Reporting Paul Gallant
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Well, that was quite the train-wreck. The good news? The Texans have cupcakes like the Seahawks, 49ers, and Chiefs to drool over in the coming weeks.
Oh wait…that’s a bad thing. Speaking of bad, here’s what I took away from Sunday.
What Went Right
Once again, the Texans were dominant defensively, at least early on. A streaker could have stayed on the field longer than Joe Flacco and the gang, who where hopelessly under-matched from the start due to injuries. The run game? Non-existent. And outside of a couple of big receptions by Torrey Smith, the same could be said about Baltimore’s pass attack. Give credit to J.J. Watt (9 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack) and company for doing their part (outside of forcing takeaways…something they’ve done just 5 times in the last 9 games).
Once again…Andre Johnson went down with an injury (shin). And once again, DeAndre Hopkins stepped up. Boy did he need to, because we all know how Matt Schaub loves to lock onto one target and force feed him the ball all game. Hopkins (6 catches, 60 yards) was a rare bright spot, with the occasional contribution from Keshawn Martin (2 catches, 35 yards.
What If Shane Was One Of Us?
I’m amazed Shane Lechler isn’t already in the Hall of Fame. The guy is a machine, pinning Baltimore at their own 1, 4, and 11. And when he isn’t giving the opposition abysmal field position, he’s busy booming 58 or 59 yard beauties. As for the punt coverage…
I Read A Philosophy Book Written By Genghis Khan, Bro
I haven’t seen Arian Foster run that physical since the last time the Texans were in Baltimore (January 2012). Breaking tackles. Running angry. It’s a shame the Texans fell into such a hole and had to abandon the run…it was working well. We’ll see if he can bring that same intensity to the field next week.
Ed Reed Looked Less Homeless
Amazing what a helmet can do.
What Went Wrong
Be Specific You Douche-Canoe
This was a BAD, BAD, BAD game for Matt Schaub. But you knew that already. He was living in a check-down world, averaging just 5.5 yards per throw and leading his team to a glorious 25% conversion rate (3-12) on third down (marked by our favorite drinking game initiator…throwing to receivers well short of the first on third down!).
Oh…and he threw that game changing pick-6 to Daryl Smith. Which he telegraphed completely by locking onto Owen Daniels. Something he does a lot. Sigh.
His Pass Protection
I’ll give Schaub this at least: once again, his O-Line was an abomination in pass protection (which it has been the the last two weeks).
We knew the O-Line would struggle a little bit against the Ravens (Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are dangerous especially with Duane Brown out). But boy, were they bad Sunday, especially Derek Newton and Wade Smith. Schaub was sacked 3 times, and never really seemed comfortable in the pocket.
A Joe Marciano Moment!
Randy Bullock and Shane Lechler’s legs had covered up the Texans kick coverage issues the first two weeks. But they couldn’t on this punt. And then we asked ourselves why Joe Marciano wasn’t fired after last season.
…And more importantly, how Dan Dierdorf became psychic.
Yellow, Yellow, Everywhere
Those yellow flags were by far Sunday’s biggest annoyance. The Texans were penalized a team record 14 times (for a whole lot of holdings and offsides) for 113 yards on the game. That’s bad…mostly.
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