Introducing the Toro Times Curse: Texans @ Saints Review

Yesterday I targeted several points of interest for fans to pay attention to when the Texans took on the Saints at the Super Dome. It turned out that I jinxed the Texans in just about all of those instances so we are going to go back through and discuss what happened in last night’s game.

Which Young Receiver Will Step Up? Not Keyshawn Martin…

Keyshawn Martin had been having a great camp. The only gripes on him coming out of Michigan State were his route-running abilities and his hands and the Texans coaching staff said that his hands looked good and his routes were crisp so far at camp. That combined with his ideal size for the slot compared to other young receiving options like Lestar Jean and DeVier Posey led me to the decision that Martin had the job all but locked up. Unfortunately last night Keyshawn Martin fumbled not once, but twice, leading many media members to wonder whether he could be trusted to keep the ball secure in the open field. Sure Martin had a touchdown last night but a one touchdown, two turnover, night isn’t exactly a stat line many coaches would be jumping for joy over. Honestly, I think last night was a hiccup and Martin will be a different player for the remainder of the season considering he showed very few ball security issues in college, but with Jacoby Jones’ fumbling problems still fresh in fan’s minds, last night was a disaster.

August 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first quarter of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Can the Defense Slow Down Drew Brees? No…

The Texans’ defense had been phenomenal in the preseason thus far and finished the season great last year as well. In last season’s game against the Saints, however, the Texans defense allowed 40 points and while many (including myself) chalked it up to inexperience in the new defensive scheme, Brees proved otherwise last night. I predicted a low scoring game; the Saints and Texans combined for 48 points by halftime. The defense started the night strong, and one of the touchdowns wasn’t scored on them but they did give up 24 points in the first half, and that isn’t slowing an offense down by anyone’s standards. I hope we can blame it on the fact that the defense was missing three starters in Cushing, Watt and Cody, and also that the offense continuously put them in a rough position with all the turnovers, but regardless the Texans aren’t a Super Bowl team if they consistently give up 24 points a half.

Who Will Take the Lead in the Offensive Line Battle? Caldwell and Newton…

Based on the way Kubiak had been playing the right side of the line I thought it only made sense to allow Caldwell to start with Rashad Butler this week considering he took the start with Newton last week. I was wrong again as Newton ended up taking a majority of the first team reps.  Brandon Brooks still appears to be no competition for Caldwell at this stage in his career but the Caldwell/Newton battle rages on. Kubiak had good things to say about both right tackles after last night’s game but nothing strong enough to indicate he was leaning one way or the other. Look for this battle to continue past next week and into the regular season.

May 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans kicker Shayne Grahams (17) and kicker Randy Bullock (4) participate in the organized team activities at Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Will Shayne Graham Falter this Week? No but Randy Bullock Will…

At the beginning of the preseason it seemed like a certainty that Bullock had the kicking job locked up and the Texans were wasting Shayne Graham’s time. Graham entered last night perfect on his kicks in the preseason and showing a decent enough leg to force the opposition into touchbacks on most of his kickoffs. I still didn’t think that would matter unless there was an injury to Bullock or he started to miss more kicks than the one he missed against San Francisco. Unfortunately Bullock was placed on the IR today after tearing a muscle in his groin so that competition is over. Fortunately for the Texans, however, is that they have the fourth most accurate kicker in the NFL on their roster right now and if they choose to keep Holliday on the roster they would only be carrying one special teams specialist instead of two.

Aug 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA Houston Texans wide receiver Trindon Holliday (16) fields a punt during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Will the Electric Trindon Holliday Catch Lightning in a Bottle… Again? No but He Will Fumble A lot…

Trindon Holliday entered last night’s game as close to a lock for a spot on the 53-man roster. In fact, I went so far as to say ” At this point I expect him to have a spot regardless, unless he fumbles on every return opportunity tonight, but another return for touchdown will make it a certainty.” Unfortunately for Texans’ fans Holliday did fumble. Twice. One of which was returned for a touchdown. Sure, only one was a turnover but it was extremely costly and swung the momentum completely in favor of New Orleans. While Holliday redeemed himself after his first fumble with a 62 yard return, he later fumbled again. The Texans can not turn the ball over and expect to win on a consistent basis. I still expect Holliday to have a roster spot but he needs to show better ball security next week.

Hopefully the curse doesn’t continue this season because I expect big things for the team this year. I think the Offense will have better ball security and that goes for Holliday as well. Most importantly though, is that the defense will almost assuredly not allow that many points in a game for the remainder of the season.

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Tags: Antoine Caldwell Brandon Brooks Brian Cushing Derek Newton Devier Posey JJ Watt Keyshawn Martin Kubiak Lestar Jean Randy Bullock Rashad Butler Shaun Cody Shayne Graham Trindon Holliday

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