By John P. Lopez
How often do Texans fans feel like their team just doesn’t get enough national respect?
Often, obviously. It’s always a trending topic on our airwaves and on blogs and posts everywhere.
The cold, hard truth, however — amplified by Tom Brady’s dismantling of the Texans on Monday Night Football — is that the Texans have failed when it comes to facing the best quarterbacks in the league.
With the playoffs fast-approaching, the Texans may have been one of the first NFL teams to secure a spot in the post-season, but unless a disturbing trend in Big Boy football games reverses, it may also be an early exit.
The five best QBs the Texans have faced this year have been Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford and Tom Brady. You could add Joe Flacco, but I won’t, because he’s frankly not an upper-tier QB. And since Cutler was knocked out early of the Texans’ sloppy win in Chicago, it wouldn’t be fair to include him in this analysis.
Thus, against Manning, Rodgers, Stafford and Brady, what the Texans defense has done begs two questions:
Have they been figured out? Or is the D simply not equipped to stop or even slow down upper-tier quarterbacks?
Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Tom Brady are averaging 347.5-yards passing and leading their teams to an average of 37.25 points against the Texans defense.
Worse, the Texans have just nine sacks against those four QBs, while giving up 14 passing touchdowns and grabbing ZERO interceptions.
The overall record is 2-2 and, indeed, the Texans own a 3-2 record in “prime time” games, but the points and yards allowed simply make for a recipe for disaster come the post-season.
That’s especially true when you consider that Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has had his five worst statistical games in the five prime-time games, as my partner, Nick Wright, has pointed out.
Who else has struggled in prime time? Just about everyone on the defensive side of the ball not named J.J. Watt.
Big Boy Football is just around the corner. So, too, is a potential elite quarterback in Andrew Luck.
It’s time for the Texans defense to put on their big-boy football pants.