NFL Week 5: Colts 27, Texans 20 — 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Andre Johnson probably slept well on his flight home.
Andre Johnson probably slept well on his flight home.
Photo by Eric Sauseda

Last Sunday, after the Atlanta Falcons' complete annihilation of the Texans in Atlanta, I went on a tirade to open the Texans' post-game show that was full of honesty, truth, data and bile. Texans fans listening live seemed to love it, other than the fact that its genesis was one of the most pathetic performances in their favorite franchise's history. Believe me, I wish I didn't have to drill into the team at a 45 degree angle like that.

So when Thursday rolled around, and the odds for Texans redemption seemingly improved with the Colts' having to start Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback because of Andre Luck's shoulder injury, I thought to myself, "Good, here's their chance to prove me wrong." Instead, the Texans went out and basically created a 60-minute infomercial for everything I screamed about the previous Sunday — penalties, special teams gaffes, turnovers, utter confusion on defense and a leadership vacuum that is threatening to swallow the entire 2015 season whole. 

So now I sit here, four in the morning, three hours removed from another cesspool of misery in the post-game show following the Colts 27-20 over the now 1-4 Houston. I'm at a gate at Hobby Airport waiting to board a 5:45 a.m. flight to Chicago, and quite honestly, I don't really have a whole lot left to say right now about these Houston Texans. They don't deserve many words. 

This head coach has completely butchered a quarterback quagmire that he himself created. This defensive coordinator has his players so confused that their heads are spinning before every play. I mean, seriously — they can barely get lined up properly. I don't really know what George Godsey does other than call the same four plays until the team is trailing by double digits. 

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I sat through a 2-14 season like we all did in 2013, and I can say with complete clarity and confidence, this team right now is worse than the 2013 team was. The 2013 team was more cursed than bad, sent spiraling into a football abyss primarily by the downfall of one man (what up, Schaub?). This 2015 team? It's flat out bad, with holes all over both sides of the ball, young players unable to get out of first gear (if they haven't been cut already), and veteran players who seemingly leave their brains in their lockers next to their headphones when they take the field every Sunday. 

So I'm going to make these winners and losers quick, because frankly, this team doesn't deserve hundreds upon hundreds of words. I will put the same effort into this blog post as they have seemingly put into the 2015 season. Let's go…


4. Kevin Johnson
One silver lining in the litany of failed draft choices over the past four years — the Texans got another first-round pick right. Kevin Johnson is already this team's best defensive back, and one of its five best defensive players. We love the Kevin Johnson pick. Next…

3. Jaelen Strong
So Jaelen Strong was active on Thursday night, and he now has two catches, both for touchdowns. It took Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts getting injured to get him on the field. As seems to be the case lately, the only things working for Bill O'Brien are things he accidentally stumbles upon. Speaking of which…

2. Brian Hoyer 
…I'm guessing when the Texans return to the field on October 18 for the Jacksonville game, Hoyer will be the quarterback. He threw for more than 300 yards last night, and like Strong, was in the game only because of injury to those in front of him on the depth chart. Whatever. Bill O'Brien could start a JUGS machine at quarterback at this point, for all I care. He's clearly just grab bagging and scratching two sticks together and hoping for the best. (Those sticks are named Brian and Ryan.)

1. Andre Johnson
Six catches, 77 yards, two touchdowns. I'm guessing Andre Johnson slept well on the flight home. 


4. J.J. Watt
I don't put Watt here because he played poorly or because he's not a good guy. He's a fabulous player and a generous human being. However, he's also a human being who is now facing constant triple teams, and, unfortunately, a vast majority of his teammates are apparently trying to set some sort of futility record for slapdicked-ness on defense. Watt was at his wit's end in the locker room after the game. He is a tinder box ready to explode on somebody.

3. Ryan Mallett
Facially, Ryan Mallett looks like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, and that's fine. After losing his starting QB position in the middle of Thursday's game, Mallett acted like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. That's not fine. Mallett's act after being benched in the second quarter following an injury was equal parts hilarious and sad. Clearly animated and showing up his coaches, Mallett stormed into the locker room before the Texans even kicked the PAT on Strong's Hail Mary catch to close the first half. His sulking is much funnier if you picture him yelling, "Listen, Mr. O'Brien, DUDE, you better put me back in, all right? Now Gatorade me, BITCH!"

2. Romeo Crennel
Romeo Crennel's defense had ten men on the field on the final play of the third quarter. And that was the 37th least egregious and stupid thing they did all night. The end.

1. Bill O'Brien
On August 2, Bill O'Brien said this:

"I know what both those guys do in the building; I take a lot of pride in both those guys. I know both those guys very well. I read, I understand what’s written out there. Sometimes it pisses me off to be honest with you. These are two guys that are good quarterbacks that have played in this league; they work very hard. They’re out here busting their ass every day to get better, and I think the city of Houston should be proud of both of them. And I think the media should understand these guys can play. They gotta go out there and do it. Look, if they don’t go out there and do it, they don’t do it, but I have a lot of faith in those guys. One guy will start, one guy will be the backup, and I’m looking forward to continuing to coach them. I think they’re two good quarterbacks and I like both of them."

Five games in, there have been exactly two games in which the Texans' starting QB finished the game. The other three games all ended with the backup in there for performance reasons. Assuming there are no more Tom Brady backups left floating around the league, the Texans will likely draft a quarterback next spring.

My question is "Do you trust Bill O'Brien to choose him?"

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at

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