It is Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the Houston Texans decimated the Tennessee Titans, and I am still riding that “victory high” that you get after a great win. I do not know about the rest of the Texans fans out there but I believe that yesterday’s game was epic for all of the right reasons. That being said, let us dissect some of the game and see why the Texans were able to so handily defeat the Titans.
I only have two rants about this game: the apparent absence of ILB DeMeco Ryans and the appearance of CB Kareem Jackson.
DeMeco has been a team leader for the past few seasons and his presence on the field has always helped ignite our defense. Yesterday, though, it seems as if he played in less than 50% of the game. Granted, he is still recovering (or say it is rumored) but he is a team leader and his presence makes an impact on the rest of the team.
However, DeMeco’s apparent absence should not be confused with an inability to make plays. Sure, he had no tackles yesterday but his mere presence is enough to keep many quarterbacks in check. Just the thought of having a receiver hit by DeMeco keeps the ball secure in the hands of many quarterbacks who, on any other day, would go to their check-down man over the middle.
While I am overall disappointed that DeMeco was not in on more plays I am also a firm believer in not overworking your best players. The Texans have suffered enough injuries this season and, in all reality, can not afford to lose any more players.
My only other rant is because Coach Gary Kubiak does not have the intestinal fortitude to bench his “golden child” (Kareem Jackson). Week in and week out we here the same repetitive droning about Kareem being a first round pick who deserves his time on the field. Well I, for one, have had enough of it.
Let us take a minute and dissect this situation. You have player “A” and player “B”. Player “A” has the following stats for this season: four games started, 17 solo tackles, two assists, no passes deflected, no interceptions, and one forced fumble. Player “B” has the following stats: three games started, 24 solo tackles, one assist, four passes deflected, two interceptions, and no forced fumbles. Who do you go with?
Now call me crazy but I go with player “B” who has the better overall stats. He appears to be a more effective play-maker and will most likely contribute the most on the defensive side of the ball. Player “B”, in the case of the Texans, is CB Jason Allen, while player “A”…well I will let you figure that one out.
But what say you, the fans? Should Coach Kubiak keep plugging K-Jack into the defense or should he take a gamble and let Jason Allen start more games this season?
Where do I even begin? How do you write a rant about an entire team?
The Texans, in this game, looked like a playoff caliber team. They went into a hostile stadium, against a division rival, missing three key players (which became four), and still managed to win – and win big!
Coach Kubiak made the following statement after the game,
"It’s hard going on the road and that was a pretty big game and when you get a chance to win like that, to grasp it and play the way we played in the second half, it made me feel good."
That was, perhaps, the greatest piece of the puzzle that the Texans have been missing lately – the ability to finish a complete game. They had appeared to do a complete 180 in comparison to last season when they would suck out in the first half and then have a great second half. However, yesterday they found a way to get all of the cylinders working at once and kept pounding away at the Titans.
Some of the biggest kudos have to go to the Texans offensive line. The way that they played yesterday made them look line one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. That is because they are tied for seventh overall in sacks allowed, tied for ninth overall in QB hits, and are fourth overall in rushing yards.
The O-line was so good, in fact, that QB Matt Schaub was never sacked, he was able to throw for 296 yards and two TDs, and RB Arian Foster was able to have another record day. If the Texans offensive line had been any better the Titans would have had to induce the mercy rule in order to stop the bleeding.
My second rave goes out to both RB Arian Foster and RB Ben Tate. Sure, Foster had the better day but Tate’s 104-yard day placed him in the top 10 rushers in the NFL. Foster though, all I can say is WOW!
I heard that Foster was almost arrested after the game yesterday…for assaulting the Titans defense! What he did to them was absolutely criminal.
Racking up 115 rushing yards with two touchdowns would have been a great day for any running back in the league…but for Foster it was not enough. He also managed to add another 119 receiving yards and yes, another touchdown. His performance yesterday will be on the NFL highlights list for a while – guaranteed.
Lastly, I have rave about the Texans defense yesterday. It is never easy to win games without your star outside linebacker. It is even harder to win after losing your starting free safety. However, the Texans defense not only held up but also manhandled the Titans.
The Texans defense kept Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck at bay, allowing him only 104 passing yards and a touchdown while intercepting him twice. They also kept the Titans run game to a minimum allowing RB Chris Johnson to rush for only 18 yards, while RB Javon Ringer added another 31 yards, and RB Jamie Harper another four yards. If you add that up you get 53 yards – wait, that cannot be right…oh yeah, it is.
This was a complete defense, one that stopped the pass, stopped the run, and got take-aways. If the Texans can manage to keep their defense playing like this they will have no problem making it to the playoffs this year (knock on wood).
This game was, in my opinion, the best game the Texans have ever played. They faced a determined division rival while missing multiple players and still managed to blow out the opposing team. What was most impressive though was that they did not slow down when they went up big. They kept pounding away at the Titans and added more-and-more padding to the already huge deficit.
If the Texans can manage to play this well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons, while still winning against the weaker opponents, they could finish out the season 13-3 or 12-4. Either way, the Texans need to keep this momentum, move forward, and win one game at a time.