April 20, 2014

The Rundown: The Perfect Storm (Seahawks Edition)

Huddle

The-RundownIt was a horrific film that we have seen too many times and this loss to the Seattle Seahawks could not have gone any worse for the Houston Texans. This loss is another on the resume of Matt Schaub and Head Coach Gary Kubiak that will be a defining moment for the duo that has been labeled in failures the past couple of seasons.

The locker room felt like a wake for a lost loved one and there were no smiles or talking amongst the Texans. Players were not looking to hang around but were quick to the exit, dodging media on the way out. It was one of the more eye opening moments for a Texans team who is usually up beat. The loss deflated the team and the body language spoke volumes on what the team was feeling. Only the next game will fix this feeling of letdown.

 

 

The Rundown

The positives seem minute at the moment, and everything that could go wrong for the Texans went wrong in the second half and overtime. 

The Perfect Storm (That Led to Zero Points)

- Texans had 8 offensive drives in the second half and overtime which four of them had 3rd and 10+ yards to stall the drives.

Ben Tate had a costly fumble at the 4:26 mark of the 3rd quarter that gave the Seahawks a free three points. The Seahawks scoring drive was 4 plays for zero yards.

Brian Cushing left the game at the 7:37 mark of the 3rd quarter which proved to be a big blow for a Texans defense. The Texans defense gave up 13 points after Cushing went out which proved a big factor in the scheme of the game. 153 yards were gained against the Texans defense without Cushing on the field and 117 with him on it.

Johnathan Joesph had a clutch interception to only be negated by a pick 6 interception by Matt Schaub on the next drive.

 

 

- The Texans scored zero points after the first half and had 13 plays in 2 drives to score and win the game in overtime. In 13 plays, the offense only gained 42 yards.

- Matt Schaub after the first half was 14 of 22 for 129 yards and the costly interception, and this was after a first half where he was highly efficient through the air.

Darryl Sharpton gave up a costly 15 yard penalty on a horse collar tackle on the final scoring drive.

Kareem Jackson had a borderline unnecessary roughness penalty on a play where a whistle was not blown to help set up a game winning field goal. This ended up being the end to a game that slipped right through the Texans hands.

 

Some Did Show Up

The work that J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Whitney Mercilus put in against the Seahawks was a thing of beauty. All three were making game changing plays and Mericlus had a breakout game for the Texans. Mercilus racked up 2.5 sacks and is actually showing that he can be a pass rushing threat off the edge. Watt and Cushing made some big plays on Seahawks running backs in key portions of the game. The trio combined for 23 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 7 QB hits and 3 TFLs.

Andre Johnson showed up in a big way and dominated Richard Sherman until Sherman was gift wrapped his interception. He put up an impressive day with 9 receptions for 110 yards and has now caught a pass in 105 consecutive games.

The Texans tight ends were working in big way early in the game and Kubiak rolled out two and three tight end formations. It led to some big gains and Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham combined for 11 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. Graham was a big plus for the offense and he stretched the field vertically and took advantage of the Seahawks linebackers.

 

Elephant In the Room

It is no secret that Matt Schaub has the weight of the city and franchise on his shoulders after his past three games which all had a pick 6 involved. His late game decisions against the Seahawks devastated the team and the fans that were watching the game live. It is hard to put a reason on why Schaub has struggled with his decision making, but it is getting to the point of no return. His play is losing games for the Texans and this is after a first half that he looked sharp throwing the football. If it is play calling or not, the decisions with the football is the main issue. Until he corrects what he needs to do with the football, this team will be stuck in neutral for the season.

 

 

Watt Upset

Watt post game.

Watt post game.

If only we could actually get into the mind of J.J. Watt after the game. His face and expression said it all. He said “pissed off” numerous times and voiced his displeasure with what happened on the field. It is moments like this that make people wonder what the next step for the team is, especially for a defense that has been doing everything possible to keep the Texans in the game.

 

Where to Now

The Houston Texans are sitting at 2 and 2, and are lucky to be in this spot with the football they have played to start the season. The San Francisco 49ers are next on the schedule and this will conclude the toughest part of the schedule. There will probably be little change if any after this loss, but someone has to be held accountable for this loss. It will probably be handled in house but it is no secret that there is tension growing on Kirby. The talent is there and the Texans showed it in the first half but couldn’t finish the impressive start.

Kubiak has been backed into a corner with the play of his hand picked quarterback, and there has to be some doubt creeping in on what Schaub can do. The reality of it is that Kubiak knows Schaub is limited and tries to play to his strengths, which has not been working. There will more than likely be no quarterback change but Schaub is forcing the Texans hands quicker than they want to on when the next QB comes to town.

 

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.

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