Reporting Paul Gallant
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What can you really say after a disaster like that? Honestly…not much. This team has a major flaw. And that problem isn’t fixable this season. The sooner we all accept that, the better.
Here’s what I took away from Sunday’s 23-20 “WHY, WHY, WHY, WOULD YOU EVER THROW THAT PASS?” OT loss to the Seahawks.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Ground & Pound
The Texans didn’t have Duane Brown for a second straight game – this time against the NFL’s number one ranked defense. All they did was run 35 times for 151 yards. Pretty damn good considering the circumstances.
But it wasn’t all dandy…meaning we’ll have criticism in this “positive energy” zone. Ben Tate’s fumble was the first domino to fall before the Seahawks’ comeback, setting Seattle up for an easy field goal.
I’m very curious to see if Gary Kubiak phases Tate ENTIRELY out of the gameplan because of that gaffe…something he seemed to do last year. Remember that fumble in Denver? And how his role in the offense dramatically changed afterwards? I know injuries affected him last season, but they weren’t holding him back in the last few games. Kubes was.
The Passing Game…for the most part
Well, it wasn’t perfect. Obviously. That said, the receivers produced against a stingy secondary:
Andre Johnson – 9 catches, 110 yards
Owen Daniels – 6 catches, 72 yards
Arian Foster – 6 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD
Garrett Graham – 5 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD
There’s a huge elephant in the room that I’ll get to later. And no, it wasn’t that DeAndre Hopkins only had 3 targets (2 receptions for 27 yards).
It was completely dominant (outside of a 43 yard run by Marshawn Lynch)…for a while. More on that later. First enjoy these stats:
Brian Cushing – 9 total tackles, 1 QB hit
J.J. Watt – 8 total tackles, .5 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, 3 QB hits
Whitney Mercilus – 6 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits
Antonio Smith – 4 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 QB hits
Russell Wilson was under constant fire from the Texans front (which may have been a result of Seattle’s shaky/injury ravaged line), who sacked him 5 times, and hit him 5 more. The rush forced a rare interception…and hell, even BROOKS REED had a sack.
But…the success wouldn’t last.
WHAT WENT WRONG
…Until Brian Cushing Vanished
Brian Cushing disappeared midway through the third quarter with what turned out to be a concussion. And with him went the Texans’ ability to contain Russell Wilson. Wilson ran circles around the Texans (10 carries, 77 yards) like a talented Christian Ponder. And that was all the Seahawks needed. Wilson’s tiny legs – not his arm – pulled Seattle from the jaws of defeat.
The Texans had 14 penalties for 133 yards last week in Baltimore…a team record. It’s pretty much impossible to do worse. Still, 6 penalties for 86 yards isn’t much better. Especially with these big penalties in mind:
- Johnathan Joseph’s 33 yard pass interference penalty (which set Seattle up for their first field goal)
- Eddie Pleasant’s 15 yard penalty for head-butting on a punt return (he is a penalty machine on special teams)
- Daryl Sharpton’s 15 yard horse collar penalty
- Kareem Jackson’s 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty (which put Seattle in range for the game winning field goal)
He’s Far From The Most Popular Guy…But Don’t Kill Him
Poor Matt Schaub. Don’t worry, that’s the last time I’ll say this. The guy got KILLED Sunday (4 sacks, 12 QB hits) behind his offensive line…one that hasn’t been very good in pass protection this season:
- @ San Diego – 2 sacks, 6 QB hits allowed
- V Tennessee – 2 sacks, 8 QB hits allowed
- @ Baltimore – 3 sacks, 7 QB hits allowed
It ain’t easy protecting for a statue. But you have to be better.
Oh…and THAT Guy
- An early forced interception
- Then, arguably the stupidest interception EVER given its circumstances. Seriously. Turtle bro.
- Which happened to be returned for a touchdown…
- Making it three straight games with a pick 6 for Schaub…
- Including 2 straight losses, making him 4-6 in his last 10 games
And Gary Kubiak says being a “winner” sets Matt Schaub apart from other QB’s. Those 5 bullet points have me sold!
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