As the clock ran out on the ninth loss in a row, perhaps the most embarrassing loss in franchise history and the clear metaphorical (if not actual) end to a miserable season for the Texans, one thing became crystal clear: it's time for the Texans to pack it in. What started as a hopeful run to the playoffs and perhaps a Super Bowl ended with a thud Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that had only won a single game all season, waltzed into Reliant and stunned the Texans, winning 13-6 and essentially ending the home team's season.
Case Keenum, the young QB hopeful, and his offense were absolutely miserable for the entire game, managing only a pair of field goals against an awful Jags defense. Keenum looked lost for most of the game as Jacksonville sent exotic blitz packages at him and disguised coverages.
The defense wasn't awful, holding the Jags to a pair of field goals and a single TD, but no one was good in this stinker. Now, the clock officially begins ticking on this coaching staff's future with the team. More important, the chase for the number one pick in the draft is on and the Texans are in the mix. The bad news is the Texans are awful and, despite hopes to the contrary, Keenum is not their starter of the future. The good news is they will probably have a very high draft pick in a draft that is loaded with top-tier talent at QB.
What went right: The Game Ended There was a terrifying moment for fans in the fourth quarter when, with two minutes left, the Texans started driving towards the end zone. Completions and mediocre (as opposed to awful) clock management saw them moving the ball for the first time in the game. There was even a chance they could tie the game and force overtime. Had it continued, they could have finished in a tie like Green Bay and Minnesota did on Sunday. Gross. Fortunately, that all came to an end when Keshawn Martin bobbled a pass and it was intercepted. Fans let out a collective sigh of relief as they were mercifully spared additional discomfort.
What went wrong: The Texans Played During a radio call-in show on Friday, a caller said, "You know how I know the Jaguars will beat the Texans on Sunday? Because the Jaguars play the Texans on Sunday." Truer words have rarely ever been spoken. The greatest mistake the Texans made all day was showing up at Reliant to play the game.
What must improve: Bob McNair If McNair does not clean house on Monday, he MUST do so at the end of the season. I'm sure plenty will want to see this coaching staff, at the very least, canned today, but my personal opinion, as someone said on Twitter Sunday, is to let these coaches finish the string. If anyone deserves to go down with this sinking disaster, it's them.
What should stay the same: Losing In the movie Tommy Boy, Dan Ackroyd's character, when told by Chris Farley that the smell he whiffed was taxi cab air freshener, said, "Good, you've pinpointed it. Step two is washing it out." In the case of the Texans, just the opposite is true. The smell of decomposition is on this rotting corpse of a season, but I say let it lie. The worse it gets, the longer it will remain in the nostrils of everyone involved with the organization and the less they will want to repeat it. And nothing washes off the stink of a rotten season like a brand-new quarterback at the top of the draft.
What did we learn from the game? Sorry to say, we learned that Case Keenum is not the answer at quarterback. I like the kid and I think he will make a good backup, but he does not have the skills to be your number one QB over the long haul. If this were any other position, the team could get by, but the quarterback spot is SO important, nothing can be left to chance. You can't just get by at the most important spot on the field.
What do we never want to see/hear again? Personally, I don't ever want to see Gary Kubiak shaking his head up in that booth again and I certainly don't want to hear, "It starts with me" either. He seems like a very nice man, but he doesn't deserve to continue coaching this team.
Key Moment of the Game I would like to point out a single moment, but the whole thing was just a disgusting blur or putrefaction, there's no point in singling anything out. The whole thing was a debacle from start to finish. When you can only manage two field goals against the (previously) worst team in the NFL, there is no one moment that will suffice.
Game Balls: Dennis Johnson Good on the un-drafted rookie who came in an ran the ball well in the first big minutes of his career. He's a classic one-cut scat back and good have been an asset had the team been any good this year.
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Goat of the Week: Ben Tate After calling the fans wishy washy and calling them out for booing, Tate managed 1 yard on 7 carries on Sunday. After the game he said he was "embarrassed." He should be.
Random thought of the week: On fourth down at the one yard line in the first quarter, the Jags went for it. The touchdown would be the difference in the game. My first though: Kubiak would have kicked a field goal.
Next Up: home for the New England Patriots Expect the line to open up around 14 1/2. I wouldn't take the Texans to cover if I were you.