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Week 10 – Houston Texans At Arizona Cardinals: Game Breakdown


Sorry about the delay in the game recap, but I think you’ll understand if I had a few extra drinks after the loss before heading home from the bar I was watching the game at.  The Texans lost to the Arizona Cardinals tonight 24-27. What do we even call the Texans anymore? A Lose-from-ahead team?  The Texans have made leading at the half and tanking in the 2nd half a habit this season.

If I’m forced to discuss some positives about the Texans’ play tonight then here they are:

  1. J. J. Watt; and
  2. The passing game of the offense spreading the ball around the field to people not named Andre Johnson.

While Watt dominated with a sack, three QB hits and two forced fumbles, one which led to a Texans touchdown, D. J. Swearinger also played lights out with 3 tackles, 2 pass deflections and an interception.

As for the passing game, yes, Johnson got two of Case Keenum’s three touchdown passes, but DeAndre Hopkins caught more passes for more yards and a higher yards per catch average (6 catches, 69 yds., 11.5 ypc average).  Tight end Ryan Griffin was the only other Texan who would score a touchdown tonight on a 2 yd. pass from Keenum.  DeVier Posey caught three passes for 34 yds.  Hell, even the fullback Greg Jones caught a 19 yd. pass.  The Texans will need this “we have other weapons” mentality moving forward.  The playoffs are all but lost, but it’s clear we’re not fooling anyone ever again if we go back to playing like we only have one receiver.

Those are about the only good things I can muster from this game.  Feel free to chime in with others because God knows I could use the pick-me-up.  Our defense on the whole did not play very well.  We had only a single tackle for a loss (Swearinger) and were all but worthless in the second half.  This was due mostly to the fact that we had our legs cut from under us with injuries to Joe Mays and Kareem Jackson.  Furthermore, they were completely gassed from being on the field a majority of the second half because the offense stopped running the ball entirely and could do nothing against blitz after blitz after blitz from this quietly dominant Arizona defense.

And speaking of our offense, I’m not sure we could’ve been more stagnant.  Credit where credit is due, the Arizona defense played very, very well. The loss is by no means Keenum’s fault, but he did not play very well at all.  In fairness the offensive line did him absolutely no favors, but good QBs have to play well sometimes in spite of their offensive line.  Despite his 235 passing yards and 3 TDs, Keenum completed just 51% of his passes (22/43) with an average of 3.7 yds. per pass.  He is now 0-3 as a starting QB for this team.  Even more troubling is our lack of a running game.  I need another week before I completely pass judgment since Gary Kubiak was out this week, but we had only ONE rushing yard in the second half (thanks to Patrick Starr for that observation).  You cannot abandon the run game like that for an entire half with the blitz working so well against your fledgling QB and expect to win.  Also, the 4th down playcall on our last offensive drive.  What in the… how do you go one blocker in the backfield, from the gun, when they have successfully blitzed you over and over and over again?!  But I digress.

As for the hot topic of Keenum, our fan base is already confused enough.  I’m fine with giving him a pass, but I’m not convinced he’s the future just yet. We need to see more and I hope he gives us more.  We are only three games into his career as a starting quarterback, but we’ll have to draw the line with the excuses for his play (and the play of several other positions *cough* safety and OLB *cough*) at some point and start looking towards the 2014 draft and offseason.

All in all, the Texans are pretty much done.  They had a massive opportunity to take advantage of both Titans and Colts (embarrassing) losses and couldn’t capitalize.  The Texans look to (please, God) break their losing streak against the equally troubled, 3-6 Oakland Raiders at home next week.

Honestly, at this point I just want a win.  The realist in me says to just accept it, be patient and use this next off season wisely, but the fan in me says I don’t care if they have to cut the entire team and hold open tryouts. Just. Win.  Needless to say, it is a very frustrating time to be a Texans fan.  Then again, we should be used to this by now in this town.

 

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