Still the Same: John Royal on the Houston Texans

I’ve got a confession to make. I was hurt by the things some of you people said about me last week. My job is to call things I see them, and I saw a Texans team I thought was bad. And you people jumped all over me. Y’all told me that this wasn’t the same old Texans. That these Texans were different.

So I decided I wouldn’t write about the Texans this week. Especially since I wouldn’t be watching the game (I went to the Craig Biggio retirement party instead). But, well, after this statement from John McClain, I’ve just got to say that your apologies would be nice, but I’m not expecting anything.

McClain, the Chron’s chief football writer, states: “The Texans kept telling us they were a different team. We believed them for the first two games when they defeated Kansas City and Carolina. We even believed it when they rallied to come within six of Indianapolis. But it’s hard to believe the Texans are a different team with the way they played in Sunday’s 26-16 loss at Atlanta.”

Now, who is this “we” you speak of, McClain? I sure didn’t.

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I TiVoed the Texans game. And boy was it a waste of valuable digital space. You know, it’s one thing to not be able to cover the receivers of the Colts, especially when Peyton Manning’s the QB, but what’s the excuse for this week? The Texans made Joey Harrington look like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady transported into one body. And quick, can someone give me the name of a Falcons receiver? (Did any of you know who Michael Jenkins was before yesterday?) I don’t think Marvin Harrison or Reggie Wayne were wondering around out there for the Falcons though I think Dallas Clark had so much fun last week that he just decided to put on a Falcons uniform.

Gary Kubiak’s still making Dom Capers look like a genius when it comes to clock management, and I can’t believe that Kubiak lost another timeout by challenging a play. Capers had this same problem. Isn’t there supposed to be someone up in the booth giving advise on when to challenge a play and go to the replay? And if there is, why hasn’t this person been fired?

And I liked that Kris Brown took advice from U.H. kicker T.J. Lawrence (Lawrence missed three kicks on Saturday, including a kick from 38-yards with three seconds left that would’ve won the game).

You just know that David Carr’s back in Charlotte and he’s just wondering how us people here in Houston are going to blame this loss on him. It’s got to be tough to be Carr because you know the people in Charlotte are going to be blaming him for that Carolina loss to Tampa Bay.

You know what, maybe the team that lost to the Colts wasn’t the same old Texans (this is for hypothetical purposes only), but that team playing Atlanta sure looked like the same old Texans. No running game. Bad play calling. Bad clock management. Poor coaching preparation. This looked just like that Texans team from 2004 which needed only a win against the Browns to finish the season 8-8. (And on second thought, this is just how the Texans looked against the Colts.)

Oh, and whatever happened to Mario Williams? I thought he’d turned his career around after the Kansas City game. Then again, at least Mario ain’t DeMarcus Faggins. I like how defensive coordinator Richard Smith says he needs to study the film before deciding if Faggins will be benched. You mean he hasn’t seen enough film of Faggins being torched over the past two seasons? He’s really got to look at more? There’s no telling how bad the Texans would’ve been beaten the past several weeks if Dunta Robinson wasn’t around actually covering receivers.

Reading this statement of Robinson’s you just know he’s close to going postal on some of this teammates: “We made them look great. I mean, they played a good game and deserve credit for it, but we didn’t do anything right.” Dunta, I don’t think there’s a jury in the world that would convict you.

But I’ll give you this, I’m beginning to come around regarding Matt Schaub. While I don’t think he’s the second-coming of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, he’s definitely an upgrade on Carr. I never get this sense that he’s panicked or that he has no clue as to what he’s doing. If the Texans are ever going to become something other than the same old Texans, it’s going to be because of Schaub.

And here is a shout out to Jerome Mathis. I gave you my Hunter Pence love last week, man. And how do you reward me? You sat out the game because of another foot injury. Hunter wouldn’t do that to me. I’m hurt. See if I say anything nice about you again. Well, until you return another kick for a touchdown.

Oh, and for those of you who say that I don’t know what I’m talking about, well, just remember that I told you to pick the Cardinals, Browns, Lions, and Chiefs this past weekend. Just don’t pay any attention to the rest of those picks, especially that one where I picked the Texans to defeat the Falcons. -- John Royal

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