We are officially at the point where we can start counting down to the end of the 2013 NFL season...the seemingly interminable blight on Houston football history that's been the 2013 NFL season. The end is near, thank God!
Go back to Week 1's BATTLE-DRINK game, and it reflects a much simpler time and place -- touchdown celebrations, funny announcer quirks, healthy doses of J.J. Watt, and John McClain's Twitter feed.
Now, here we are in Week 16, and what do we have? Coaching candidates, penalty props, a bearded Matt Schaub, and John McClain's Twitter feed. (As you can see, McClain's Twitter feed is the one constant. You can always, ALWAYS count on it. It's the Andre Johnson of BATTLE-DRINK.)
Let's take a closer look at this weekend's board as Peyton Manning and the 11-3 Broncos come to town:
B1: Dennis Johnson carry B2: Deji Karim carry B3: Jonathan Grimes carry With Ben Tate officially going on injured reserve for the rest of the 2013 season with his rack of broken ribs (and props to Ben Tate for showing a toughness that hasn't normally been attributed to Ben Tate, by the way), this is your backfield Texan fans. Take a good look. This next sentence is meant to be read in Stu Nahan "post Drago killing Apollo" voice -- "What started out as Foster, Tate, and Cierre Wood has turned in a DISASTER!!!"
B4: Peyton Manning TD pass Reasons to come out to Reliant on Sunday #1: Peyton Manning might break the single season touchdown pass record. Right now, he sits at 47, and needs three to tie and four to break Tom Brady's 2007 mark. That's something, right?
B5: Wade Phillips puts player in "time out" Against the Jacksonville Jaguars back on December 5, in what turned out to be the final game of the Gary Kubiak Era, the Texans committed a horrifying 14 penalties. It was one crippling gaffe after another, most of them committed (it felt like, at least) by D.J. Swearinger. So when Wade Phillips took over as interim head coach, what was his solution to the penalty problem?
"I was hoping that we would do better. Unfortunately, some of the penalties we had in practice carried over to the game. We had the players -- if they had a penalty in practice -- we took them out of the practice and set them on the side. Kind of a timeout. Something to embarrass them a little bit. We're going to continue to do that. We've got to cut down on penalties."
Somewhere, every kindergarten teacher in Houston is nodding their head in approval. Oh, and by the way, how did that strategy work for you, Wade? Because last I checked.... I1: Illegal procedure penalty I2: Offsides penalty I3: Holding penalty I4: 12 men on the field penalty I5: Pass interference penalty ....the Texans had another fourteen penalties against the Colts. If there's another 14 penalties this week, what's next? Dunce caps? (Can we just cut to the chase and start tasing players in the junk when they commit a stupid penalty? There's only two games left.)
N1: Close up of Bearded Schaub N2: Bearded Schaub TD pass N4: Bearded Schaub rushing TD N5: Bearded Schaub Pick 6 Case Keenum is out this week with a
we've seen enough, thanks for coming, Case sprained thumb on his throwing hand. So it's the return of Matt Schaub, which would have elicited a shit storm of boos loud enough to rattle the glass panels off of the roof of Reliant a month ago. Now, I think everybody is just mesmerized by Schaub's beard.
G1: Lovie Smith mention G2: Ken Whisenhunt mention G3: Bill O' Brien mention G4: Jon Gruden mention G5: Bill Cowher mention Names have begun to trickle out publicly on the Texans' coaching search list. Bill O' Brien, Penn State's head coach and a Bill Belichick disciple, was mentioned earlier this week, and not surprisingly, the first interview of the process went to former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith:
As expected, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith was the first candidate to be interviewed to replace Gary Kubiak as the Texans' head coach.
Smith interviewed earlier this week, according to multiple people familiar with the process.
Smith, 55, was fired after the Bears finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs in 2012.
During his nine years with the Bears, Smith was 81-63, including 3-3 in the playoffs. His teams won three NFC North titles and lost Super Bowl XLI to Indianapolis.
That story, courtesy of John McClain of the Houston Chronicle....hey speak of the devil!
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O1: John McClain tweets "pathetic" O2: John McClain tweets "horrendous" O3: John McClain tweets "terrible" O4: John McClain tweets about Baylor O5: John McClain tweets a Houston Oiler's name The BATTLE-DRINK legend himself, with the usual adjective-driven squares, and this week's variable adjunct, a nod to McClain's historical perspective in comparing the Texans to the old Oilers teams. For example:
The Texans offense is so bad you'd think Gifford Nielsen was the quarterback.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) December 15, 2013
As always, please don't drink and drive, and if you're gonna spew, spew the other way, please.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.