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Texans – Cardinals: In A Nutshell

BY PAUL GALLANT, SportsRadio 610
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(Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Casket: $1,000
Burial Plot: $2,000
Losing 7 Games In A Row After A 12-4, AFC South Champion Season: Priceless Crap

R.I.P., 2013 Houston Texans. I’d say some positive things – as is tradition for the dead. But reminiscing on the “good times” from this year’s team? Not possible. This train-wreck campaign made Livia Soprano’s funeral seem like a sunshine parade of wonderful memories:

The latest debacle? A 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals…a team quarterbacked by Carson Palmer. A loss filled with all the same themes we’ve come to expect: Injuries. Penalties. An abomination of a special teams play. Awful pass protection. And an offense that turtles in the second half like Matt Schaub. Gross.

Speaking of gross, here’s what I took away from the game:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Divine Tebow-Vention

Be honest with yourself, Keenum Klub. Case was lucky as hell on Sunday. Sure he made some good plays…plus one great throw to Andre Johnson for a touchdown. But he easily could have thrown four interceptions…including the second Andre score (where you know Matt Schaub was rolling his eyes). And don’t forget the early fumble for a touchdown, the 42 yards lost on sacks and his 3-11 finish to the game. Keenum is a work in progress, and played worse than his numbers indicated Sunday. He had a few fortunate bounces that Schaub never seemed to get.

Swaggggggg

How about D.J. Swearinger? He had his first career interception, a pair of deflected passes, and made some great plays in run support. Add in his over-energetic, “Probably Drank A Two-Liter of Mountain Dew” demeanor after his highlights, and you’ve got a hilariously entertaining player.

Make Sure This Guy Never Leaves

J.J. Watt [obviously] was a beast. Four tackles, 3 QB hits, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, and a sack. Just another day at the office.

Unfortunately, this seven game losing streak is really hurting the Texans hopes of keeping him around long term. Obviously Watt is priority one for this franchise with his contract expiring after next season.

Uhhh…at least Bullock didn’t miss anything?

More on that later…

WHAT WENT WRONG

Houston: Where Adjustments Don’t Exist

It’s about time SOMEONE in this organization said the obvious. That the Texans don’t make good adjustments. Ed Reed played that role Sunday.

“We played really well outside certain situations,” said Reed. “Certain situations we just got outplayed, and outcoached.”

They were “outplayed”…and have been for quite some time. They were “outcoached”…and ditto. Two second half touchdowns in the last seven games? With one coming in garbage time (Rams), and the other coming this week after J.J. Watt forced a late Rashard Mendenhall fumble with the Cardinals deep in their own territory.

Everyone is mad Reed said this. Understandable because he’s done nothing this year. But he was 100% right. This is a Gary Kubiak problem. A Rick Dennison problem. And Hell…even a Wade Phillips problem. The Texans’ strategy in every game seems to be “Our best will beat your best” no matter what.

That’s a philosophy that has almost NEVER WORKED. At least without mass casualties. Just ask EVERY ARMY EVER before World War 1:

No variations. No fine tuning. Just predictability and mediocrity. Also…heads being blown off by cannon balls.

UPDATE: Naturally, Reed was cut today.

…Nor Accountability

Serious question…how is special teams coordinator Joe Marciano still employed? His coverage units had their hands full with Patrick Peterson. Only with these special teams do you pat yourself on the back after allowing just 12 yards a return.

And his field goal team (specifically Ryan Griffin) crapped its pants on an attempt before halftime, costing the Texans 3 points that would ultimately be the difference.

This team cuts Ed Reed. They sever ties with Sam Montgomery, Cierre Wood, Willie Jefferson, and Tim Dobbins. Yet it takes an injury to bench a struggling Matt Schaub? And the man leading the league’s worst special teams unit (for multiple years) still has a job?

Smells like over-loyalty to me. And just shows if you’re in with Gary Kubiak or Bob McNair, you’re in for life.

Get in contact with Paul Gallant on Twitter – @PaulyGRadio – or on Facebook – Paul Gallant.

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