[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ted Johnson won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and every week he’ll give us his takeaways from the week that was. Now you can hear him on the “Fred & Ted Show” on SportsRadio 610]
Week 10: Ted’s Takeaways
1. “Every man for himself:”
After their 7th loss in a row (which happens to be a franchise record) the Texan’s players are starting to show signs of individualism more now than ever. At this point when the playoffs are out of reach, it’s natural for players to be more consumed with their individual success more than team success. Players anticipate changes possibly with the coaching staff next year so they feel like they are auditioning essentially for the new HC. Players like JJ Watt/Ed Reed/Ben Tate are examples of that if you just listen to their comments after the game.
2. Andre Johnson is my new favorite player:
I have always been hesitant to cheer for a Wide Receiver because of their diva like qualities, but there is nothing I don’t like or respect about A.J. Nobody on that teams sets a better example of what a “Pro” should be more than Andre Johnson.
3. “They won’t stop until you stop them:”
Teams have been blitzing Case Keenum with regularity and success. Until the Texans show they can “pick up” the blitz teams will continue to do it. In the 2nd half of the Kansas City game the KC Defense gave the”blue print” as to best attack Case Keenum. They had 5 sacks in the second half that were well designed and executed blitzes. Teams watch how well it worked and will implement the same strategies in their game plan versus the Texans.
4. The worst way to lose is “in the trenches:”
When your O-line/D-line get their asses kicked at the line of scrimmage it’s demoralizing. Other than JJ Watt and Antonio Smith noone on the front 7 is making an impact on plays on the QB or in the backfield. One of the biggest disappointments this year that I don’t think enough people are talking about is the poor play of Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus. Besides the low sack totals they both are struggling in pass coverage and containing the run. The 5 1/2 combined sacks between them isn’t getting the job done.
5. I’ve never seen a team look so different in the 2nd half of games:
During the Texans 7 game losing streak they have been outscored in the 2nd half of games by 84 points. I don’t know what the Texans are doing at halftime but whatever it is it isn’t working. They need to have a mindset that they absolutely have to start the 2nd half of games like they start the games….fast…focused and executing.
6. “Ignorance is bliss:”
I like that the younger players are starting to contribute more. Young players in the NFL aren’t jaded by the game yet so they play with raw emotion and enthusiasm. And that you can never have enough of when things are going as bad as they are for the Texans this year. DJ Swearinger by far had his best game of the season (3 tackles/2 passes defensed/1 INT). The Texans are hoping his performance in the Arizona game is just a prelude to what’s to come for the rookie. Besides DJ, guys like Ryan Griffin…De-Hop..Devier Posey…Case Keenum and Dennis Johnson all played significant minutes and had a positive impact on the game.
7. The cruelty that is the NFL:
In just only two months the Texans went from Super Bowl contender to being considered as one of the worst teams in the NFL. Hard to believe things could get so bad so fast for a team that was considered the best in franchise history.
8. “Food for thought:”
Considering the Texans won’t make the playoffs, I wonder how many guys have booked their trips to Cabo San Lucas in January already????