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Thread: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

  
  1. #46
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    This is the time of year when team pray for the health of their team. As the long season takes its toll on players every GM and Head Coach in the league are looking to head into the final leg of the season relatively healthy. As you will see, the injury report for the Texans-Bengals game has some important names on it. So, as they prepare for tonight's game lets take a look at the Texans injury list from Texans.com and see what we can surmise from it.

    Friday, Dec. 23 Game Status

    DID NOT PARTICIPATE
    RB Lamar Miller Ankle Questionable

    LIMITED PARTICIPATION
    DE Jadeveon Clowney Elbow/Wrist ---
    ILB Brian Cushing Ankle ---
    CB Johnathan Joseph Ribs Questionable
    K Nick Novak Oblique/Back ---

    FULL PARTICIPATION
    G Jeff Allen Concussion ---
    T Chris Clark Ankle ---
    TE C.J. Fiedorowicz Concussion ---
    TE Ryan Griffin Hamstring ---
    CB Kareem Jackson Hamstring ---
    S Don Jones Illness ---
    ILB Benardrick McKinney Wrist ---
    OLB Whitney Mercilus Back ---
    ILB Brian Peters Quadricep ---
    OLB John Simon Chest ---
    G Xavier Su'a-Filo Finger

    CINCINNATI BENGALS

    Friday, Dec. 23 Game Status

    DID NOT PARTICIPATE
    LB Vontaze Burfict Knee/Concussion Out
    G Clint Boling Shoulder Out
    TE Tyler Eifert Back Out
    TE Tyler Kroft Knee/Ankle Out

    FULL PARTICIPATION
    DE Wallace Gilberry Calf ---
    WR A.J. Green Hamstring Questionable
    HB Jeremy Hill Knee Questionable
    DE Michael Johnson Shoulder Questionable
    LB Vincent Rey Hamstring ---
    DT Pat Sims Hip ---
    WR James Wright Knee ---

    The first thing a Texans fan will notice is that Houston will get a lot of guys back this week who have missed some games recently like LB John Simon, G Jeff Allen and TE C J Fiedorowicz are back. The availability of CB Jonathan Joseph is still up in the air some but he at least participated in practice this week but it was on a limited basis as he's getting over a rib injury suffered a few weeks ago. The Texans list is long but most of the players listed as questionable will play. That's just the way it is late in the season, everyone is nursing some ailment or five and teams list these guys because they have to but it doesn't mean they won't play. The exceptions to the rule on the Texans side of the list is Joseph and RB Lamar Miller. Miller, according to NFL.com is iffy, at best, for tonight's game because of the ankle injury he suffered against the Jaguars last Sunday. He is expected back next week for the season finale against Tennessee but that won't help the Texans tonight. What is good news is Cincinnati will be without their best LB Vontaze Burfict and their 2nd best receiver in TE Tyler Eifort. They will also be missing a backup TE in Tyler Croft. It's pretty certain that WR AJ Green will limited by a troublesome hamstring as well.
    What all this means is the Texans can keep their running game going without Miller because they have 3 other RBs who they regularly use in Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Akeem Hunt. That's not to say Lamar Miller won't be missed but these 3 have been effective in relief of Miller and the run game should still keep cranking out the yards. Especially with Cincy missing Burfict. It's not like Houston hasn't feasted off the Bengals when the chips were on the table in the past--injuries or no injuries. When Houston needed a Monday night win in Cincy to keep their playoff hope alive last year the Texans rose up and got the win. When Houston played in their first every playoff game as a franchise in 2011 a backup QB, TJ Yates, led the Texans to the win. It seems like when Houston needs to have something unexpected happen it happens against the Bengals. The benching of Brock Osweiler is big too. This gives Tom Savage his first ever regular season start and coming off last week's come from behind win over Jacksonville hopes are definitely high for the Texans prospects tonight. In 2-1/2 quarters of play Tom Savage made DeAndre Hopkins relevant again and with a real threat of a passing game the Bengals might have to back off the line of scrimmage some which will allow the run game to prosper. Last week against the Steelers the Bengals were beating them handily. In the 2nd quarter Jeremy Hill scored on a 4 yard run that ended up putting the Bengals up 17-3 when Hill grabbed a "Terrible Towel" from a Pittsburgh fan and he attempted to tear it to pieces. He was unable to do this and he just spiked the towel into the ground totally disrespecting the home Pittsburgh crowd and it must have fired up the Steelers too because they outscored the Bengals 21-3 the rest of way giving the Steelers a 24-20 win over the Bengals. The Bengals team is pretty talented but they always seem to under perform. That is why I listed head coach Marvin Lewis as a guy whose job could in jeopardy simply because of the Bengals tendency to fail to meet expectations. Lewis' Bengals have been successful in the past but it is a success that is very limited and you have to wonder how long Bengals management will put up with an also-ran.
    I have high hopes for the Texans going forward. I have liked Tom Savage since he emerged during training camp last year. He never got the chance to show what he could do because of a shoulder injury suffered in the last preseason game against the Cowboys that ended up ending his season when he was put on IR. By his own admission Savage said he didn't come into his rookie season with the right mindset and he was absolutely underwhelming in preseason and gave the Texans no reason, despite taking him in the 4 fourth round of the 2014 draft, to feel they had drafted their QB of the future. A rededication to his team and himself was the reason he looked so much better in 2015 which goes along with his re-rededication in this year's offseason that won him the primary backup role going into the season. The Texans were hyper patient with Brock Osweiler given the financial investment they made in him but last week's Bad Brock moment was all Bill O'Brien could take. Tom Savage made the most of his opportunity last week and he says he is determined to make the best of his opportunities going forward. I like this kid and I'm rooting for him to do well and judging from what I've seen of him I think he will do well, very well indeed.

    So, what does this mean for the game tonight?

    Texans 31 Cincinnati 18

  2. #47
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    Merry Christmas everyone! I'm up early obviously before anyone else. I guess that's what candlelight church service is helpful for, besides your immortal soul of course, is everyone sleeps in the morning after. Except me so I guess I'll talk about the early Christmas present awarded the Texans yesterday afternoon. The woeful Jacksonville Jaguars just days away from giving their head coach the boot hosted the Tennessee Titans and would you believe it, the Jags won! It wasn't pretty but Blake Bortles had a good game throwing for 325 yards with no picks. Yep, no picks. Zero, nada, zippo. Because the Jags played error free ball for the most part and the Titans didn't Jacksonville came away with a very improbable win over a team that was heavily favored and tied for the division lead going into the game. I don't know what Jags interim head coach Doug Marrone told the team going into the game but it must have been a Knute Rockne doozie of a pregame speech. By the time the dust settled the Jags had punished the Titans to the tune of 38-17 and instead of moving on to next week's showdown finale against Houston the Titans were knocked clean out of playoff contention. Not only that but Titans second year QB Marcus Mariota broke his leg in the first half necessitating the appearance of Matt Cassel. It's tough luck for Mariota and you hate to see a good player go down like that.

    What that early gift from Jacksonville gave the Texans was the ability to guarantee themselves a division championship with a win over Cincinnati last night. Another reason to thank God, the DVR saved my bacon so I wouldn't miss the game while me and the family were out Christmas Eveing around town. What transpired was a sort of boring game that featured the Texans and Bengals trading punts for most of the first half of the game. I don't care about style points anymore. I've learned winning is the goal and how you do it doesn't matter as long as it's within the framework of the rules. What I saw was a Bengals defense that just made the Texans O-line their bitch. Tom Savage barely got back in whatever drop he took, 3 step, 5 step or 7 step drop didn't matter because the Bengals D-line were all over Savage like nobody's business. The Bengals defense wasn't giving up much in the run game and the passing game in the first half was non-existent. Houston had exactly -1 yards passing in the first half. The Texans defense didn't give in much either until the last drive of the first half. The Bengals worked the ball down the field, with a little help from the Texans because of an untimely penalty or two and it allowed the Bengals kicker to give them the halftime lead of 3-0 over the Texans. The teams came out and both seemed to make halftime adjustments as both the Texans and Bengals were able to score some points in the second half. It started with a field goal by the Texans on the opening drive of the third quarter. The Bengals responded early in the fourth quarter with a two play TD drive capped by a 86 yard catch and run by WR Brandon LaFell on a short slant route that Houston's defense played poorly. LaFell caught a short pass and just outran all of the Texans defenders to the end zone. That gave the Bengals their second lead of the game at 10-6. Houston came right back and even though the offense had not found a real rhythm the whole game they found some on the ensuing drive. It was also a drive that was assisted by 3 Bengals penalties for critical first downs. Houston drove down and scored a TD giving them a 12-10 lead but that was all they could come up with because Cincinnati blocked the extra point. Houston hung on partly because the Texans defense stopped the Bengals when they could but on the final drive of the game Cincinnati engineered a nice drive that took them down to the Texans 25 yard line with just 5 seconds left in the game when on came former Texans kicker Randy Bullock. With the clock winding down because the Bengals had no time outs left so the field goal unit had to set up quickly, in hindsight probably too quickly, and got the kick off just ahead of the final gun sounding. In all likelihood the fact that they had to rush to get the kick off messed up Bullock's rhythm and he pushed the ball wide right to give the Texans a rather unlikely win and the AFC South Championship.
    Again, Merry Christmas, the Texans and their fans are sure grateful for their gifts this morning.

  3. #48
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    A thought just popped into my head this morning, my dream of an all Texas Super Bowl is alive and well. It may be a long shot but it's better than no shot at all, isn't it? Sure it is.
    Dallas has an explosive offense based around a better than average running game. They also have a defense who might give up some yards but they don't allow many points to be scored. They are definitely a factor the Cowboys have been lacking for a long time.
    Houston has probably the best defense in the NFL even without JJ Watt. Jadeveon Clowney has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. There was a fear that he would be a huge bust after being taken with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. For sure it has a been a long two years after he messed up his knee in his very first game Clowney tore the meniscus in his knee and eventually it was found that he needed microfracture surgery. Microfracture surgery is a potentially career ending surgery and even the players who have successfully come back it has usually taken over a year for the player to get back to 100%. After a disastrous rookie season and an equally frustrating sophomore campaign he is emerging as a force to reckoned with. A force Houston thought they were getting when they drafted him.
    Houston has had struggles on offense with an inconsistent offense mainly because free agent QB Brock Osweiler has not lived up to the $72MM contract he was given by the Texans in the offseason. Frustration with Osweiler culminated when he threw 2 INTs in a game against Jacksonville two weeks ago. Brock was pulled in favor of Houston's 4th round pick in 2014 Tom Savage out of the University of Pittsburgh. He led the Texans to a comeback win over the Jags igniting the offense in the process. In the game against the Bengals last Saturday night the offense was less explosive and the Texans defense carried them to a 12-10 win over the Bengals. What is encouraging is Savage takes care of the football which in contrast to Osweiler who had the 2nd most INTs in the NFL through 13-1/2 games. So far Savage does not have a pick in his 6 quarters of work. Houston's offense, like the Cowboys, is based around their run game with Lamar Miller on point for the Texans. Miller is hurt but Houston has the luxury of being able to rest him until the Wild Card round of the playoffs begins in two weeks. That down time will benefit both teams meaning they will be as healthy as they can be heading into the playoffs.
    Keeping hope alive for the 2016 playoffs.

  4. #49
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    If you try to tell Bill O'Brien that Sunday's game against division rival Tennessee is meaningless you might get a sermon on just how relevant that game is to him and his team. Now, if they win or lose doesn't matter, that much is true. No matter what Houston will be the #4 seed in the AFC side of the playoffs. They will host the #5 seed wild card team at NRG Stadium one week from now. What matters is that O'Brien wants to win that 10 game of the season. He gave the politically correct answer at his presser today saying that any time you line up and play it matters but make no mistake win #10 means something. Double digit wins is a big deal especially if the head coach has maxed out at 9 wins in his first two seasons on the Texans job. The first year 9-7 was a tic shy of being good enough to earn a wild card ticket to the 2014 playoffs. Last year 9-7 was good enough to win the AFC South but they got hammered by the Kansas City Chiefs right out of the box.
    Well, guess what, Houston will play those same Chiefs again in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. It's a chance to get a little payback for last year. Again, that doesn't explain why 10 wins is so important does it? How about this, 10 wins gives a little gravitas to the AFC South. A division that is regularly bashed in recent years as being weak. How about what double digit wins will do for the self esteem of the team and the coaches. They didn't back into the playoffs, they earned their way in and 10 wins gives the Texans another reason to hold their heads up. 10 wins doesn't look bad on a resume either. Houston won't have Jadeveon Clowney, Lamar Miller, Jay Prosch and John Simon. If the division wasn't wrapped up and it was win or go home these players would probably try to play but that is one luxury of having playoffs wrapped up. The Texans will definitely have their hands full with the Chiefs and they will need all hands on deck but they can afford to rest these players in the mean time.
    I want Houston to have 10 wins and the fortunes of this division may very well change a lot over the next couple of years. Jacksonville has a ton of talent and they will have a high draft pick to add more. Add to that the fact they will have a new head coach to help change the losing culture around. Indy may have a new head coach but the Colts definitely need to bolster their O-line before they get Andrew Luck killed. Then there is Tennessee. Mike Mularky has change the thinking in Tennessee in much the same way the Jaguars hope a their new head coach can do. This is a run oriented team with a damn good QB as long as he stays healthy. Marcus Mariota will miss this game because he broke his leg against the Jags last week ending his season. When the Titans lost the game it also ended everyone's season.
    Listen, guys on both sides of the ball are playing for their NFL futures regardless of outcome of the game so there is a big 'want to' factor for the players. Yep, this is an important game and I only hit some of the points Bill O'Brien might point out if you were to ask him if the game matters. This game also matters because it's the last goll darn game of the 2016 regular season and for my money this season has just flown past. It definitely got here before I even realized it. It's starting to hit home now that there is just about 5 more weeks left before football is done until next September. For a football nut like me that is just tragic news.

  5. #50
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    Happy New Year to all! Obviously I survived somewhat in tact and nobody was injured setting off fireworks even though, at times, it looked like some were destined to make a trip to the emergency room. I'm not even that hung over! Win-win right? Now it's all about football and for goodness sake the Ohio State-Clemson game was on at the party I went to and I thought the FSU win over Michigan was a hoot it was nothing to the shock of seeing Colin Cowherd's man-crush coach Urban Meyer and his buckeyes get their asses handed to them. Virtually, nobody could have predicted a 31-0 blowout of THE Ohio State University by lowly ACC champ Clemson. The only thing that kept the whole universe from being thrown into chaos was the Alabama win over Washington. The universe is safe ---- for now.

    Since this is the Houston Texans thread it's time to turn away from the college ranks to the pros and focus on the season finale for the Texans (and the rest of the NFL). I can't focus this morning on the fact that this is the end of the regular season. It's just too surreal. Oh well, Texans-Titans at noon today in Tennessee. The weather in Nashville is supposed to be cloudy with temps in the lower fifties. You would imagine the folks in Tennessee got a similar downpour as we got yesterday so the field conditions could be dicey. NFL grounds keepers are really good at their jobs and I'll wager the field was covered so I'm going to say weather and field conditions should be fine. Here's the deal, Houston won't have Lamar Miller on offense or Jadaveon Clowney on defense. Tennessee will not have their starting QB Marcus Mariota. Houston will need to piece together a defense because they will also be without some key personnel on defense besides Clowney. Here is the full list of inactives for today's game and you will notice some very familiar names on that list. Two of the last 3 are probably guys who are nursing some things along and Bill O'Brien is just giving them an extra week to heal up before the playoffs begin next week. Brandon Weeden has not been active yet this season.
    TEXANS INACTIVES
    DE Jadeveon Clowney
    RB Lamar Miller
    FB Jay Prosch
    OLB John Simon
    CB Johnathan Joseph
    ILB Brian Cushing
    QB Brandon Weeden

    The question to be answered is, can Houston stop the Titans run game without Clowney, Simon, Joseph and Cushing? We may be able to see just how good the depth is on the Texans defense as they face the challenge of stopping DeMarco Murray, the NFL's 3rd leading rusher and his battery mate Derrick Henry. The defense for Tennessee is only ranked 21st in the NFL so Houston, who isn't really missing anyone other than Lamar Miller should be able to do some damage in the run game. Tennessee is ranked 5th in rushing defense but I'm not sure if that's because people can pass on them and don't need to run or if the Titans really are that good against the run. What is true is that the Titans are 31st against the pass so if Tom Savage has anything going for him it's that. He struggled last week against the Bengals but so have a lot of other QBs in the league. I'd look for Will Fuller to have a good game as with the tight ends Ryan Griffin and CJ Fiedorowicz. I'm not forgetting about DeAndre Hopkins guys even though it seems like Brock Osweiler did for most of the season. Since Savage has taken over at QB it seems like he is doing his dead level best to target Hopkins even when he probably shouldn't. Unless I am totally wrong, you know THAT never happens, I think Savage is going to bounce back with a strong game today and I think the Texans are going to light up a slightly demoralized Titans team for some points. So, what does THAT mean?

    Houston 31 Tennessee 10

  6. #51
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    Somebody forgot to remind the Tennessee Titans they were out of the playoffs. The Titans played hard and got a 24-17 win over the Texans in Nashville. The Titans defense actually played their asses off and Houston had no answer with Tom Savage at QB. I hate to say it but Savage looked a lot like Brock Osweiler with pretty much the same results. In the second quarter Savage suffered a concussion on a quarterback sneak for a first down. It took a few minutes before Savage was looked at because he appeared to be fine. Eventually he was taken out of the game and had to go to the locker room to go through the concussion protocol. When he came back out after halftime he was declared cleared to play then the next thing you know Brock Osweiler was back on the game and Osweiler was not cleared. Very strange circumstances. If Savage was cleared and was not let back in the game you would think that Osweiler is the starter heading into the playoffs. If Savage is really concussed Brock will definitely be the QB because the Texans can't waste valuable practice time while he goes through the NFL concussion dog and pony show. To his credit, Brock did a decent job. He didn't throw a pick in his 40 pass attempts and that really is saying something. Brock also led the Texans to all 17 of their points all in the second half after the Texans upped the tempo of their offense and stopped trying to run on 1st and 2nd down. I really believe the offensive explosion the Texans had under Tom Savage in the game when Osweiler was first benched was because O'Brien opened up the playbook and stopped trying to run the ball on predictable downs.

    Houston will not get their 10th win of the season and it's only partly because of the lack of offense in the game. The defense, down Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing, John Simon and others couldn't get off the field on 3rd down. For a guy who likes the Cowboys and the Texans I just couldn't fathom how or why Matt Cassel was tearing up the Texans defense. Yesterday Cassel looked like the guy who led the Patriots to an 11-5 record when Tom Brady had his ACL torn way back in 2008.

    In Savage's 2nd possession in the first quarter he made the biggest impact he was going to make during the game. Unfortunately, it was to the Titans benefit. Savage, on 3rd and 9 at their own 14, was sacked by the Titans Sean Spence and recovered by Daquan Jones in the end zone for a TD and the first score of the game.

    Houston will have to regroup and get ready for the Oakland Raiders next week. Since the Raiders lost to Denver and Kansas City beat San Diego KC and Oakland ended up in a tie for the AFC West division title with KC holding the tie breaker they won the division and that made the Raiders the 5th seed in the playoffs. In a way, it is a blessing for Houston to avoid having to play a hot KC team in a rematch of the Wild Card round playoff game from last season. A game that Houston lost. As it is the Texans get a good Raiders team that looked pretty average against the Broncos yesterday without MVP candidate David Carr. Houston should get a lot of players back next week bringing them up to full strength and given the Raiders liability at QB should be able to beat the them and move on to the Divisional round where things get considerably harder. If Pittsburgh beats Miami and Houston wins they would travel to New England to play the Patriots. If Miami should prevail the Dolphins would go to New England and Houston would face, you guessed it, Kansas City.

    At least there weren't any significant injuries yesterday outside of Savage. With a week of rest Houston should get Lamar Miller, Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing and several others back. Now the only dilemma is having to worry about whether or not Evil Brock shows up next week.

  7. #52
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    In the past week there hasn't been all that much news coming from NRG Stadium but it has been significant news.

    First we learned that Brock Osweiler is the QB of the Texans going into today's game against Oakland. That was no shock considering Tom Savage had been under the NFL concussion protocol since having his bell rung in the 2nd quarter of the Texans loss to Tennessee last week. The question is will it be the good Brock or the evil twin who shows up to play today? Only time will tell but this is playoff football, Baby, and Bill O'Brien had better be more aggressive in his play calling that he's been. The Texans offensive success with either Brock or Tom Savage under center has come when O'Brien sped up the tempo and started throwing the ball on 1st down. When the Texans operate the run-run-pass-punt offense which is their basic scheme it rarely works out well for the Texans. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors of the locker room but you have to think that the guys on the #1 ranked defense in the NFL have to be saying, or thinking, WTR are you clowns doing? Three and outs and no points scored has to be frustrating for the defense as they battle their asses off and watch the offense do absolutely nothing to help them out. Houston's highest point output all season was 27 points in a win over Tennessee way back in Week 4. Houston hasn't won every game they scored at least 20 points but they have had a chance to. Houston is actually 7-1 this season when scoring 21 points or more. Their other two wins came on a 19-12 win over Kansas City in Week 2 and a 12-10 win over Cincinnati in Week 16. The only time Houston was shut out this season was the embarrassing Week 3 loss to the Patriots where the Pats third string QB led them over Houston 27-0. That was a very low point in a very young season. Brock was the guy that night and he's the guy today. Last Sunday in relief of Tom Savage the good twin showed up and passed for 240 yards with a passing TD and a rushing TD and NO PICKS. That's right, I said it, no picks. We need that Brock to show up today.

    Another item was just a rumor but word on the grapevine is that this is Bill O'Brien's last season in Houston. I know, right? Why would that be? Good Ol' BO has gone 9-7 in his three seasons in Houston winning the division twice. I know the Texans got embarrassed by Kansas City in the playoffs getting shut out 31-0 in a game that was so horrendously played by QB Brian Hoyer that he not only lost his starting job, he lost his freaking job, period. So why would a coach with a winning record and two division titles lose his job? Simple, he and GM Rick Smith don't see eye to eye. Or at least that is the rumor. O'Brien knows that Smith has provided him with a terrific defense that suffered the loss of the NFL's best defensive player in JJ Watt in 2016 and still ended up with the #1 defense in football. When Watt returns next season they will be even better. Smith also provided O'Brien with offensive weapons to work with to go along with DeAndre Hopkins. He drafted Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and signed free agent RB Lamar Miller. That, along with the development of TE's CJ Fiedorwicz and Ryan Griffin and the Texans have the potential for a very explosive offense. Smith even tried to upgrade the O-line starting with drafting C Nick Martin, little brother of the Cowboys Zack Martin, out of Notre Dame but the younger Martin suffered a bad ankle injury that required surgery to repair and landed him on IR for the entire season. The Texans also struggled keeping their O-tackles heathy. Duane Brown and Derek Newton both spent time on the sidelines with injuries. Newton is on the Texans injured/reserve list and will miss the playoffs. The one place where Rick Smith has totally screwed Bill O'Brien is at QB. Smith tried to address the position but he has whiffed at every turn. Last year he signed not one, but two, QBs Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett and both proved to be busts. Mallett especially. He was the sexy free agent after the 2014 season and Smith paid a pretty penny to lure him to Houston. What he proved to be was an immature, petulant doo-doo head. Brian Hoyer was just inconsistent. This past offseason Smith let both Hoyer and Mallet leave and he pursued and signed Broncos QB Brock Osweiler. There was reason for optimism because Osweiler had gone 5-2 in seven starts for Denver in 2015 including a big Monday night win over New England but so far Brock has been more bust than boom. Part of the reason may be because of the bad O-line he plays behind and some of it is a disturbing lack of awareness or field vision or both that Brock has shown to have. Generally, when a head coach and a GM don't see eye to eye it's over personnel decisions. That goes back to Bill Parcell's comment that if he's going to be the chef he ought to have some say in who buys the groceries. Bill O isn't going anywhere as long as the Texans are still in the playoffs so the focus of everyone should be on the Oakland Raiders game today at NRG Stadium at 3:35 this afternoon.

    As to the game itself, it's a hard call. Houston played these same Raiders in November on a Monday night in Mexico City. The Texans lost 27-20 but it was a game that Houston could have, and maybe should have, won. That was with the Raiders having their QB Derek Carr. Brock has to play better than he did that night south of the border. He still had the Texans up 20-13 in the 4th when the whole thing came crashing down. It was on the defense who allowed the Raiders to score 2 TDs in the 4th to steal the victory. The Texans had the chance to ice the game but Bill O'Brien failed to challenge a spot on a 3rd down play that would have given the Texans a 1st down and allowed them to run clock on the Raiders. He would have won that challenge as it was clearly a poor spot by the officials. On fourth down Bill opted to go for the first down and it appeared it was made but another bad spot left Houston short. O'Brien challenged that spot but the officials said it was upheld and Houston gave up the ball and eventually the lead in the game. When officials rule that the call was upheld that is shorthand speak for there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the call. If the ref had said the call was "confirmed" that meant the video evidence supported the original call. That fourth down was one of those "upheld" calls. This time around the teams are not on a neutral site outside the United States. The Texans have the Raiders at home in from of one of the loudest crowds anywhere. The Raiders are also having to start a rookie, Connor Cook late of Michigan State University, who has all of 2 quarters of NFL experience. The Texans defense, which is pretty darn healthy all things considered, should be licking their chops at this. The Raiders have a good O-line as evidenced by their sixth ranked rushing offense and 13th ranked passing offense but who knows what the loss of Carr means to the Raiders. Houston is the 8th ranked rushing offense but Lamar Miller and his 1,053 yards out distances Oakland's Latavius Murray's 788 yards. Houston's passing offense is ranked 29th and is a far cry from the Raiders but, again, the Raiders do not have Derek Carr and Connor Cook is a big unknown right now. It looks like the cards are stacked in favor of the Texans and that is what scares me. It looks too good to be true. This is a scenario where evil Brock loves to show up and crap all over everyone's birthday cake. Houston is supposed to have Lamar Miller back after his missing the final 3 games of the season with an ankle injury. If he's truly healthy he will inject life into what has been a very sickly run offense lately. If Miller runs the ball effectively evil Brock won't be able to come out as often. The offense has to stay on the field longer than they did against Oakland back in November. I really think the reason Oakland was able to come back on the Texans was the defense had just spent too much time on the field and they wore down. At least I thought so until I saw that Houston's time of possession in that game was 36:27 vs 23:33 for Oakland. That shot that theory down big time. It appears that the Texans defense just lost their mojo in the 4th quarter. Can the Raiders put up 27 points without Carr? Can the Texans offense put up more than 20 points against the Raiders defense? A lot of that depends on whether good Brock or evil Brock shows up today. So, what does that mean?

    Houston 23 Oakland 16

  8. #53
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    The game went off pretty much as I figured if evil Brock didn't show his ugly mug. Not only didn't evil Brock show up and new and improved version of good Brock took the field yesterday. A Brock that did not throw an interception the whole game. Nice. He kept the ball out of the hands of the Raiders by being smart enough to throw the ball away. He didn't take a sack that he didn't have to in the game either. He threw a nice slant pass to DeAndre Hopkins for the Texans first TD and he kept the ball and ran it in for another TD. He was efficient with his passes going 14-25 for 168 yards as Houston maintained a balanced offense as Houston threw the ball 25 times and ran it 44 times for 123 yards. Lamar Miller had the bulk of the work and most of the yards as he gained 73 yards on 31 carries. I know that is not all that impressive when you figure Miller only gained an average of 2.35 YPC but it was nasty in the trenches yesterday. The Raiders may not have had Derek Carr at QB but the defense, led by Kahlil Mack, made Houston every inch of the yardage they gained.
    The defense did their part and then some. They shut down the Raiders run game and held them to 64 yards total rushing. The pass defense was helped by a relentless pass rush in which Connor Cook was bashed and battered almost every time he dropped back to pass. The Texans only sacked Cook 3 times, 2 by Whitney Mercilus and one by DJ Reader, but it seemed like more. Jadeveon Clowney was a terror as he just wore the Raiders left tackle. Clowney even recorded an interception when he tipped a Cook pass up in the air and after playing volleyball with it for a few seconds he hauled the ball in and set up Houston's first touchdown. In all the Texans recorded 3 INTs on the day. One by Clowney, one by AJ Bouye and another by Corey Moore.
    It was obvious that Connor Cook was in over his head. He was making his first ever NFL start and doing it in the playoffs against the #1 defense in the NFL isn't exactly the scenario you would like a young rookie get this feet wet. Cook didn't just get his feet wet, he was drowned under the tidal wave of Texans defenders. You have to give him credit, he did lead the Raiders to 2 TD's and neither of them came cheap. The Texans made the Raiders earn what they got.
    The game was nothing to be ashamed of from the Raiders point of view. The Texans were just the better team. If the Brock that showed up yesterday had been the Brock that went to Mexico City in November the Texans would have ended up the season 10-6 because they would have beaten the Raiders that night too.
    It's on to the divisional round next week and the road gets a whole lot tougher. Depending on who wins today's other AFC Wild Card game, Pittsburgh or Miami, Houston will either travel to New England to face the Patriots or they'll go to frigid Kansas City and play the Chiefs. If this new and improved Good Brock shows up no matter who they play the Texans will stand a punchers chance to advance to the next round.

  9. #54
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    It seems like we should be hoo-raying the Texans even though the win vs Oakland was pretty much an expected outcome. In last year’s wild card game Houston played Kansas City who shut out the Texans 30-0 in a humbling exhibition of total crap football led by the horrendous performance of Brian Hoyer who stalled drives with 5 INTs in the game killing any chance the Texans had of even looking like they were going to be able to compete with the Chiefs. That game is in the past. Brian Hoyer and three other QBs from last year are gone too. Gone is Ryan Mallet, gone is TJ Yates and gone is BJ Daniels (who?). Tom Savage missed all of last season after landing on IR for the season after he hurt his shoulder in the final preseason game against Dallas. Brandon Weeden is still on hand. For most of the 2016 season he was the 3rd string QB and mostly inactive on game days.
    Now, Houston has Brock Osweiler to lead the charge. On the one hand Brock has led the team to 7 of the Texans 9 wins plus a win in the playoffs. On the other hand he has been wildly inconsistent leading to the notion that there is a “good” Brock and an “evil” Brock. The Evil Brock was tied for 4th in the NFL throwing INT’s with Eli Manning and Blake Bortles with 16. They trail only Phillip Rivers (21), Jameis Winston (18) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (17) in this category. Osweiler was benched in the Week 15 game against Jacksonville after throwing his second pick of the first half and Tom Savage came on and led the Texans to a come-from-behind victory. He led the Texans to a hard fought win against Cincinnati in Week 16 which was a huge because the Tennessee also lost in Week 16 thus clinching the division title for the Texans. Going into the Week 17 game against those same Tennessee Titans the Texans didn’t need to win but they wanted that 10th victory of the season. In the 2nd quarter of that game Tom Savage, who was named the starter by Bill O’Brien after his performance against Jacksonville, suffered a concussion on a quarterback sneak of all things. This gave Brock his second chance and has looked as if he learned a thing or two by being benched. In the 6+ quarters since he took over for Savage Brock has thrown for 2 TDs and rushed for 2 more. His combined completion percentage is 54.25 which is not where you’d want to see it, you’d like to see his comp % north of 60% but the most important stat is the zero picks in 65 pass attempts. The Texans didn’t win that 10th game of the season but they didn’t lose because Brock didn’t take care of the football. Considering what Brock has done this season I can live with 54% as long as there are no INT’s. Against the Patriots this week the Evil Brock simply cannot show up if Houston expects to win.
    I heard Jon Gruden say on Mike and Mike this morning that he doesn’t think the game this week will be a blowout by the Patriots simply because the Texans defense is so good. If the Good Brock shows up I agree with Mr Gruden that the game could be much closer than most people think it will be. It won’t be easy to say the least because even though the Texans have the #1 defense in the NFL overall the Patriots lead the league in fewest points allowed this season with 250. That averages out to be just 15.6 PPG. The difference between the Texans and Patriots is pretty simple, the Pats have a better QB. However, if the Good Brock continues to show up and play a clean game, from a turnover perspective, the Texans have a fighting chance to shock the world by upsetting the Patriots in their home stadium. A guy can dream can’t he?

  10. #55
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    The Texans play the New England Patriots in about 3 hours or so. There isn't much to say that hasn't been said before. Texans #1 defense in the NFL, Patriots #1 in fewest points allowed per game. Brock Osweiler vs Tom Brady. Really, I'm going to stop here with the comparison stuff. The Brock-Brady matchup is the most important in this game. It's the main reason the Patriots are favored by the Wise Guys by 16 points. For a playoff game, that is a huge spread and it speaks volumes as what Vegas thinks of Brady AND how little they think of Brock. It's such a big spread I think I might call my guy and put some money down on Houston to cover that spread. The fact is, when Houston played the Patriots it was in Boston and evil Brock showed up and the Texans were shut out by the Pats 27 zip. The disturbing thing about that win was lousy the Patriots made Brock look and also that the Patriots rolled out their rookie 3rd string QB Jacoby Brissette because Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured and they still beat the crap out of Houston. I put a lot of that loss on Brock. He was awful that night but he did have help in the form of a fumbled punt that set the Patriots up deep in Texans territory. The defense must have seen that the offense just didn't have it against the Patriots D because they looked like they were trying to get back into the game by making a spectacular play or two. The problem was they were not making the routine play. It was just a case of the Texans, despite being 2-0 at the time they were just out of their league. Fast forward 15 weeks and both teams are better than they were way back in September. The big equalizer could be Brock. Can he remain the Good Brock he's been the past game and a half or will he wilt under the cold weather in Boston Not just the cold weather but can Brock withstand the heat of the Patriots defense. He wasn't so hot in the first meeting. He needs to be better this time around. If Brock plays smart football and he doesn't turn the ball over the Texans have a chance, albeit a slim one, to win this game. And wouldn't THAT be something?!
    As for the weather, it is a factor. At kickoff tonight the forecast is cold, real damn cold. Not as bone chilling cold as Kansas City last week, or Pittsburgh, but cold just the same. How cold? Well forecast temp at kickoff is 28p F with a wind chill of 20o. The wind will be a bit of a factor as it is out of the SSW at 10 mph.
    The Texans can win but they will need to move the football and they will have to pressure Tom Brady aside form the need for Brock to play well. Simple right? Block, tackle, run, pass, catch. Do your job and everything will be okay even though you are 16 point underdogs.
    I hesitate to give a prediction of the score but I have come this far so, what the hell.

    Houston 23 New England 20

  11. #56
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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle eye View Post
    The Texans play the New England Patriots in about 3 hours or so. There isn't much to say that hasn't been said before. Texans #1 defense in the NFL, Patriots #1 in fewest points allowed per game. Brock Osweiler vs Tom Brady. Really, I'm going to stop here with the comparison stuff. The Brock-Brady matchup is the most important in this game. It's the main reason the Patriots are favored by the Wise Guys by 16 points. For a playoff game, that is a huge spread and it speaks volumes as what Vegas thinks of Brady AND how little they think of Brock. It's such a big spread I think I might call my guy and put some money down on Houston to cover that spread. The fact is, when Houston played the Patriots it was in Boston and evil Brock showed up and the Texans were shut out by the Pats 27 zip. The disturbing thing about that win was lousy the Patriots made Brock look and also that the Patriots rolled out their rookie 3rd string QB Jacoby Brissette because Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured and they still beat the crap out of Houston. I put a lot of that loss on Brock. He was awful that night but he did have help in the form of a fumbled punt that set the Patriots up deep in Texans territory. The defense must have seen that the offense just didn't have it against the Patriots D because they looked like they were trying to get back into the game by making a spectacular play or two. The problem was they were not making the routine play. It was just a case of the Texans, despite being 2-0 at the time they were just out of their league. Fast forward 15 weeks and both teams are better than they were way back in September. The big equalizer could be Brock. Can he remain the Good Brock he's been the past game and a half or will he wilt under the cold weather in Boston Not just the cold weather but can Brock withstand the heat of the Patriots defense. He wasn't so hot in the first meeting. He needs to be better this time around. If Brock plays smart football and he doesn't turn the ball over the Texans have a chance, albeit a slim one, to win this game. And wouldn't THAT be something?!
    As for the weather, it is a factor. At kickoff tonight the forecast is cold, real damn cold. Not as bone chilling cold as Kansas City last week, or Pittsburgh, but cold just the same. How cold? Well forecast temp at kickoff is 28p F with a wind chill of 20o. The wind will be a bit of a factor as it is out of the SSW at 10 mph.
    The Texans can win but they will need to move the football and they will have to pressure Tom Brady aside form the need for Brock to play well. Simple right? Block, tackle, run, pass, catch. Do your job and everything will be okay even though you are 16 point underdogs.
    I hesitate to give a prediction of the score but I have come this far so, what the hell.

    Houston 23 New England 20
    Sure hope you are right.

  12. #57
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: Houston Texans 2016 Regular Season

    I sitting here pissed off after the Packers just beat the Cowboys. I hate Aaron Rodgers. I have renewed my hatred of the Packers as well. So what has this got to do with the Texans thread? Nothing, I just needed to vent. I'll rip the Cowboys tomorrow but right now it's time to rip the Texans.

    In nobody's mind did anyone think the Texans were really going into Foxborough Massachusetts and beat the Patriots. The key matchup was, as I said, between Brady and Brock. Brady wasn't perfect but he was good enough. Brock wasn't awful but he was awful enough but the reason the game got away from the Texans wasn't Brock's fault. Down 24-13 Houston was driving the ball and they had gotten inside Patriots territory. On 3rd and 8 at the Patriots 45 Brock unleashed a perfectly thrown ball to Will Fuller. The ball flew in over the defender who was a step behind Fuller at the Texans goal line and right in the waiting arms of fuller. TD right? Fuck NO! As he has done way too many times this season Fuller dropped the damn ball forcing the Texans to punt instead of lining up for the extra point. Instead of closing the gap to a manageable 24-20 the Patriots got the ball back still with a comfortable 11 point lead. CJ Fiedorowicz dropped a couple of passes, one that would have kept a drive going. On defense on the first possession of the 2nd half by the Patriots leading by a slight 17-13 margin Brady made a bad mistake on a pass to Dion Lewis. Brady threw the ball slightly behind Lewis and one of the Texans defensive MVP candidates this season jumped the route and the ball hit him right between the 2 and the 1 on his jersey but he couldn't hang on to the ball. Houston would have been set up around the Patriots 25 with a big slug of momentum on their side. Instead the Patriots punted and the Texans did nothing with the ball despite having good field position. Ryan Griffin dropped a pass on 3rd and 4 at the NE 41 that would have kept the drive going. Now, Brock threw 3 picks in the game and 2 of them were just lousy throws but he was hardly the only one to blame for this loss. As I said, the outcome of the game comes as no surprise but to see where Houston opportunities to capitalize on Patriots mistakes and failed to do so makes the loss even more irksome to Texans fans. I think the fans are not the only ones to feel a combination of pissed, disappointed and angry at the loss knowing they could, and should, have had a real shot at winning the game if just a couple of things go differently. In an article on NFL.com NT Vince Wilfork said that last night's game was probably going to be his last inferring he was going to retire after another disappointing performance in the playoffs. At least they didn't get shutout in the their home stadium the way they did last year but it's still got to suck.
    It's the freaking Patriots though and they are travelling under a charmed existence since Tom Brady became the starter of the Patriots all those years ago. Frankly, I'm going to root for them to win another Super Bowl because I would love to see Roger Goodell hand yet another SB trophy to Belichick and Brady as well as the MVP award. Wouldn't that be sweet? Goodell persecutes Brady for 18 months, spends millions of dollars on the deflate-gate fiasco, and ends up winning the right to suspend Brady the first 4 games of the 2016 season. There would be some poetic justice in that sight.
    After the game the announcers addressed the rumor that Bill O'Brien was going to resign as head coach despite recording a winning record in his first 3 seasons and despite a virtual turnstile of QB's during his tenure from Matt Schaub through Brock Osweiler. What really needs to happen this off season is get JJ Watt back 100% healthy and teach Will Fuller how to catch a mother f**cking football.
    I'm officially starting a rumor. In this offseason the Texans will work out a trade with the Dallas Cowboys to bring in Tony Romo to finish his career as a Texan. They work out a deal where Dallas has to foot a huge chunk of the salary Romo still has on the books from that $100+MM contract he signed a few years ago. There are two big years salary-wise left on Romo's deal but the Cowboys get a couple of draft picks and a prospect or two in exchange for Romo. Of course, this is the missing piece of the Texans puzzle as Romo wins the starting job in training camp next summer and he leads a rejuvenated offense to Super Bowl LII in 2018. All this as the Cowboys flounder under the inexperienced Dak Prescott as the mistakes that didn't bite him in the ass in 2016 rip him a new one in 2017.

    I'm sorry the Texans lost and pissed off that the Cowboys lost and throw up a little in my mouth every time I think about the demise of any chance of a Texas Super Bowl falling in pieces on the ground in Foxborough and Dallas.

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