I’m going to start this post with a very blunt question. Why do you watch the Houston Texans?
Is it for city pride? Because in games against teams that matter, this team doesn’t deliver that.
Do they have a player or two on your fantasy team? I’d hope not, because even DeAndre Hopkins is having a down year statistically.
Are you a simply a fan of football? Because the Texans’ offense is making me question my passion for the sport.
I needed over a day to think of what to write for this post. It’s partly due to some classic Paul Gallant procrastination. But it’s more because of this: I don’t know what else to say about them. Year in, year out they’re predictable like a network television show:
- Games against the Titans and Jaguars? Easy wins.
- At least one loss to the Colts.
- They’ll handle MOST of their business against teams on their level at home
- . . . Will have the occasional brain fart on the road
- . . . And will get off to a glacial start in both of the scenarios directly above
- Finally, the worst reality. Any game against a team with legitimate super bowl aspirations? They. Have. No. Chance.
Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Vikings was yet ANOTHER reminder of that final bullet point. And it’s a reality that’s been firmly rooted in the Texans’ DNA since 2011, the year they finally became NFL-relevant. They can’t even COMPETE with the league’s best.
Can this ever change? I guess. Will this ever change? Maybe. But until we actually see something different on these repetitive wastes of Sunday afternoons, why should we expect that victorious plot twist that’s never going to come? And more importantly, why should we bother waiting for the Texans to actually play well against one of the NFL’s elite teams?
I’ve got no choice. I’m paid to watch and cover this team. I’ll be there for every single radio broadcast. But you DON’T have to be there every weekend.
So why not take a vacation the next time the Texans play a legitimate contender? You know what’s going to happen. An ugly loss. And if by chance Houston DOES actually show up, you can just tune into the game later. Bandwagoning has its perks.
“But Paul, the Texans are 3-2 and in first place in the AFC South! Bill O’Brien and Brock Osweiler are still figuring things out! They’re going to kill the Colts Sunday night! Why are you so negative and impatient? Blah, blah, blah, yankee carpetbagging transplant!”
If that’s your reaction, you’re never going to get me. I have ridiculously high standards. I only ask that you raise yours.
Okay, enough filibustering. Time to shovel through the sh*t . . .
Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, Jaelen Strong, and C.J. Fiedorowicz played well.
And the Vikings stadium – from the design to the crowd noise and the nutjobs inside – is a fantastic facility. That’s a true home field advantage. Everson Griffen had the Texans snap count down pat, and was getting a huge jumps on whatever poor offensive lineman was attempting to block him.
The game was only 3 hours and 6 minutes long. And Jeff Triplette’s officiating crew gave the Texans their first three first downs of the game. 2 of them came on 4th downs. Yep, the offense was that bad.
The Vikings defense is Super Bowl caliber. Brock Osweiler is young. And he’s still learning O’Brien’s . . .
. . . nah, f*ck it.
Bill O’Brien, Brock Osweiler, and the offensive line in front of him were a complete disaster in Minnesota. Osweiler’s stats were horrible. He was 19/42 for 184 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. AND HE WAS WORSE THAN THESE STATISTICS. 124 of Osweiler’s passing yards and that touchdown pass came with the Texans down 24-6 midway through the third quarter. Osweiler’s interception? His intended receiver – Jaelen Strong – never even saw the throw. His deep throws downfield were off by as many as 10 yards. His best play of the day? Escaping a sack . . . AND THROWING THE PASS OUT OF BOUNDS. On top of those struggles, he was sacked 4 times, hit about 13-14 times, and started to look like Blaine Gabbert as the game wore on.
Yes. The Blaine Gabbert.
I don’t entirely blame him. When 4 man rushes are crushing your offensive line, what can you do?
After the game, things got worse. O’Brien and Osweiler’s post game press conferences turned into a reenactment of Spartacus.
Both took the blame, featuring:
- O’Brien: “Starts and ends with me”s – 4
- O’Brien: “I have to do a better job” – 6
- O’Brien: “I don’t know” – 5
- O’Brien: “Osweiler Battled” – 5
- Osweiler: “Starts with me” – 5
- Osweiler: “I need to play better” – 6
But neither had a WHY for their struggles. Accountability is great . . . until it becomes repetitive. Like the Texans getting lit up by the league’s best.
No one likes the guy who that keeps saying “Sorry!” to his teammates during a pickup basketball game. Why? Because he sucks! I like that the Bill O’Brien Texans hold themselves accountable, but at some point it needs to lead to positive changes. Instead, we keep getting snuff film re-runs.
Making matters worse? I made “Freezing Cold Takes” because somehow Sam Bradford hasn’t been awful with the Vikings.
I stand by that take. Bradford isn’t good, and this is all a lie. I mean, it has to be right? A quarterback figuring things out in his seventh year? No way. I refuse to buy it.
Instead, I’ll blame things on the Texans secondary. Who the hell is Adam Thielen? Sounds like a generic wide receiver that you’d draft in the 4th round 3 years into a Madden franchise. Yet this possibly fake human had 7 catches for 127 yards and a TD. With Johnathan Joseph covering him. Ay, Caramba.
By the way, Joseph got hurt. So did a bunch of other Texans.
Yeah, this is getting ugly. Speaking of which, the Texans had another ugly moment on special teams. Marcus Sherels had a 79 yard punt return touchdown. Wasn’t this unit supposed to be better with Larry Izzo as coordinator? Probably. Whoops.
I’ll wrap up the latest edition on “In A Nutshell” with this: Yes the Texans are 3-2. Yes, a win over the Colts Sunday would give them a 2 game lead over the only remotely competitive team in the AFC South. But the Colts aren’t the Patriots. And they aren’t the Vikings. They’re just filler until the next time the Texans fail to show up against an elite team.
Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.