It would be easy to blame the Texans’ 28-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on bad players and poor play. Like defensive back Jacques Reeves who was toasted time and time again by
Gus Frerotte. Or Sage Rosenfels who threw an interception while the team was driving in the third period. Or any of the offensive linemen who jumped offsides multiple times.
Sure, it would be easy. But it would be wrong.
This loss goes on Gary Kubiak, who was once again ill-prepared, constantly confused, and still unable to manage a game clock.
Maybe it’s just me – okay, it’s not, because Vikings coach Brad Childress seemed to think the same way that I did – but if I’m coaching against the Texans defense, I’m watching the game film and I’m studying how the Texans handled the Jacksonville Jaguars, a run-heavy offense that the Texans pretty much shut down. And I see how the Texans are stacking the line to stop the run, which means…
Maybe if you pull the play fake to Adrian Peterson on the very first play you’re going to have a very wide open wide receiver – wide open because he’s being guarded by Jacques Reeves. And even if my quarterback was once drafted by Charley Casserly and doesn’t have the arm he once did, I’m running this play.
Which the Vikings did. And just three plays later, the Vikings were winning 7-0.
It seems to me that a good defensive coaching staff would be able to figure out this line of thinking. After all, despite having Adrian Peterson at running back, the Vikings were only 3-4, which meant that other teams were figuring out how to handle Peterson and the Vikings. But the Texans never seemed to catch on. They were unprepared to start the game; they were unprepared throughout the game.
Gus Frerotte only threw 18 passes for 182 yards, but several of the passes were for big yardage to the Vikings only legit deep threat, Bernard Berrian, who was constantly open. And despite playing to stop the run, the Texans failed as Adrian Peterson ran for 177 yards and a touchdown.
But that’s not all. Once again Kubiak screwed up the clock management; he had to waste a timeout because he couldn’t get the play in. And he didn’t have his lineman prepared for playing in the Metrodome because the linemen were constantly jumping offsides. Then there’s Kubiak continuing to play Matt Schaub even though the guy could barely walk.
It’s become obvious that Kubiak doesn’t trust Sage Rosenfels – which is somewhat understandable after that Colts game. Yet it makes no sense to play an injured Schaub because that just harms the overall offense. And it’s not like Sage Rosenfels is the only Texans QB with a turnover problem since Schaub was once again a turnover machine before coming out of the game. And maybe it’s just me, but I swear that the offense operates better when Rosenfels is the quarterback.
Rosenfels was able to get Andre Johnson involved in the game which was something Schaub was unable to do. And the team was moving with rhythm and efficiency that I never see when Schaub is in the game.
Schaub’s out for the next month, so maybe we will finally get a definitive answer to whether Rosenfels is the better QB. But I just don’t see Gary Kubiak having learned any lessons here.
Not like he’s learned any lessons from anything else.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS NFL NOTES:
At least the Texans aren’t the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders lost to the Atlanta Falcons 24-0 on Sunday. The Raiders got only three first downs in the entire game, and gained only 77 total yards on offense. They had possession of the ball for less than 15 minutes. Interim coach Tom Cable is 1-3 as coach, and the Raiders have been outscored 87-13 in those losses . *****************
Houston Oilers Tennessee Titans improved to 8-0 on Sunday as they beat the Green Bay Packers 19-16 in overtime. Running back Chris Johnson continues to make a strong case for NFL Rookie of the Year; he totaled 161 yards on offense while getting one touchdown. And his backfield partner, LenDale White continued pounding away on defenses as he ran for 77 yards.
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The Cincinnati Bengals are no longer winless as they upset the Jacksonville Jaguars 21-19. Chad
Johnson Ocho Cinco made an appearance for the Bengals and caught two touchdown passes. And Cedric Benson had his best day since he was at Texas as he ran for 104 yards.
The Texans next opponent is the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns 37-27, scoring 24 unanswered points in the game’s final 16 minutes. Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco had his best day as a pro, throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. And the Ravens will provide quite the test to the Texans because, like the Vikings, Jags, Steelers and Titans, the Ravens are primarily a running team.
Rookie Ray Rice rushed for 154 yards, and Le’Ron McClain rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown as the Ravens totaled 429 yards of offense. And though the defense is not as good as it once was, there’s nothing to indicate that they won’t be able to handle the Texans. – John Royal