Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Bill O’ the Clown Triumphs in First Round of 2020 NFL Draft

All you Texans’ fans can be proud of what Head Coach/GM Bill O’Brien did in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.  Absolutely nothing.  Red was expecting Bill to trade away some more draft picks and All-Pro talent to pick up a player in the first round that the experts had going in the third round at best.  So Kudos to Bill for sitting on your hands.

It won’t last.

In an amazing (but not altogether unpredictable) turn-around, the Houston Texans lost to the Kansas City Chiefs by 20 points after being up 24-0 in the second quarter of Sunday’s playoff game.  The 44 point swing may be the largest post-season change in NFL history.  Red is going to bother looking that one up, because it doesn’t matter if the Texans C-H-O-K-E is historic – the humiliation and disappointment is enough.

The Texans were effectively gifted 14 points on a blocked punt (give the special teams credit) and a muffed punt by KC speedster Tyreek Hill (curiously attempting a punt return for only the second time this season).   But still a 24-0 lead should guarantee a competitive game down the stretch.  Not so for the hapless Texans.  Red does not fault Head Coach Bill O’ the Clown O’Brien for taking a field goal when faced with 4th and 1 in the “red zone”.   But after the Chiefs marched effortlessly down the field following a brilliant kick-off return, BO botched the next series with a foolish fake punt that even Red could see coming.  That gave the Chiefs another short field and after another quick score to make it 24-14 –  a new lease on their playoff football life.

The Chiefs proceeded to ultimately score touchdowns on seven straight possessions while the Texans offense returned to the BO tank in which in normally lives.  Being outscored 51-7 in any stretch of any game is agony enough.  But when you had the game in hand it is a franchise altering result – or at least it should be.

If this debacle is not enough to get Bill O’ the Clown fired, then it is hard to imagine what would.  He and defensive coordinator Romeo “I’m not on the take from our opponents even though it sure looks like it” Cremel need to exit NRG this week.  If not, the talent on this team (and there is talent) will be wasted for at least one more season.

Really, the Texans need a clean sweep from top to bottom.  It starts with hiring an actual general manager who may be able to find someone, somewhere willing to take over this reclamation project.

Texans Owner Bob McNair Crosses the Final Goal Line

Billionaire owner of the Houston Texans, Bob McNair, passed away last week.  Despite his overall disappointment with the completely mediocre franchise McNair built, Red will say nothing bad about McNair.  McNair was perhaps loyal to a fault hanging on to coaches, general managers and some players longer than prudent.  But that is not a real criticism except in the modern “What have you done for me lately” world of pro sports and other endeavors.

Red will say that there were two games he attended, which if Red had been the owner he would have gone down to the locker room at halftime and fired the head coach.

The first game was the home opener in 2005 against the Pittsburgh Stealers.  The Texans were down 20-0 at the half against a team led by the young wunderkind Ben Rothlessberger throwing two TDs to the underappreciated Hines Ward.  That was bad enough, but Red had never seen a supposedly decent team look so unprepared and overmatched and completely out of it from the beginning.  The second half was not much better and the Texans quietly surrendered 27-7 on their way to a 2-14 season.  Dom “the Dud” Capers would have been a goner under a Red regime.  As it turns out, that would have just saved Bob some trouble as Capers was fired at the end of the season.

The second game was the season opener against the New York Jets in 2009.  It wasn’t quite as bad at halftime as the Texans only trailed 17-0.  But the Jets were led by a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez playing in his first game and tearing the home team a new one.  Head Coach Gary Kubiak would have been on the street by 2 p.m. if Red was in charge.  The Texans would rally to a 5-3 record at mid-season only to lose four in a row and stumble to their first winning season ever at 9-7 (courtesy of a Patriots team that sat Brady for most of the last game of the season with nothing to play for).

Alas, Red will never own a professional sports franchise and incompetent head coaches everywhere are the safer for it.

Red’s 2018 NFL Predictions – AFC South

Finally we get to a division that Red pays attention to – not that it matters.   This is the division of “Why do these towns have NFL teams anyway?”

Houston Texans –  Red was shocked to witness in person the offensive onslaught that Deshaun Watson led against the Titans in October.  That 57-14 ass whipping was as impressive an offensive show that Red has ever seen in a regular season NFL game.  It made Red a believer.  Red was also sadly present the next week when JJ Watt and Red favorite Whitney Mercilus went down in the space of about 57 seconds.  Losing Watson, Watt and Mercilus was the death knell for the Texans season.  Barring similarly crippling injuries this season, the Texans should be good enough to secure a playoff spot this year.  A lot rides on that first game in New England.  A win or even a credible loss will put this team on the right track.  Texans are 10-6 and in.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Lots of pundits are writing off the Jaguars as one-hit wonders and shitting on journeyman QB Blake Bortles.  BB may be mediocre but the rest of this team has enough talent to cover up the cracks.  Jaguars are also 10-6 and lose tiebreaker to the Texans.

Tennesee Titans – Red wants to believe.  Red also wants a job where you don’t have to show up and the money just sort of rolls in. Titans are 8-8 material.

Indianapolis Colts –  The Colts are just an Andrew Luck away from mediocrity.  They have no offensive line, one decent receiver, running backs???,  defense???, coaching???. Colts are 6-10.

SI Names Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt as Co-Sportspersons of 2017

Sports Illustrated has name two Houston legends – Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt as its Co-Sportspersons of the Year for 2017.  They were bestowed the award for entirely different reasons.

Altuve had one of the most magical seasons imaginable winning the American League batting title, MVP and Silver Slugger awards.  Oh, and yeah – winning the World Series for the first time in Astros history after the city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.  Altuve carried the team at times during the post-season recording a record 17 hits, 6 home runs and batting .472 at Minute Maid.  Other than Mike Trout he is probably the best baseball player alive right now.  And by all signs a credit to his community for charitable works and tremendous attitude.

Watt on the other hand, had a miserable 2017 on the field.  He played in 4 games with zero sacks and was lost for the season early in the Chiefs game .  All of this coming after losing most of the 2016 season to injury as well.  Whether he ever returns to the greatness he showed during his first 5 years in the league is questionable at this point.  But in the face of Harvey, Watt determined to raise some money for relief.  He set his goal at $200,000 and ended up raising $37 million and it appears that almost all of that money has gone or will go to actual relief efforts.

So two Houston athletes get well-deserved kudos from SI.

Red’s NFL Picks – AFC South

The AFC South (once the division of excellence) is out of the woods this season and will not be the pathetic excuse for a professional football division that it has been for the last few years – despite the presence of the Jaguars.

Titans  Marcus Mariota is the best quarterback in this division. Sorry Andrew, Tom and whomever is starting for the Jaguars.  DeMarco Murray is the best running back in this division.  Titans have the best offensive line in this division.  Delanie Walker (decidedly a late bloomer) may be the best tight end in this division.  The wider receivers – eh!  But you can’t have it all.  The defense is just good enough to keep the Titans close in a lot of games.  If the ball bounces the Titans’ way this season, then they just might post the best record in the NFL.  Everyone will know after week 3 if the Titans are for real. If the Titans beat the Raiders in the opener and the Seahawks two weeks later (both home games), the buzz will be incredible as they roll into Houston on week 4.  Red can hear the bees humming now.  After dispatching the Texans, the schedule gets much easier with only three potential playoff teams (Stealers, Cardinals and Texans) on the schedule.   Titans stun the league with a 13-3 record and stroll to AFC South title.

Texans  The Texans have a great defense.  Not 84 Bears great, but possibly top twenty all time great if they force 30+ turnovers and have 50+ sacks this season.  And contrary to the public perception, it’s not all JJ Watt.  Red is suffering from a bit of JJW fatigue as heretical as that may sound.  Clowney and Whitney Mercilus (Red’s favorite) are the keys this year.  They both had tremendous seasons last year playing mostly without JJW.  Imagine what they can do when an offensive line has to focus on the big Wisconsinite as well.  The linebacking crew is solid enough and the secondary will miss Bouye but is good enough to hold coverage long enough to force opposing quarterbacks to make bad decisions.  But then there is the other side of the ball.  If the Texans can muster even a mediocre offense, they will be in a lot of games.  Red fears mediocrity may be an unreachable goal with either Savage or rookie DeShaun Watson under center and slim pickings at wideout.  Rookie D’Onta Foreman may be a force if not injured and Fiedorowizc may be moving up to elite TE status.   But may Red just say, he hopes Watson does not see serious action until late in the season.  In fact, Red will predict right now that DW will not take over until the mid-way in the Rams game in Week 10 with the 4-4 Texans trailing the Rams with the season on the line.  If Watson can right the ship at that point, the Texans have a chance to sneak into the playoffs.  But somewhere along the way, they are going to have to beat a good team.  Best chances will be at home against the Stealers or Cardinals.  Texans are 9-7 and slip under the door as the last wildcard team.

Jaguars  Can Tom Coughlin resuscitate the long dormant Jaguars? It seems like ancient history now, but when Coughlin was at the helm at the dawn of the franchise, the Jaguars surprised the football world by playing in the AFC championship game in their second season.  He made the playoffs the next 3 seasons as well – again playing for and losing the AFC title in season 5.  Since then, 3 winning seasons and no playoff victories.  By comparison, the Texans are entering their 16th season and have yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs in their 4 playoff appearances and a current 9 year playoff drought.  Coughlin has tidied up if not cleaned house with 5 new assistant coaches, multiple free agent acquisitions on defense and picking up LSU back Leonard Fournette with the 4th pick of the draft.  But under center is still Blake Bortles.  Red bet big on BB last season and doesn’t really want to talk about it. In his 4th season, BB had better show signs of life or accept his fate as a back-up quarterback.  The Jags are mediocre at best.  But after a 3-13 campaign in 2016, mere mediocrity may be viewed as a triumph.  Jacksonville goes 8-8.

Colts  Who are the Colts anymore anyway?  Red has no clue with the multiple roster changes since last season..  Unfortunately for the Colts neither does head coach Chuck Pagano who has seemed in over his head at times during back to back 8-8 seasons in a division that the Colts used rule like kings of old.  And speaking of old – there’s tired old Frank Gore who probably used up whatever was left in the tank last season when he became the first running back to rush for 1000 yards since John Riggins (OTNAs 1984).  Maybe the news gets any better on defense only because it really couldn’t get worse for the league’s 30th ranked defense.  A whole new linebacking corps led by Barkevious Mingo may help, but beyond Vontae Davis the secondary will likely remain porous.  The whole thing turns on the reappearance of Andrew Luck and that is not a good sign.  Luck at his best with a lot of fearsome weapons was not that good.  A more average Luck with little to work with could be plain awful.  But Luck is the Colts best chance to avoid ignominy this season. Maybe Punter Pat McAfee had it right.  After a nice 8 year career (including two Pro Bowl appearances) he hung up the cleats to try his had at stand-up comedy.  There will be laughs this season, but they’ll be laughing at the Colts not with them.  Indianapolis 2-14.

Red’s 2017 NFL Predictions – the Annual Bitch Portion Thereof

Well it’s time for Red’s Annual Bitch about the favorable TV treatment afforded the Hated Arlington Cowboys franchise.  Hang on to your Stetsons.

 If for some unfathomable reason you are a Cowboys fan, most Sundays you can sleep late, linger over brunch, get in 18 holes, have an under-the-covers nap (aka siesta tradicional) and still be back in the recliner with nachos in hand in time for kickoff. It’s even better this season than usual for all you HAC fans.  All Red can say is – at least your team made the playoffs last season  and there is some slight justification for having a reasonable share of games on National TV – but nothing justifies this:

Week 1       Giants Sunday Night Game

Week 2       At Broncos Sunday Late Game

Week 3       At Cardinals Monday Night Game

Week 5       Packers Sunday Late Game

Week 7       At 49ers Sunday Late Game

Week 8       At Redskins Sunday Late Game

Week 9       Chiefs Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Falcons Sunday Late Game

Week 11     Eagles Sunday Night Game

Week 12     Chargers Thanksgiving Late Game

Week 13     Redskins Thursday Night Game

Week 14     At Giants Sunday Late Game

Week 15     At Raiders Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Seahawks Sunday Late Game

So adding it all up, the Cowboys get:

3 Sunday Night games

8 Sunday Late Games with only 49ers and Broncos as time zone related

1 Monday Night Game

1 Thursday Night Game (mandatory)

And the traditional Thanksgiving game

For a grand total of 14 national TV appearances. That is well above the standard 11 national TV appearances that the league regularly doles out to America’s Team.

And if you are a fan of the hapless Texans (who have actually won more playoff games in the time of their miserable existence than the Cowboys have during that period) you had better plan ahead and expect that the games will totally mess up your Sunday afternoon plans.

Week 2       At Bengals Thursday Night Game

Week 5       Chiefs Sunday Night Game

Week 8       At Seahawks Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Rams Sunday Late Game

Week 12     At Ravens Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Stealers Sunday Late Game

That’s 6 national TV appearances which is better than the usual schedule but only because of 2 west coast games against the Seahawks and Rams and the mandatory Thursday night game.

Red calls Bullshit.