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Reflection on Texans’ Loss To Cowboys

Houston Texans, watt

The Texans Let One Slip Away, Waste A Great Performance From Arian Foster

The loss was a tough one to stomach because not only are the Cowboys an in-state rival, but also because of the thousands of Texans fans that traveled to Dallas and took away the home-field advantage. The Texans ultimately couldn’t capitalize on having their fair share of fans in the crowd and they let a huge day from Arian Foster become just a nice looking stat line.

The loss also caused them to lose the division lead over the Colts, which now stands at a tie at 3-2 after their win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Three Biggest Game Changing plays

There are three plays that stand out the most in what eventually lead to the Texans losing to the Cowboys. First is the the 43 yard touchdown that Tony Romo threw to Terrence Williams after spinning and avoiding a sack from J.J. Watt. The sack would have lost the cowboys about ten yards and would have put the Cowboys in 3rd and 14 situation.

J.J. Watt completely beat Tyrone Smith off the edge and it is a play that he makes almost every time. Avoiding defenders with that reverse spin is one of the things that Romo does best and he was able to spot Watt in his peripheral vision will looking down the field. On a side note, I thought Watt was offsides originally but he simply had a tremdendous jump on the snap and easily sped past Smith.

The second devastating part of the play is that Kendrick Lewis was in position to make a play on the ball to prevent the touchdown but tripped when his foot hit the back of Williams’ shoe. Lewis was only a step behind Williams and almost assuredly could have either had an interception or simply knocked the ball down. There was a play to be made because the ball was a little bit behind Williams on his left shoulder.  The score gave the Cowboys a 10-7 lead.

The 3rd and 2 play in overtime before the Texans eventually lost on a game winning field goal was perhaps the most controversial. Many thought that Arian Foster should have been given the ball to get those two yards, but I don’t think it was the horrible decision some said it to be. On the first two plays of the drive Arian ran for 24 yards then for 6 yards and the took himself out for a play. On 2nd and 4 Alred Blue got the ball and only was able to get 2 yards.

The Cowboys had stopped Blue on the previous play and had they ran the ball again it would have been a 4 straight run plays. O’Brien obviously wanted to change it up and get the ball to Arian in a match up with a linebacker. That is why I didn’t have a big problem with the play call, I just think that all the practice time missed during training camp with certain players has come back to haunt the the Texans in some ways. The team just needs to start executing better.

The  37 yard completion in overtime that Tony Romo threw up for Dez Bryant and some how caugth was also a tough one to take. The pass was thrown on 3rd and 9, and Johnathan Joseph had great coverage on Bryant. The only other thing Joseph could have done was to pull down on his right forearm which would have likely made Bryant lose control of the ball.

The defense overall played as well as you could hope for them to play against a team with a good quarterback and numerous weapons like the Cowboys have. With both A.J. Bouye and Darryl Morris out, Elbert Mack and rookie Andre Hal stepped in nicely. Andre Hal allowed a back shoulder touchdown reception to Dez Bryant but there isn’t anything else Hal could have done without getting flagged

People use the cliche’ about defensive players “flying around” to describe how they are playing but it usually isn’t used literally. Such wasn’t the case when it came to D.J. Swearinger’s play against the Cowboys because on three or four occasions he launched his body in the air when making tackles.

Aside from the touchdown Kendrick Lewis gave up he played a good game and he continues to play a large role in helping the Texans create turnovers. He read Tony Romo’s rushed pass to Dez Bryant and jumped in front for the interception.

Brian Cushing had an impressive sack on Tony Romo early in the game, but he looks like he is still in the process of working his way back to his old self.

It is the same story with the defensive line, offensive line, offense, quarterback, and tight ends. Each one of these units needs to pick up their games, especially the offensive and defensive line because everybody else’s play will be enhanced if they do their jobs.

 

 

 

Watt #12 on NFL Players’ Top 100

JJ watt 2014 top 100

J.J. Watt drops 7 spots from the 2013 NFL Players Top 100 list

J.J. Watt marks the last Texan on the Top 100 list that is voted by the players

This year’s Top 100 by the NFL players included Texans J.J. Watt at #12, Andre Johnson #21, and Duane Brown #86. Arian Foster was left off the list after being #8 in 2013, but when a player misses half the season or more they are usually left off of the list. Duane Brown dropped from #48 in 2013 to #86 this year, and from a Texans standpoint was probably only drop in rank that was warranted do to Duane’s off year from elite-level play.

It is safe to say that the 2-14 debacle season played a big part in the drop for J.J. Watt and Andre Johnson. Being behind in games limited sack opportunities for Watt, and the inconsistent quarterback play took away some added numbers that Andre could have had.  However, it shouldn’t be an outrage because they are still rather high on the list, and it was predictable that they would fall a few spots. In 2013 Watt was ranked #5 and Andre was #14.

Here are the links to the videos of each Texans’ player

J.J. Watt #12 on Top 100 of 2014 by the Players

Andre Johnson #21 on Top 100 of 2014 by the Players

Duane Brown #86 on Top 100 of 2014 by the Players