WEEKLY TEXAN REPORT: JACKSONVILLE
Written by: Sean Garza
Date posted: 11/16/2010
I’m sure we have all heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Well, that old dog is the Houston Texans and the new trick is winning. After the Texans busted out with a 3-1 record to start out the 2010 season, they have managed to go 1-4 in their last 5 games. They have almost single-handedly eliminated themselves from not only the AFC South title, but they have pretty much lost a playoff spot.
I say almost because they are not “mathematically eliminated” from either, however, you are asking a defense that couldn’t cover themselves in a blanket to basically win six out of their last seven games or possibly go undefeated for the remainder of the season for a chance to make it to the playoffs. That’s right! For the Texans to go on that kind of run doesn’t even guarantee themselves a playoff spot.
Let’s see, the Jets, Titans, Eagles, Ravens, Titans, Broncos and finally the Jaguars I’m pretty sure aren’t going to lie down and let us walk into a possible playoff berth. If they want it then they need to take it. They don’t need to sit back and hope it falls into their lap. They need to take it upon themselves, play with intensity, play with a purpose, and play like their job is on the line because at this rate they are!
I’m not just talking about players. I’m taking about coaches and upper management. Don’t get me wrong though because I am very grateful to Bob McNair for bringing football back to Houston. In my sports-filled heart, I will always be grateful and thankful for that. Who knows, I may even say a quick thanks to him at the Thanksgiving table as I determine how much turkey and dressing I’m about to put away. That feeling can only keep you up so long before you realize that the product on the field is not working.
I think Gary Kubiak is a very, very good offensive coordinator. I wish he would stay with the Texans, but no longer as the head football coach. After this season, he will have had five years to get us where we want to go. We want to get to the playoffs and then the Super Bowl. The offense has been constructed to get us there.
Andre Johnson is an all-world wide receiver, however, if the Texans don’t make the playoffs this year then Johnson will be a 30-year-old receiver. I’m sure he will be productive, but he is not getting any younger. Matt Schaub will be 30-years-old next year and Owen Daniels will be 28. Jacoby Jones is a very athletic talent, but I understand now why Gary Kubiak always had a problem with him. If I’m counting correctly, this is the third game in a row where Jacoby was unable to haul passes that can either keep drives alive or keep momentum going in long drives.
Now that I’m on the subject of Jacoby, he really needs to break out of his special teams slump. Even the untrained football eye can tell that he is struggling. My sister asked me during the game “Why doesn’t he go to one side and go?” She is a casual football fan, but roots for the Texans and she even realizes that he is not doing his job.
The defense deserves their own article. However, I’ll try to keep it to two paragraphs. First off, the Texans need to relieve Frank Bush of his defensive coordinator duties. Gary Kubiak’s hand-picked successor to Richard Smith made some strides last year, however, this year the defense hasn’t impressed one bit. The Texans' defense ranks last in the NFL in total defense and also in passing defense. The defense’s only sliver of light is that the Texans rank 15th against the run.
When nine games go by and your defense is allowing a minimum of 28 points per game something has to give. If I were the Texans, I would let Frank Bush go and do whatever I can to get Ray Rhodes to call the plays on defense for the remaining 7 games. I know he is with the Texans as an assistant to the defensive backs, but he has experience as a defensive coordinator and as a head coach. I have heard that he is not interested in doing so and I would understand that, however it doesn’t hurt to make a big push for it. The worst case scenario is we are exactly where we are now and if that’s true then the fans will get exactly what they want in a change of command with Kubiak (and possibly Rick Smith), Frank Bush, and everyone else gone and hopefully a take charge kind of coach in.
Now that I have read the Texans the riot act, allow me to get a quick recap of the Jaguars victory over Houston. The first quarter was rather uneventful. A few long drives from both teams ended up with pretty automatic field goals. As the 2nd quarter began, I was amazed to see that the Texans actually got through a quarter of football without allowing a touchdown. I actually thought that they could possibly go into the half only allowing a field goal.
Of course, I was let down from that notion rather quickly. The Texans front seven opened up some running lanes larger then the recent expansion to the Katy Freeway allowing “pocket hercules” Maurice Jones-Drew to run for two touchdowns in the latter half of the 2nd quarter. At halftime, the Jauguars led the Texans, 17-3. The offense pulled a disappearing act and the defense had done what it has been doing all year, which is giving up yardage and a lot of them.
The 3rd quarter was a perfect example of what the Texans CAN be. The offense put up 2 touchdowns (Arian Foster 1 yard TD run and Andre Johnson 9 yard TD catch) and held the Jaguars scoreless for a full quarter. The 4th quarter began with the score tied at 17 with the Texans definitely having momentum. Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee missed a field goal to start the 4th quarter, so I thought for sure karma was on the side of the Texans.
After half of the 4th quarter was over, the scored was still tied at 17 until Jaguar TE “the other” Zach Miller caught a 52-yard touchdown after a missed tackle from Texan CB Glover Quinn. With five plus minutes remaining, the Texans still had a chance. With a little over two minutes to go in the 4th quarter, Matt Schaub hit WR Kevin Walter with an 18-yard touchdown. I’m sure Texans fans were holding their collective breath as Walter caught the ball in the end zone. However, as he was bringing the ball up to show the referee it came out and hit the ground. It was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but after a Houston challenge it was determined that Walter caught the ball and had possession when he hit the ground.
I didn’t have a good feeling after that touchdown because the Jaguars had about two minutes to move the ball up the field. The positive is that the Texans had all three timeouts and were able to stop the clock with a little under two minutes to go in the game. The Jaguars were able to get into field-goal range and brought out Josh Scobee who missed a field goal earlier to win it. Scobee teased us Texans fans again by missing another field goal giving them great field position, but it cost the Texans because they lost all their timeouts.
The Texans were driving and within 10 yards of field goal range, however, Joel Dreessen fumbled a catch on a 3rd and 15 giving the ball back to Jacksonville with less then a minute to go. After an offsides penalty from DE Antonio Smith getting Jacksonville to about mid-field.
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