create pressure, and make it mucky enough to play a close game where anything could happen. 2018 was assumed to be come clattering apart upon January.
But now at least Houston can be ready for it. Travis Benjamin out running Shareece Wright won’t be some enormous surprise, the Ravens blitzing seven and sacking Watson ten times won’t be a shock. The Texans now sees these underlying problems that were there all along, and can plan ahead and prepare for it.
With Watson throwing the ball downfield to DeAndre Hopkins more, the Texans figuring out how to quick throw to beat the blitz, J.J. Watt rushing from the interior and taking control of the defense, Whitney Mercilus back edge rushing, and Wright benched, it looks like a realization. January doesn’t seem like an impending unseen disaster. The Texans are actually planning ahead and preparing. Despite a seven point win against a crappy team, I’m more optimistic than before that Houston can actually go farther than the Divisional Round for the first time in franchise history.
The Houston Texans Are 6-0 In One-Score Games After Starting 0-3, But Also:
The offense was 1 for 9 on third downs and had to go with Alfred Blue after Lamar Miller suffered an ankle injury. How’d that work out? Blue carried 9 times for 6 yards!!
I hope Hop and Miller are OK. Outside of an update on their leg injuries, the story of the week will be why it took so long to replace Wright with Colvin.
Tough win. Uglier games than they should be, which sucks the fun out of watching a team that should be performing much better than they have this year. It should feel so much better being a fan of an NFL team with 10 wins at this point. The Texans can do better than what we are seeing.
I would rather be dragged naked through a few miles of broken glass than to ever hear those announcers again. The NFL can do better than what we are hearing.
Ugh! Whatever. Glad they won. Back to something more enjoyable to continue the weekend.
Kill The Cliche:
My testicles dropped off my body watching that play and poofed into dust as as they hit the carpet.— Seth Payne (@SethCPayne) December 16, 2018
Houston Texans fans have been treated to a tremendous amount of stupid football this season, and this game was no exception. It’s also yet another game where the Texans played down to their opponent. This game should not have been close, yet, Marvin O’Brain’s offense continually played for the field goal, and the secondary is populated my massive holes of incompetence.
The best thing that happened to the Texans all game is that they fell behind. The befuddling strategy to give Alfred Blue the ball at all costs...well, it was going to eventually cost us the game.
Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins are a pretty fantastic pair of players. Maybe the former throwing the ball to the latter is a kittening good idea.
There’s So Much Beauty In The World:
All I want for Christmas is a pro bowl caliber left tackle and a pair of all-pro guards in a pear tree. Even I’m tired of listening to me beat the offensive line drum, but man, this team would look so different with a top five offensive line. Deshaun Watson wouldn’t hold the league lead in sacks taken, the run game wouldn’t look anemic, and the scoreboard would have much higher numbers on our side of it every week. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue looked lost, but maybe that’s due to an utter lack of open run lanes. But, until Brian Gaine gets a chance to address it this coming off-season, all we can do is praise Deandre Hopkins and the All-Field Goal Offense for making sure Houston has double digit wins for the first time in the Bill O’Brien era.
Don’t Count The Chickens, But Count The Eggs:
Looking at possible tiebreaks...— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 17, 2018
NE-HOU: New England has it on head-to-head.
KC-HOU: Likely comes down to strength of victory at 12-4. HOU has a .454-.429 edge on ESPN. Unsure how much changes over last two weeks.
LAC-HOU: HOU wins on common opponents if LAC loses to DEN. (1/2)
I WILL BEGIN THIS ENTRY WITH THE CEREMONIAL SOUNDING OF THE AIR RAID SIREN!
I picked the Texans to win in a blowout. I said if they struggled, it was a sign they were a paper tiger. Now that this has come to fruition, I still think the Texans can do damage in the playoffs, but it’s all contingent upon Romeo Crennel getting in the lab and making some changes in anticipation of what competent passing attacks will do to the Texans.
IN OBSERVANCE OF THE COMPLETION OF THIS, THE INAUGURAL PARAGRAPH OF THIS ENTRY, WE SHALL SOUND THE AIR RAID SIREN!!
[air raid siren sounds]
The Texans barely did enough to get by a bad football team. Rookie Sam Darnold had a nice outing against a defense that is tough on rookie quarterbacks. Did you like that? Or was it just kinda “meh”? I think it was one of those thoughts that is interchangeable and not very insightful. HOWEVER it was, in fact, a sentence, so this obviously merits ANOTHER MOTHERKITTENING AIR RAID SIREN!!! HERE, WE REWARD THE MOST BANAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH REPEATED, PUNISHING NOISE!!!
[AIR RAID SIREN SOUNDS FOR FOUR STRAIGHT MINUTES - EVERYONE BLEEDS BUT STRANGELY, FOLKS SEEM ACCEPTING OF THIS]
Wow - damn, I appreciate recognition for something that really- [AIR RAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
Jesus God, okay well I should make this [SIREN] quick because [SIREN] I am about to [SIREN] have a kittening nervous [SIREN] breakdown.
OKAY JESUS, FOR KITTEN’S SAKE LET ME SPEAK (ducks into a nearby shelter). The Texans really need to step it up if they are going to win in Philly next week. The Jets didn’t have some of their better skill position players, they’re banged up, and Houston had to rely on some late-game magic from Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins to secure this win. When the defense absolutely needed to tighten up, they did so with little time left in the game. So yeah, it ain’t great that the Texans struggled so mightily to beat this bad Jets football team, but they came through in the clutch at the end, and have themselves in a position to win out and secure a first-round playoff bye. This NEEDS to happen for the Texans to have a deep playoff run!
That’s all for now! My brain is a mushroom cloud of NOISE!!!! [SSSIIIIRRREEENNNNNN]