This is supposed to be the year for the Texans. The year they put it all together and make the playoffs. At least that’s the propaganda line. But based on what I’ve seen in preseason, I’m not buying it.
Not a bit.
Sure, Friday’s loss to Dallas was their first of the preseason. And it’s only preseason. But at some point, the “it’s only preseason” line of reasoning just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Playing their first team offense for the first half, the Cowboys demolished the Texans’ first team defense, moving up and down the field with ease – I think the French had better luck with stopping the German blitzkrieg back in 1940. Cowboy running back Marion Barber found hole after hole and broke into the Texans defensive backfield on many a running play. Tony Romo gets more pressure from Jessica Simpson about Carrie Underwood than he did from the Texans defensive line – did Super Mario do anything? And Romo picked the Texans’ secondary to pieces, finding wide open receiver after wide open receiver. I know that the Cowboys are good, and that their offense is full of Pro Bowl caliber players, but haven’t the Texans been drafting number one pick after number one pick on the defensive line so as to be able to generate a pass rush every now and then, so as to be able to take off of some of the pressure on the defensive secondary? And Rosevelt Colvin and Jacques Reeves are looking to be more of those big wastes of free agent dollars that the Texans have turned into a specialty (see Weaver, Anthony; and Green, Ahman).
The Texans offense was a bit of a mixed bag. The Cowboys first team defense easily handled the Texans for most of the first half – in fact, most of the Texans offense in the first period came about by way of Andre Davis’s kick return abilities. Matt Schaub got off to an awful start; he seemed to my untrained eye to be out of rhythm with his receivers, often missing open receivers by throwing above or behind them. Of course, it didn’t help Schaub that his offensive line often had him doing his best David Carr impersonation and running for safety – quick question, wasn’t Alex Gibbs supposed to be some kind of offensive line genius? Chris Taylor didn’t exactly impress in his start in place of the oft-injured Green and the also injured Chris Brown, but expect him to stick around because he can play fullback and hasn’t spent any recent time in jail. Rookie Steve Slaton impressed, though.
But enough of my bitching. I’m always open to reading your thoughts.
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Richard Justice seems to be jumping off of the bandwagon pretty early. He doesn’t seem to be too impressed by the coaching abilities of Gary Kubiak or Alex Gibbs. And while Ian Eagle and Phil Simms on the CBS broadcast did their best to praise the Texans throughout the night, at the end, it was best summarized by Simms who, at one point, said the “Texans defense…they can’t stop them.” As for proof that the defense couldn’t stop the Cowboys, at the end of the first half, the Cowboys had gained 266 yards, with 14 plays going for ten-plus yards.
Even John McClain seems a bit down on the team, noting that the defense made Romo look like Roger Staubach and Romo’s backup Brad Johnson look like Troy Aikman. If the Texans can’t handle Brad Johnson, how can they be expected to handle the likes of Peyton Manning?
******************* Texans special teams standout Henry Williams was involved in an ugly play in the first quarter which ended with his being carted off of the field on a stretcher with his head locked in a neck brace. John McClain reports that Williams suffered a small fracture in the spine and that he will remain in Dallas to undergo surgery that will infuse his second vertebrae to his fourth vertebrae. The good news is that Williams should make a complete recovery in terms of walking and running. It is still to be determined, however, if he will ever be able to play football again.
****************** And last week I went off on a little rant about how I couldn’t find any Andre Johnson jerseys. This weekend, I actually found some at the JCPenney down at Baybrook Mall. So it’s nice to see that someone out there recognizes that he’s the best player on the Texans. – John Royal