Personal matters did not allow me to watch or listen to the Texans apparent debacle at Foxboro Monday night. Was I lucky or what? Everything I have read or heard about the game indicates it was a real stinker and for Monday night at least the Texans did not belong on the same field as the New England Patriots.
That was certainly unfortunate for all who invested time and effort in being sure to make it a special night around the TV…and even worse for those fans who got into the wallet to actually travel to see the game in person.
As I have stated a number of times, though, there are no guarantees in sports. That is why following the games is a great pastime, but also why it can be exhilarating one week and totally almost debilitating the next.
The Texans apparently did so much wrong that fans should be able to generate hope that it was just an anomaly. The team will surely bounce back at home next weekend when they face the Colts. They will, won’t they?
Offensively the Texans have to be better than Monday. Matt Schaub looked like a journeyman quarterback behind a journeyman offensive line. Neither looked like part of an 11-2 team. Of course, the defense didn’t either. J.J. Watt was merely human and no one was able to disrupt Tom Brady enough to keep him from shredding the Texans pass defense.
And, frankly if fans want to be concerned’ that is the club’s most vulnerable area. If the pass rush cannot either get to or hurry the opposing quarterback the Texans are in trouble. The top quarterbacks in the league (and some lesser lights who had big days) have demonstrated the real difference.
Offensively the Texans passing game always looks like so much more of a struggle than that of the league’s best. Aaron Rogers, Brady, Peyton Manning and some of those lesser lights have had their way too much. Schaub normally completes a lot of passes for good yardage, but misses on more than the big guys. Often those misses are with plays that could be game changers. The Texan receiving corps is not among the league’s best so all cannot be put on Matt. Other veteran stars of the team appear a step short at times. Is it the long season? Is it minor injuries? Is it lack of that extra adrenaline rush? Or, could it be that the athletic peak has passed and the vets are playing on their wiles and experience?
No one really knows so they can just speculate as I am here. The bottom line is that while the Texans are 11-2 it is somewhat a lucky 11-2 and being 9-4 might be more representative of the team’s actual skill level. That would still be playoff good, but it would not put the Texans in the eye of the league as a top Super Bowl contender. They would have a chance, of course, but would not have the same pressure on their shoulders that fans and probably themselves are placing. A second meeting with New England in the playoffs at Houston would certainly not duplicate Monday in New England. Even a Super Bowl match with Green Bay might turn out differently than the game in the regular season. It is just that right now no one could come up with very strong reasons why it would.
The team is fully capable of bouncing back from Monday’s loss with a convincing win over the Colts. They will simply have to play a whole lot better than they did in Foxboro.