Jacoby Jones has become Houston’s Most Wanted when it comes to football in the Bayou City. Perhaps rightly so…but perhaps not.
Jones decision to attempt to field a punt after it had bounced was a terrible mistake. Rather than making a great grab on the ball he instead engaged in an act of tomfoolery in which the ball bounced off of his helmet, off his hands, and into the hands of an awaiting Baltimore Ravens player.
The mistake cost the Houston Texans seven points and, quite likely, the game.
Jones has apologized so many times that you would think he were seeking absolution from a priest. He even went as far as to direct reporters and interviewers to other Texans players because in his opinion he had not done $h!t in the game.
However, Jones should not be solely bearing the weight and burden of the team’s loss yesterday. Granted, his contributions on the field were mostly in favor of the other team but he is not the only player on the field who made mistakes.
In fact, when RB Arian Foster fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter, it was Jones who recovered Foster’s fumble.
Additionally, T.J. Yates was another dark spot in yesterday’s game. While he did manage to complete 49% of his passes, the majority of which went to WR Andre Johnson, he also threw three costly interceptions.
Each interception thrown by Yates resulted in points for the Ravens.
While Yates is a rookie quarterback, with little experience as a starter, this performance was not acceptable. Any team that turns a ball over four times is putting their fate in the hands of the opposing team.
When the leader of the team, the quarterback, is committing the majority of the turnovers, it deflates the rest of the offense.
Yates’ inability to properly read coverages cost him, and the Texans, dearly. Without a doubt Ravens safety Ed Reed is a major disruption on the defensive side of the ball but that does not excuse Yates’ performance. Yates was seen, on numerous occasions, throwing the ball into double and triple coverage.
While WR Andre Johnson is the best receiver in the league – he is not Superman.
Likewise, Coach Gary Kubiak should shoulder some of the blame for putting Yates into those situations. Knowing that he has a rookie quarterback in the team’s most important game in their history should have swayed some of his play-calling. He should have been able to better evaluate the coverage that the Ravens would be using on Johnson and adjusted accordingly.
The Texans are a team known for play-action fakes and bootlegs. Yesterday, however, TE Owen Daniels, the normal benefactor of such plays, was only thrown to twice.
When you have an offensive weapon like Daniels you need to exploit him more often and open up gaps in the opposing defense.
Rather, Kubiak stuck to what he has done for most of the season. He ran the ball first-and-foremost and then spread the field with a two or three wide-receiver look.
So, Jacoby Jones, while you and all of the Houston Texans nation realize that you made some real boneheaded plays, it is not fair that you should have to shoulder all of the blame.
There are no fans coming to your house to burn your effigy, no raving lunatics setting up camp in your front yard in hopes of stoning you, no jerseys aflame in the Reliant Stadium parking lot.
However, I will say this. It is time for you to step up or step out. We, fans, have waited five years for you to live up to your potential. Each year we seem to end up disappointed and scratching our heads as to why you still remain in a Texans jersey.
If you return this fall I hope, for your sake and ours, that you have taken this experience and used it as a launching point for greatness. Out of the ashes rises the phoenix, J.J., now is your time to become a phoenix or get the heck out of dodge my friend.