Silence. I’m sure that was the immediate response from Texans fans’ after Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Sometimes silence is a good thing though. You can learn a lot from silence and a lot of times silence says more than words themselves. I know growing up when I was in trouble and my parents got silent, that meant they were disappointed in me and that was far worse than the actual punishment I received. The Texans fans’ are disappointed, and much like my parents did out of me, they expected more out of their beloved team. Had Houston won they would have clinched home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs and the road to the Super Bowl would have to go through Houston, but that will have to wait for now.
Good news for Houston is that they do indeed get another chance to “right the ship” and lock up home field. This isn’t the playoffs where second chances don’t exist, where you have to bring your “A” game every day, and where the slightest mistake will leave you thinking on what “could have been”. Maybe this will be Houston’s wake up call, but many said that after the Green Bay and New England game as well. Whether it is or isn’t Houston cannot afford to play like they did on Sunday for any of the remaining games this season, or their playoff run will be short lived.
Many people after Sunday were asking themselves, “How?” “Why?” and “Minnesota, really?”. I will answer all of those questions for you. How? It’s simple really, Houston couldn’t establish the run early and when they can’t do that it throws their whole offense out of sync. Arian Foster is by far the most valuable player on their offense and when he can’t get going everything gets thrown on the right shoulder of Matt Schaub. Now I have never been overly critical of Schaub because I think he has done a good job as QB for Houston. These past few weeks however, he hasn’t looked the same. His throws are off target and he is under-throwing a lot of his deep balls. Matt Schaub must improve his play if Houston has any hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs. Why? Gary Kubiack has been pretty predictable on offense this year as far as play-calling. That’s not even the true issue though because if you execute your plays then being predictable shouldn’t be a problem. The issue is that he has been so conservative at times. Kubiack needs to keep defenses on their toes more and keep them guessing. He doesn’t utilize the offensive weapons this team has very well (at least at certain times in the game). Throw the ball down field and keep the safeties and linebackers honest. That will open things up for Arian then when they start playing the run, throw the ball down field again and throw to one of the best receivers to ever play the game in Andre Johnson. He is a man among boys out there and at times really makes the game look easy and effortless. Let your team play Kubiack! Trust Schaub to get the job done and allow him and Arian to work together. If you keep making it to where all teams have to do is stop Arian Foster and he keeps making Schaub play conservatively; Then Houston will be out of the playoffs early. But if you let Schaub set things up for Foster and vice-versa, then this offense is almost unstoppable. Let Schaub throw down the field more and really open up the offense. Don’t start the game throw, throw, throw, and then run, run, run. Change it up and make the other team guess what’s going to happen. If they are guessing there chances of making a mistake is much greater than if they know what’s coming.
Minnesota, really? Yes really. This just goes to show that any team can beat anyone on any given day. If I read you the box score for the Vikings team you (and I) would have probably thought Houston blew out Minnesota. I mean Adrian Peterson only 86 yards on 25 carries and no TD’s and Christian Ponder only 16-30 174 yards? I would have said it was probably similar to the Tennessee-Green Bay game. Houston was only able to manage 6 points though. It shocked me as well. I thought that Houston would score 30 easily. Minnesota was able to stop the run and Schaub’s consevative throws didn’t phase the Vikings. They weren’t giving up the deep ball because Foster wasn’t able to run successfully. Foster wasn’t able to run successfully because Schaub couldn’t open up the field with the pass. The run game and pass game need to work together. Not only that but Arian Foster left the game with an irregular heartbeat and my thoughts and prayers go out to him as that is a scary thing to go through. Anytime you are talking about the heart there is no messing around there. He did tweet today that everything was back to normal so hopefully he can be on the field Sunday against the Colts.
More good news is that Houston is playing the Colts next week. Indianapolis let up 352 rushing yards to the Kansas City Chiefs.. just imagine what Foster and Tate can do against that defense! I think Houston’s offense gets back on track this week. I don’t want to give away too much about my predictions but look out for Foster and Tate (both on my fantasy team) this week.
So through all the silence this past Sunday, maybe the Houston Texans will be extra loud this Sunday. All they have to do is win and home field is theirs. However, if they do lose that opens the door for Denver who is playing the Kansas City Chiefs. It would be a shocker to the whole world if Kansas City pulled that one out. Remember last year when Kansas City ruined Green Bay’s perfect season though. This is Houston’s last “second chance” because after this it is the playoffs and there is no redo’s in the playoffs. To all of my readers I sincerely thank you for reading every week or maybe this your first time reading. Regardless thank you so much and Merry Christmas to everyone!
About the Author
Written by Dustin Kelver
I am in my junior year of college at Howard Payne, and I play baseball there. I live in Spring, Texas and have been here for almost 7 years. I love sports and have played all sports competitively at some point in my life. I want to one day have my own radio show. You can follow me on twitter @SportsBlogger27