I've got to apologize to everyone. I didn't know that I was an idiot. I honestly thought that I actually knew something about football. But thanks to the Chron's John McClain, I now know that what I thought I knew I didn't know.
You see, I thought that Jacques Reeves, the defensive back for the Houston Texans, was a lousy football player. After all, the Dallas Cowboys didn't want him anymore, and their defensive backfield was full of holes. And with my eyes I've seen him get beat time and time again by opposing wide receivers.
But I was wrong. He's good. And I know he's good because John McClain says he's good.McClain does so by throwing out a bunch of stats from the firm Stats, Inc. Of course, these stats, as far as I can tell, aren't accessible to the general public - I haven't been able to find them online anywhere, but as I established above, I'm an idiot. And what these stats used by McClain tell us are that Reeves only ranks 33rd in the NFL for times thrown at, and that he is only 44th in completions allowed, and only 25th in yards surrendered. And McClain goes further by throwing out the names of a bunch of better known defensive backs and giving us some stats that show Reeves is better than all of them.
I don't know about you, but I'm convinced.
You see, there's just one thing. McClain doesn't give us any context behind these stats. He doesn't give us anything that will allow for us to make proper comparisons between Reeves and all of these other defensive backs. Sure, a bunch of other defensive backs may have had the ball thrown at them more often than Reeves has been thrown at, but...
McClain doesn't tell us how many times the other Texans defensive backs have been thrown at. For instance, why throw at Reeves when a quarterback can throw in the direction of Demarcus Faggins? Nor does McClain point out that the Texans have played many of the best running football teams in the league. And when the Texans have one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, then why should the Tennessee Titans or the Minnesota Vikings or the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Baltimore Ravens or the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Miami Dolphins bother with throwing the football time and time again? And we've seen what the anemic rushing offense of the Indianapolis Colts could do against the Texans, so why bother with the pass?
Which means that if teams don't pass as often against the Texans as they do other teams, then just how valid are the stats that McClain uses to justify the ability of Reeves? Especially with the lack of offered context.
So you can go along with McClain if you want. But I'm going to believe my lying eyes.
TEXANS VERSUS JAGUARS PREGAME NOTES:
The Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars are both 4-7 coming into Monday night's tilt, and both are playing bad football. This could possibly end up being one of the least watched games in the history of Monday Night Football.
How should this game come out?
Well, besides their records, the teams are equal in many areas.
The Jaguars defense is ranked 14th in the NFL, surrendering 318.9 yards per game. The Texans are ranked 19th, surrendering 333.9 yards per game. The Jags are ranked 19th while surrendering 114 yards per game on the ground, and the Texans are 23rd, surrendering 129.1. The Jags are ranked 14th while surrendering 204.9 yards per game by pass, while the Texans are ranked 13th at 204.8 yards per game. The Texans offense is 18th in points per game with 22.9, while the Jags are 24th with 20.9. And the Texans are 14th in the NFL, gaining 114.1 yards per game rushing, while the Jags are 18th, gaining 110.2.
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But the Jags are coming into the game with two healthy running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor whereas the Texans are without any healthy running backs. Ahman Green has finally been placed on injured reserve, and his Texans career might be at an end. Super rookie Steve Slaton will be playing, but he will be playing with a bruised chest and ribs while Ryan Moats has an ankle injury.
Then there's the matter of QBs. Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard has only thrown for 2,461 yards in 363 attempts with only six touchdowns. He's turned the ball over 10 times (eight interceptions and two fumbles). The last time he faced the Texans, he threw for 236 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 41 yards, including a touchdown. The Texans will once again go with Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels has thrown for 1,231 yards on 150 attempts with just five touchdowns. But he's turned the ball over 11 times (nine interceptions and two fumbles).
So what's going to happen tonight? The Texans generally can be counted on defeating the Jags at least once a season. And it's possible the Texans could do it again. But damn, they're just so bad against the run that I just can't see them stopping the Jags. So I'm picking the Jags to defeat the Texans on Monday night.
And here's a bonus prediction: It's been a while, so I'm saying that Gary Kubiak blows a replay challenge. - John Royal