A Belated Texans-Colts Game Recap
Posted on 12/28/2011 12:57:09 AM
The Colts – Texans recap has been long overdue however I was unable to proceed with my obligations as I have just recently awoken from a Texan Kool-Aid drunken stupor that was topped off with a psychotic episode induced by what I'm referring to as the Dan Orlovsky Disaster.
I missed Christmas Eve, Christmas, all the weekends games, and any family or friends that had wished to see me. According to the paramedics I was found wandering along I-45, naked, with a Reggie Wayne pictures stapled into my chest, mumbling about Kareem Jackson’s inability to cover anyone or anything with two legs, a set of hands, and a NFL combine visit.
It was Thursday night and I was drunk off the Kool-Aid, high on some Arian Foster, with a belly full of some playoff hope. There was no possible way the Texans could lose this game after a sloppy home loss to the Panthers coupled with the Colts finally getting their win and thus losing interest. I mean C’MON MAN! No way Dan “Out Of Bounds” Orlovsky could morph into Dan “Last Second Touchdown” Orlovsky, against his former team and one of the best defenses in the league right? Wrong. C’MON MAN!
The last thing I remember was Dan Orlovsky leading the 1-13 Colts on a 78 – yard touchdown drive for the victory. After that I must have blacked out or gone all stigmata on everyone.
In all fairness I’ve got to hand it to Dan Orlovsky. He hung in there after a bad start, keep it close, then turned up the best drive of his career when it mattered most. To make it even sweeter he did so against his former team and one of the top three defenses in the league. Congratulations on your second NFL win – they call it a win streak Danny Boy – and I have officially dropped your Out Of Bounds moniker from my book of monikers; yes I have one of those.
The ghosts of Texans past game full circle as they managed to blow a tightly contested matchup and wipe away any chance at a first round bye. This was largely done through pusillanimous play-calling, questionable late game matchup (Kareem Jackson on Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne), and some help from the refs. Don’t think for a second I actually blame the refs for the loss; it should have never been that close, but it should be noted that the calls against J.J. Watt were a special kind of bull s*%t.
The game started off just as any Texans fan would have hoped for. A quick and decisive (or so I had hoped) turnover by Dan Orlovsky followed moments later by an Arian Foster touchdown run. On the next drive it seemed the Texans were going to force a quick three and out and really get the ball rolling until a particularly egregious roughing the passer call on JJ Watt extended the Colts drive. From there on out it was a rather listless performance by the Texans; except on defense in the red zone where they forced the Colts to continue to settle for field goals.
However the Texans could never get a big cushion because the offense was pathetic. The absence of Andre Johnson coupled with a 5th round rookie quarterback has led to a grotesque dink-and-dunk offense that seems incapable of hitting a big play. Which basically means outside of Arian Foster rushing for a 150 a game (he did that night) and the defense scoring, this team has little or no chance to win in the playoffs.
To make matters worse Gary Kubiak’s pusillanimous play calling wasn’t even giving T.J. Yates a chance to win that game. We played that one to lose and as the football Gods have always proven (are you reading Marty Schottenheimmer!) that’s an easy recipe for a loss. Fortune Favors the Bold.
I’ll give Kubiak the benefit of the doubt and convince myself that he’s merely protecting Yates from harming the offense more. Nevertheless, if the Texans want to beat anyone worth a damn, and advance in the playoffs they’re going to need some good old fashioned Chutzpah.
As someone smarter than me once said “Behold the turtle, he makes progress, only when he sticks his neck out”.
After averaging 27.3 points a game in Schaub’s 10 starts, the Texans have scored 20, 17, 20, 13 and 16 since. A drop of 10 points a game is pretty significant. More significant is the lack of big plays since T.J. Yates has taken over. In his four starts T.J. Yates has completed only one pass over 29 yards – a 50 yard toss up to none other than Andre Johnson. You better believe that the rest of the league sees it as well. Just stack the box, focus on stopping the Texans run game, and make T.J. Yates beat you.
Conversely that’s the only way the Texans are going to make noise in the playoffs – by T.J. Yates beating people. It’s highly unlikely the Texans can storm their way to Indianapolis completely reliant on the running game – it’s not 1960, we don’t have Jim Taylor, and linebackers are too fast for the power sweep.
Regardless of the reasons the fact remains; the Texans are limping into the playoffs in the worst possible way. They’ve lost two consecutive games to inferior teams and squashed any chance they had at getting a first round bye or home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Moreover they’ve failed to crack 20 points against two of the worst defenses in the league.
Were they complacent after a division title or finally bottoming out? We won’t know until Wild-Card weekend. But the fact is no one likes to limp into the playoffs. Maybe it’s giant ruse - we’re just lulling future AFC opponents to sleep with our poor play, so we can strike with furious anger or vengeance. Besides there’s no reason we can’t beat the Bengals, Raiders, Jets, or Titans. So some hope remains that the first playoff game at Reliant Stadium will be a victory.
The optimist in me says this loss was a blessing in disguise. The Texans will get focused after these two rather embarrassing loses, a healthy Andre Johnson will give us the ability to stretch the field, the return of Wade Phillips will ignite the defense, and T.J. Yates coupled with a strong rushing attack will give us the balance to make things happen. Meanwhile The Colts will run off an improbable three-game win streak and play themselves right out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. In turn giving the Rams the biggest lotto ticket in the NFL since the Chargers had Eli Manning in their back pocket.
As you can well see just like a crack fiend to a glass pipe, I’m coming back for some more Kool-Aid. Back on the bandwagon everyone! Drink up and be merry!.........................Until it all comes crashing down in January.
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