Tuesday, November 30, 2010
WEEKLY TEXAN REPORT: TENNESSEE TITANS - SEAN GARZA - NOVEMBER 30, 2010
WEEKLY TEXAN REPORT: TENNESSEE TITANS
Written by: Sean Garza
Date posted: 11/30/2010
With the season spiraling out of control quickly, the Houston Texans found themselves neck deep in a 4-game losing streak and sitting all alone in last place in the AFC South. The defense is really struggling to stop anything or anyone. They are making so many no-names famous that the defense’s nickname should be “Hollywood”.
The offense is playing better, but they can’t seem to put together a full 4 quarters of football together. They get a lead early and blow it late or they don’t wake up from their winter hibernation until halftime when they're already down by 20. They are a tough team to read. With the Texans sitting at 4-6, they need a win desperately or they could possibly be looking for coach Gary Kubiak’s replacement.
On the menu this week is the Tennessee Titans; a division rival and the Texans “bizarro” brother. On one side, the Texans are the constant professionals. Their behavior and sometimes their “play’ are a reflection of their head coach. In the other corner, the Tennessee Titans are physical, in your face, and apparently have some questionable characters in their lineup.
The Titans, however, come to town limping hard. QB and “Texan Killer”, Vince Young, is out with a thumb injury and a major case of “Peter Pan-itis” (someone who wants to play grown up, but who is still a kid who never will grow up). WR Kenny Britt sat out with a injury and offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was recently diagnosed with an unknown form of cancer. On a personal note, my thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Heimerdinger and hope he makes a full recovery. Needless to say, the Titans had more drama then a Mexican novella.
The main attractions of the game would have been the two running backs, Chris Johnson and Arian Foster. Johnson is just flat out explosive and has the ability to break a TD anytime he wants. Arian Foster is the league’s leading rusher with over 1,000 yards through 10 games and fits perfectly in the zone-blocking scheme that the Texans have.
Another matchup to look for is the Texans defense vs. starting and previous third string QB of the Titans Rusty “I want to be famous too” Smith. Unfortunately, I have seen this movie before. A team that the Texans play, down multiple playmakers and are ripe for the pickings usually come back to slap us straight in the face like Rick James did to Charlie Murphy. If the Texans wanted to take advantage of this match-up then their actions would need to speak louder then their words.
Well, they wasted no time in allowing those actions to speak. On the first defensive play from scrimmage, Mario Williams got himself a sack. The defense started strong, but again this road has been traveled before. The first quarter was pretty uneventful with a lack of offense as far as scoring, but Arian Foster was running the ball well and Andre Johnson was involved in the offense early.
The second quarter is where the Texans struck first. Matt Schaub finding Joel Dreessen for a 1-yard touchdown. The Texans take a 7-0 lead. The Texans defense continued to hold the Titans to very little offense throughout the first half. With about 5 minutes to go in the half, Schaub threw his second touchdown of the game by hitting Andre Johnson for a 2-yard TD. It was 14-0 Texans as the half came to a close.
The third quarter was a bit of a snoozer offensively. It was a lot of moving the ball and punting for the most part from both teams. The Texans added a field goal from Neil Rackers to extend the lead to 17-0 going into the fourth quarter. The Texans defense continued to impress throughout three quarters of football. The Titans managed to put together about 100 or so yards of total offense, as they entered the final quarter. The snoozer quickly turned into a shot of electricity as the fight people have been wanting to see forever finally took place. No, Floyd Mayweather still won’t fight Manny Pacquiao, so good luck on that.
The pot of stew with Andre Johnson and Titans CB Cortland Finnegan finally boiled over and spilled into a fist fight. I’m not exactly sure when this started, but given the history between those two, it probably started on the first snap of the game. The two had been exchanging words and probably elbows all game. However, there were two plays that have been highlighted since Sunday.
They were back-to-back plays and neither were pass plays. First, Johnson and Finnegan got very physical on a block with Johnson finishing it off with a push in the back. On the next play, Finnegan went at Johnson with his hands in Johnson’s face and it was on. Johnson taking Finnegan’s helmet off, Finnegan taking Johnson’s helmet off and after a spin move Finnegan hit the “duck and cover” position. He was ducking and covering himself from the three blows that Johnson landed on Finnegan’s head.
Afterwards, the two were separated and ejected from the game. Although Johnson left the field, you could tell that he wanted a lot more of Finnegan. On the positive, Johnson did what probably every WR that Finnegan covers wanted to do. Finnegan is a punk. Many say he plays dirty. Some say he’s just aggressive. Perhaps he was just upset because the Texans were putting a whooping on the Titans or maybe because someone told him that Andre stole his pot o’ gold. Regardless, he bit off more then he can chew.
The Texans went on to shut out the Titans 20-0. The defense had what they desperately needed, which was a low-scoring and turnover-prone opposition. Glover Quinn had three interceptions to seal the shutout, but the real story was “The Takedown in H-Town” (sorry, it’s the best I got).
After the game, Andre spoke to the media and apologized to the Texans and his teammates saying “that wasn’t me”. That is very true. Andre is pure class and his actions were very “not ‘Dre”. He mentioned that he knew that he would be disciplined and that he would accept whatever that punishment would be. Finnegan, on the other hand, cleaned out his locker and supposedly left the stadium before the media had the opportunity to interview him. Stay classy "Finnagoon".
Late Monday, the NFL announced that both Johnson and Finnegan would be fined $25,000 and would not be suspended. Good news for Texan fans because they have a game Thursday night against the always tough Philadelphia Eagles. The Texans have always had trouble with a mobile Vince Young; however, now they have to deal with a mobile and more accurate passer in Michael Vick. Along with speedy DeSean Jackson that defense for the Texans will have their hands full.
As of right now, the wild card doesn’t appear to be in the future, however with Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Tennessee all losing on Sunday, the division crown is well within striking distance. They are currently one game back with five games to play with two division games left against the Titans and Jacksonville. The Texans are wobbly in the playoff fight, but one more loss could be the knockout blow and put them down for the count.
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