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Halloween Comes Early for Texans Fans

Still stumped in your efforts to find a hellacious Halloween costume? Why not try dressing up like a Texan this year?

Just slip on the jersey of your favorite defensive lineman and enjoy a laugh while your friends shriek in horror at your extraordinary disappearing act. Or simply wear a grim look and a Texans polo for a killer Gary Kubiak impersonation. In no time flat, you’ll be repulsing everyone around you with your conservative decision-making and questionable clock-management.

Okay, that’s probably not fair. I don’t really intend to single out Kubes and his band of quarterback-friendly former first rounders on the D-line. After Sunday’s debacle in Jacksonville, pretty much anything associated with steel blue and battle red is sure to elicit a healthy dose of fear in the heart of even the most diehard Texans’ fan.

So since we’re already in a Halloween state of mind, let’s indulge in the spirit of the season by dressing up as Sith Lords as we consider the facts, Dwight Schrute style:

FACT: The Texans are utterly incapable of applying any sort of consistent pressure on the quarterback.

This isn’t anything new of course, but it’s absolutely the most horrifying issue facing the Texans today. What do they have to show for their multi-million dollar investments on the D-line? Jason Babin is gone and Travis Johnson is almost sure to follow soon. On the plus side, Amobi Okoye shows promise and Mario Williams seems somewhat improved in his sophomore season. But the maddening thing about Mario is that for every moment that raises your hopes, he seems to author one like the key play which found him utterly incapable of shedding a block from Reggie Williams (A wide receiver!). Unfortunately, that sequence probably didn’t shock fans who have closely followed Mario’s NFL career. That sort of thing just happens with Williams.

So then the question becomes: Are these merely the growing pains of a maturing young player? Or are we already making excuses for him like the ones we ended up foolishly making for another Texan who was once drafted number one overall?

Maddeningly, only time will tell. In the meantime, it looks like we’re stuck with a unit capable of making Joey Harrington look like Joe Montana, and opposing running backs like the second coming of Barry Sanders. Oh, and can someone please teach these guys how to defend a screen? I don’t know what I’m more tired of: ads for Frank TV or dump-off passes on 3rd and 18 that go for twenty yards (or more) every single time. Holy Hannah.

FACT: The Texans’ offense is to endzones as Britney is to panties.

That about sums it up, doesn’t it? I mean, I could say more, but you know the truth: Those things don’t come in contact with each other very often and the resulting picture is never pretty.

FACT: The Texans have turned in three straight dismal performances.

I suppose one could argue that the number is actually four, but I happen to think Houston earned at least a small measure of respect despite falling short against the defending Super Bowl champs in week three. As for the last three games, there’s not much room for debate. The Atlanta loss was an embarrassment, the win over Miami was hardly cause for celebration and we all know how yesterday’s game turned out.

It’s funny, my colleague John Royal and I got into a pissing match when he busted out the “Same Old Texans” routine after the Indy game. In retrospect, his only crime may have been that he delivered his proclamation just a week too early. Regardless of whose side you’re on, there’s no denying the fact Houston’s play during the last three games has positively reeked of rotten years gone by.

FACT: The Texans’ running game may be even more non-existent than its pass rush.

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How scary is that? And how depressing is it that – for a team seemingly obsessed with bringing all things Bronco to town – it still can’t come close to emulating Denver’s uncanny ability to run the ball regardless of who’s toting the rock in the backfield?

So now what? Well, on the plus side the Texans are still on track for their first ever .500 season. And for as bad as they looked on Sunday, there’s no doubt all will be forgiven if they can return home and reclaim Reliant Stadium from a hobbled Vince Young and the Titans this week.

Of course, considering the aforementioned “facts,” it wouldn’t surprise anyone if VY sprinkles some more magic dust on his home turf and triggers another H-Town Armageddon.

And that, my friends, is the scariest prospect of them all. – Jason Friedman

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