By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610By Paul Gallant

Oh, Indianapolis. The most boring city in America place where the Texans just cannot win. 13 games. 13 losses.

A city known for having . . . a steak house? . . . is definitely not the final vacation that most would plan before kicking the bucket. Unfortunately for the Texans, Sunday’s loss to the Colts was essentially that. While Houston isn’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, they’ll need a lot of help in the last two weeks of the season to make the big dance:

  • First, they’ll need to win out against the Ravens and Jaguars at home. With either Case Keenum or Thad Lewis playing quarterback . . .
  • The Ravens must lose their season finale at home against the Browns (which based off of Johnny Manziel’s first career start, seems very unlikely)
  • The Chiefs have to lose either of their final two games: in Pittsburgh against the Steelers (possible) OR at home against the Chargers (also possible)
  • The Chargers also must lose one of their last two games: in San Francisco against the 49ers (possible) OR in Kansas City against the Chiefs (possible)
  • And finally, the Bills to either lose to the Raiders in Oakland (unlikely), OR Patriots in Foxboro (likely)

 

It’s not impossible. It’s just not probable. And makes the loss hurt that much more. With a win against the Colts, the Texans would have been in control of their own destiny. Now, not so much.

THE GOOD

Rack ‘Em, RAC

It came in a losing effort, but Romeo Crennel’s defensive scheme for the Colts was brilliant. Like he’d done against Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning during the Patriots’ Super Bowl years of the early 2000’s, Crennel had the Texans’ defense drop 8 players back in coverage often. And outside of a 26 yard touchdown catch by Hakeem Nicks (who was wide open), his defense flummoxed Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck was held to just 187 yards passing (his second lowest total of the season), 5.5 yards per attempt (also his second lowest total of the year) a 53% completion percentage, and threw an early pick 6 to Keenan Lewis.

The secondary deserves the majority of the credit for slowing down Luck. Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson limited speed demon and Texans killer T.Y. Hilton to just 5 catches for 50 yards. A.J. Bouye made a veteran play stripping the ball away from Reggie Wayne in the second quarter. The unit deflected four passes – 2 by Lewis, 1 by Jackson, and 1 by Danieal Manning – and got help from linebacker Mike Mohammed (2 PBU) and of course, J.J. Watt (1) too. And don’t forget, the unit scored Houston’s only touchdown.

It was a great defensive effort. And unfortunately, one wasted.

Truly, Mildly, Deeply Impressed

Tom “Savage Garden” Savage had a couple of really bad moments in Sunday’s game:

  • Fumbling while attempting a hand off
  • Fumbling a shotgun snap
  • A late incompletion to his right . . . towards nobody
  • And the game ending interception . . .

 

Still, for a rookie – considered by many to be a project when taken in the fourth round – in his first action – action that only came because of Ryan Fitzpatrick breaking his leg – his duty in relief was mildly impressive. It’s not enough to crown him quarterback of the future. But don’t act like you weren’t impressed by THIS throw and THIS throw.

Once again though, the sad side: we won’t see more Savage against the Ravens. He’s out. Meaning either Thaddeus Lewis or Case Keenum will start Sunday.

THE BAD

Everyone Is Dead

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Week 1, 2014 – Week 9, 2014
RESURRECTED
Week 13, 2014 – Week 15, 2014

Here lies Ryan “The Amish Rifle” Fitzpatrick. In a season marked with concussion inducing slides, who’d have thought that a leg would mark his end. We shall never forget the time he graciously sat on the bench, only to return triumphantly with a legendary 6 touchdown performance. In his honor, we leave a math problem that only a child of Harvard can appreciate.

Ryan Mallett
Week 10, 2014 – Week 12, 2014

Here lies Ryan “The Mallett” Mallett. When a man has a cannon for an arm, sometimes you cannon yourself. Or your pectoral. Or something. Shut up.

Generations onward will always remember the one week we were actually excited about a Texans quarterback. In his honor, we shall forever cherish this photo of him with Snoop Lion.

Tom Savage
Week 15, 2014

Here lies Tom “Savage Garden” Savage. At least for now. Tommy, we hardly knew you. But rest assured that we shall forget the missed hand off. And the fumbled snap. And that pass to the ghost of Kevin Walter. And the interception. Instead, we truly, madly, deeply remember those two deep balls you threw. And pretend that we didn’t see the other stuff…

My Desire To Take Phone Calls Tuesday Night
December 14th, 2014: 3:30 PM – December 15th, 2014 8:00 AM

Keenum optimism shall be shunned. Vince young calls will be mocked. And I will leave it at that.

This Happened

A traditional play PROBABLY would have been better.

Foster. Hopkins. Anyone Else?

You can blame Ryan Fitzpatrick. Or you can blame Tom Savage. In reality, you should blame everyone on the Texans’ offense other than Arian Foster – who again was busting runs when there were no holes to do so – and DeAndre Hopkins. Slot receivers? Not good enough – see that Damaris Johnson drop on the touchdown drive (yes, the pass was a bit behind him. Partly Savage’s fault. But when you’re being covered by a lineman with plenty of space in front of you, you have to complete the play). Tight ends? They haven’t done anything all season. Very disappointing given the draft pick they invested in the position. When you don’t have a good quarterback, you need as many skill players as possible surrounding your man. Right now – partly due to Andre Johnson’s injury – the Texans don’t have that.

Paul Gallant hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – with Brien Straw. Get in contact with Paul on Twitter – @PaulyGSays – or on Facebook – Paul Gallant.

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