I can't believe I wasted over three hours of my life watching the Houston Texans last night. Sure, they won the game 30-17, but damn, that was an awful game to watch. I found the document review I was working on to be more interesting than most of that game - and you attorneys out there know that watching grass grow is often more interesting than most document reviews.
But there was one amazing thing I saw last night. For the first time in his years as Texans head coach, Gary Kubiak actually outcoached someone. I didn't think I would ever witness something like that. In my preview post, I predicted the Texans would lose - boy was I wrong about that - and I also predicted that Gary Kubiak would blow a replay challenge. I was wrong about that, too. It was Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio who blew the replay challenges, and he blew two of them. He made Kubiak look wise and knowledgeable regarding replays.
We also learned something else during this game. The Texans can easily handle awful and mediocre football teams - Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville - so they should be pleased to know that the Raiders are coming up on the schedule, so the odds are the Texans will be able finish with six wins this season.
All wasn't great, however. Before the Jags defense quit in the fourth quarter, the Texans inability to score a TD inside the red zone once again came into play. Their only trip to the red zone in the first half resulted in a field goal attempt which went nowhere because of a bad snap. Then there was the third quarter where the Texans had a first goal at the two-yard line and had to settle for the field goal.
Andre Johnson had a nice game. Steve Slaton had a fantastic game - except for his inability to punch the ball in from the two-yard line. Mario Williams was rather super. And if you look at the final score, you probably think that it was an exciting game. But you would think wrong. In the first 56 minutes of the game only 19 points were scored. The rest of the scoring came in the game's final four minutes, after the Texans had it won.
Then again, to me, it just looked like the Jags quit midway through the game. With any luck, maybe the rest of the Texans opponents will quit during the rest of the upcoming games.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS NFL NOTES:
The story of the weekend - other than the Texans/Jags - was out of New York City, and it had nothing to do with an actual football game. While the New York Giants were preparing for a game in Washington, D.C. against the Washington Redskins, wide receiver Plaxico Burress was out partying.
Burress was already ruled out of the game because of an injury, but it looks as if Burress wanted to erase all doubt about his playing on Sunday because he shot himself in the thigh late Friday night at a midtown Manhattan nightclub known as Latin Quarter. But wait, it gets better.
It took two hours for Burress to make it from the nightclub to the hospital, primarily because it appears that he was shopping for a hospital that would keep things quiet. He ultimately went to New York-Cornell hospital, where he had himself admitted as Harris Smith, which didn't work because he was actually recognized by the medical staff. The medical staff, however, decided to violate New York law by not reporting the gunshot wound as required.
But wait, it gets better.
Burress, as Harris Smith, told the medical staff that he shot himself while at an Applebee's. Even Isaiah Thomas doesn't buy that story. And Burress also found a way to implicate teammate Antonio Pierce, who Burress handed the job of disposing of the gun.
Oh, the Giants improved their record to 11-1 as they defeated the Redskins 23-7.
Sunday was quite the day for visiting teams. With the exception of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings, every home team lost on Sunday. Further, with the victories of the San Francisco 49ers in Buffalo and the Denver Broncos in New York over the Jets, perhaps now we can lay to rest that controversy regarding West Coast teams not being able to win on the East Coast - yes, I know Denver's in the Mountain Time Zone, but I've seen them included in this argument.
This is a stupid argument that I'm really sick of hearing. The reason so-called West Coast teams like Seattle and Oakland and San Francisco and Arizona and San Diego have had trouble winning on the East Coast is simple. It's not the time zone, it's because they're bad. I never heard this stupid argument way back when the San Francisco 49ers were one of the best teams in football, and I didn't hear it back when the Oakland Raiders were a legitimate franchise. Good teams will win anywhere, in any time zone, at any time.
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It looks like the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are locks for the AFC playoffs. The Titans are 11-1 and destroyed the Detroit Lions 47-10 last Thursday in a game that was as ugly as the Texans' Battle Red uniforms. And one week after dissing coach Jeff Fisher because of his lack of playing time in a loss to the Jets, Tennessee's LenDale White rushed for 106 yards and two TDs.
And the Colts 10-6 win over Cleveland was also as ugly as the Texans' Battle Reds. But at 8-4 on the season, the Colts are close to a lock because their next three games are against the Bengals, Lions and Jaguars, all awful teams, before they close out with the season with the Titans.
-- John Royal