[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]
Ted’s Takeaways: Week 11
1. The more things change…the more they stay the same:
Coach Kubiak decided before the game that he was going to play Matt Schaub if the opportunity to do so presented itself. Well….after the Texan’s offense went “3 and out” for the third consecutive time to start the 3rd quarter that’s when Kubiak made the decision to play him. And to no surprise Matt Schaub was unable to rally a comeback. Oh yeah….the Texan’s offense was 0-3 in the Red Zone while Matt was the QB.
2. Denial is not a river in Egypt:
I have to admit I was a little shocked to hear Matt Schaubs’ comments after the game. He said he was put in the game to provide some “energy and tempo” to the offense. Sorry Matt….those are words we use to describe the guy who you substituted in for in Case Keenum. In the Texans post-game show we metaphorically likened and described the season as to the sinking of the Titanic. Remember in the movie there was a band playing music in the middle of the hysteria???? Yeah well in this scenario Matt Schaub is one of the band members. Wake up Matt the ship is sinking!!!!
3. THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO WALK OFF THE FIELD EARLY IS ANDRE JOHNSON:
Let’s face it A.J is the most valuable player in the history of the Texan’s organization. For his entire career he has been a humble and classy ambassador for this franchise. Him walking off the field put in perspective for me how bad things really are on this team. Him leaving the field early was symbolically the cherry on top on what’s been a miserable season so far. I also think him leaving the field early is more of an indictment on Gary Kubiak more than anything.
4. The Young and the Restless:
Why is there such a short leash on the younger players on this team? DeAndre Hopkins had only one catch in this game and saw limited action. After the game Coach Kubiak said the reason for it was because he had screwed up assignments earlier in the game. I’m all for holding guys accountable for things like that but at what cost? I think you can teach him a lesson after the game in film session or in practice. Unless he did something that was inexcusable, I don’t think benching a guy who can help you win is the smartest thing to do. And oh yeah…..Case Keenum was benched in place of Matt Schaub in the second half, because according to Gary Kubiak he thought Matt gave them the “best chance of winning”. And how did that work out???
5. Silver Lining:
> Keyshawn Martin finally broke free on an 87 yard punt return to tie the game up 14-14 before half.
> JJ Watt had 2 sacks/2 TFL/5 tackles. Considering the situation I wonder if JJ still wants to resign here after next season. Typically teams like to start negotiating with guys the offseason before their final year so it’s not a distraction. This will certainly be the most interesting offseason in the history of the franchise.
> Garrett Graham had his best game (minus the fumble) of his career against Oakland. He finished with 7 catches/136 yards/1 TD. With Owen Daniels being hurt and him getting more touches it will certainly help his case for more money when it comes time for him to renegotiate after the season .
6. Wade Phillips isn’t doing his team any favors playing so much “man-to-man” coverage.
Oakland (and the previous teams) anticipate the Texan’s D playing it so they run “man-to-man beaters”. This mostly comes in the form of “pick” plays off of “bunch” formations. It would really be beneficial for the Texans to mix in some more “zone” coverage to keep the opposing QB guessing.
7. The situation calls for something different:
You hear guys all the time talk about “Situational Football”. That means things like 3rd down efficiency/Red Zone efficiency/2 minute Defense or Offense. It doesn’t matter that the Texan’s D is the #1 Defense in the league because that ranking is based on one category…..”yards allowed per game”. If you can’t get off the field on 3rd down or can’t stop them from scoring TD’s once they get into the Red Zone (two things the Texans Defense are not good at) then you don’t have a very good defense.
8. It was great to see George W. Bush again:
The former President was honored before the game and did the coin toss to start the game. George and I go way back….you see I’ve met him a few times when he lived at his old place in Washington D.C. He was a gracious host and always rolled out the red carpet for me and my former team whenever we came to visit.
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