H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lo and Behold, My Psychic Powers Have Returned!

Not to toot my own sizable horn, but last Monday I predicted that the Texans would upset the Jags. Most people seemed to think that prognostication was simply the ranting of a madman, but yesterday the Texans justified my love, defeating their most bitter divisional rivals 27-7. Thus, my apologies for the premature epitaph concerning my psychic powers. It's clear to me that I am well on my way to becoming H-Town's own Miss(ter) Cleo. Thoughts about the game...

1. What a beautiful day it was for football yesterday. Roof open, sun shining, nice breeze...I don't think there was a better place to be than Reliant Stadium yesterday afternoon.

2. Although every pundit from here to Corsicana has opined about the effect of lacking a running game, it was nonetheless amazing to see how the existence of one dramatically changes every other facet of the game. Having a two-dimensional offense is a real treat.

a. Wali Lundy (93 yards on 19 carries with a TD, plus 4 catches for another 15 yards) has to be starting against the Oilers on Sunday, right? He seems to be the only back on the roster that has the ability to turn the corner on the outside. It makes his repeated inactive status the past few games all the more puzzling.

b. Fare thee well, Ron Dayne.

3. The offensive line did an absolutely incredible job yesterday, both in pass protection and run-blocking. Although they've been markedly better in pass protection throughout this year, this was easily their best and most complete performance of the season. Kudos to all of them.

4. David Carr's final line: 25-34, 224 yards, 2 TD, O INT. Through six (6) games, he's sporting a 97.9 passer rating; that's currently good for fourth best in the NFL. Even his most vocal critics have to quiet down, don't they? I mean, Scott even finally broke down and bought a Carr jersey yesterday.

5. Andre Johnson is currently leading the league in receiving yards (591) and receptions (47). Even though he's clearly Carr's favorite target and the focus of every defense each week, he's still throwing up 100 yard games as a matter of course. The dude is unbelievable. With apologies to Steve Smith and Chad Johnson, Andre is the best WR in the NFL right now.

6. Another game, another sack for Super Mario. Yeah, I know--Leftwich slipped. But a sack is a sack, and Mario was there to do his best Michael Strahan impression.

a. Every week, Mario becomes more and more of a disruptive force in the passing game. He was in the backfield all day yesterday.

b. Sack notwithstanding, Mario made one of the (if not the) biggest play of the game with his fumble recovery. The man is a machine.

c. Can't wait to see him tangle with Jesus in Cleats in Nashville on Sunday. Think both of those guys are a little eager to show what they can do?

7. DeMeco Ryans continues to be a whirling dervish. Teams are going to regret passing on him for years to come.

8. Anthony Weaver is worth every cent the Texans are paying him.

9. Have to congratulate the Texans' secondary; they completely shut down Reggie Williams, who's a pretty good receiver, and limited Leftwich to 125 passing yards. I don't know if that's wholly attributable to the return of Petey Faggins, the absence of Matt Jones, or Leftwich's ankle, but I'll take it. Regardless, a starting tandem of Faggins and Robinson is significantly better than Sanders and Robinson.

10. The Texans will have their first winning streak of the season after Sunday's game in Nashville. Believe it!

13 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

1. Anthony Weaver...hmmm...who signed him? CHARLEY CASSERLY!!! Weaver played like a man possessed Sunday. I'm ecstatic that he's going to be around for a few years. Boy would it be nice to have a big Tank Williams or Sam Adams type run-stopper alongside him on the D-line.

2. David Carr threw a beautiful pass to Andre Johnson for a TD and a nice pass to Owen Daniels for a TD. He made a couple of other nice throws on non-scoring plays. He also took a horrendous sack, had several passes deflected at the line of scrimmage, had a couple of near interceptions and completed ten passes to Texan running backs.

With downfield threats available like Andre, Moulds, Walters and Daniels and an offensive line that is providing substantial time for the passing game to develop, Carr's continued lack of poise in the pocket puts a ceiling on the Texans offense at a level considerably below "explosive".

3. I believe Kubiak when he says that Lundy looked overwhelmed and needed some time to adjust. Looks like that move may have paid off, at least for Lundy. Makes me quite impressed with Joe Addai, who is playing like a multi-year vet in Indianapolis.

4. Ephraim Salaam has been outstanding at LT.

5. Can you believe the ghost that Andre Johnson became in '04 and '05 for the Texans? Stunning. If I had my choice of any WR in the NFL, I'd take #80 right now.

6. Weaver, Mario, Ryans and Dunta make a fearsome foursome on D (potentially). Antwan Peek also wreaked some havoc yesterday. The Texans D was fun to watch.

7. I can't believe Del Rio stuck with Leftiwch the whole game. He looked awful, and Garrard is more than capable. Andre Ware said on the pregame radio show that he thinks Garrard's better than Leftwich, flat out. I might agree with that. Smell a controversy?

8. I'm thrilled with the win, but just for fun - what happens if Taylor doesn't fumble in the 3rd quarter and the Jags score again to go ahead 14-10. What exactly does Kubiak do at halftime? Pass a bowl of Ricky Williams' finest grass around? The Texans have now been outscored 48-0 in the second half this season.

Mon Oct 23, 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

#8 amended - obviously a typo by me - the Texans have been outscored 48-0 in the third quarter , not the second half.

Mon Oct 23, 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I had actually penned a comment blasting you for the inaccuracy of Point Eight, but the damn Blogger screen froze before I could call you out publicly. Nice catch.

Despite the glory and rarity (thus far) of a Texans victory, it's refreshing to know that there are some things you can always count on, win or lose, come every Monday morning...Scott's always good for (1) a spirited and irrational defense of Casserly and (2) a petty henpicking/crapping upon of Carr's performance regardless of his success. You can set your watch by it.

Mon Oct 23, 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Your response to the batted down passes, bad sack, near interceptions and bushel full of rushed running back checkdowns, Melody/Tim?

Mon Oct 23, 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

My response is this:

1. Texans 27, Jags 7.
2. Carr=O INT.
3. Carr=2 TD.

Those are the numbers that matter, Mr. President.

Mon Oct 23, 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Your argument may work at the annual Football for Chicks class at Foley's, but unfortunately, those numbers are quite deceiving. Which, of course, is why you use them to push your tired agenda of Carr-4-Life.

Mon Oct 23, 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Wow. Instead of rationally countering my valid arguments, you feel the need to stoop to unabashed sexism. No wonder this blog's female readership is so low. Get with the 21st century, neanderthal.

Mon Oct 23, 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

You played the intellectually dishonest (and 4th grade level) game of "Scoreboard" in response to my very specific criticisms of Carr's play on Sunday. Earlier I asked you directly to respond to my very precise criticisms of Carr's play, and you answered with "Scoreboard". Nice mental lifting.

Carr's numbers were good, without a doubt. The defense and running game won for the Texans, though, in my opinion, not Carr's play. I mentioned several specific problems that I had with Carr's play. Thanks to a couple of drops by Jags' DBs, he had no INTs. He took a horrendous sack. He checked down to RBs over ten times despite rarely being pressured by the Jags pass rush. There were plenty of things that Carr did that I believe were not as impressive as your chosen numbers indicate. If you are unable to answer my questions directly, then I will assume that you have no answer to my criticisms, which I think are quite fair.

Mon Oct 23, 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anne said...

This post alone proves that your thousands of viewers are just the 2 of you ranting to each other over and over. GO BOSTON COLLEGE!

Mon Oct 23, 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

And A-Mac checks in with a resounding thud. She must have gotten lost on her way to http://beantownsports.blogspot.com.

Regarding your points, Scott--what drops by the Jags' DBs are you referring to? Not saying you're wrong; just saying I don't recall them.

The horrendous sack was but one play in the game, and it's a vast improvement over Carr's earlier habit of running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage six times per game. I'll take his pocket presence this year over his last four any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Your criticism of the short dump-offs to Lundy and Gado is misleading, if not inaccurate. How many times was the pressure weak enough to warrant waiting for Johnson, Moulds, et al to get open down the field? I actually thought Carr did a great job waiting for Andre to get get open down the field on several routes. While Carr might have dumped it off a bit quickly on two or three occasions, I'd much rather have that than him holding on to the ball too long. As opposed to last year, you can see that he's actually going through his progressions.

Bottom line is that my boy did a masterful job moving the chains and managing the game. As discussed in one of the earlier posts, there are few QBs I'd rather have running the show than David Carr. Yesterday's performance did nothing but cement that position in my eyes.

Mon Oct 23, 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Bosquez said...

I agree with Scott's assessment of the victory. It was the direct result of the Texans taking advantage of an injury depleted Jaguars defense and committing to running the ball.

The Texans were further helped by the fact that I have not seen as poor a QB performance by a team (in this case, the Jaguars) since the last time Bledsoe started a game on the road.

Enjoy the win Tim, but to think that the Texans have turned any corner is delusional.

Mon Oct 23, 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Try to minimize the win as much as you like, haters. The fact is, however, that it's the first dominant win the Texans have had in two seasons. Should they go on the road to Nashville and pull out a win, the Texans will have already surpassed last season's win total with nine (9) games left to play. I cannot comprehend how that would not constitute turning a huge corner under any interpretation of the concept.

Tue Oct 24, 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

1. What drops by the Jags' DBs are you referring to? Not saying you're wrong; just saying I don't recall them.
I cannot recite them from memory and I have unfortunately already deleted the game from my DVR, but I do recall a couple of occasions in which balls were deflected/batted and could have been easily intercepted. I guess we'll have to call this a push.

2. The horrendous sack was but one play in the game, and it's a vast improvement over Carr's earlier habit of running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage six times per game. our criticism of the short dump-offs to Lundy and Gado is misleading, if not inaccurate. How many times was the pressure weak enough to warrant waiting for Johnson, Moulds, et al to get open down the field? I actually thought Carr did a great job waiting for Andre to get get open down the field on several routes. While Carr might have dumped it off a bit quickly on two or three occasions, I'd much rather have that than him holding on to the ball too long. As opposed to last year, you can see that he's actually going through his progressions.
That play was a play that a good NFL QB never makes, especially in his fifth season as a starter. Carr is admittedly running out of bounds less, but that is because the offensive line is providing a ton of pocket time for him in pass protection, not because of his improved poise in the pocket. I respectfully disagree re: Carr making his progressions. He is looking at one receiver and immediately dumping the ball off. He is still skittish in the pocket. There is nothing wrong with holding the ball in the pocket for a prolonged period of time, if you have the time to do so, which Carr has had.

This was an outstanding win for the Texans. Any win is by definition outstanding after a 2-14 season and a 1-4 start to this season, sort of like scoring at a bar in college is nice for the dullard who has gone actionless for a semester-and-a-half, even if the chick has a beard. The morning after, however, said dullard is not instantly Don Juan. The chick still had a beard. This win was not 'chick with a beard', but it was at least a chick with a large whitehead and some mangled teeth.

Tue Oct 24, 11:42:00 AM  

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