Texans vs. Colts: Houston's Biggest Winners and Losers
Unfortunately, this article is titled, "Houston's Biggest Winners and Losers," which means that winners must be included.
Houston's performance in this game, however, certainly does not warrant any "winners." Asides from Andre Johnson, he played pretty well.
That was until Andrew Luck converted a 3rd-and-23 for a 70 yard touchdown pass. Yeah, that play pretty much surmises the Texans' atrocious performance in this one.
Now, to end all the suspense, here are the biggest winners and losers from Houston's pathetic attempt of a football game.
Winner: Andre Johnson
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Andre Johnson was the lone bright-spot for the Texans in this game. Not only did he record his third 1,500-yard season in his career, but he also added 12 receptions for a total of 141 yards.
He consistently got open for Matt Schaub, which was extremely fortunate, otherwise the Texans might have struggled to pass midfield a single time in the game.
Johnson ran excellent routes, and he played an extremely physical football game, for the most part dominating his matchup against Vontae Davis.
Johnson has been an incredible receiver for Houston throughout the entirety of his career, and one can only hope that he'll be able to play as well next season, as he is getting higher and higher up in age.
Loser: The Texans' Playoff Hopes
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I have lost all faith in the Texans winning the Super Bowl this season.
Actually, I cannot even imagine them winning their first playoff game. That is just how bad they have been playing recently.
The secondary proved once again that they are not the impenetrable unit now that they were last season, which will be a major problem in the playoffs, once the Texans will be forced to play against an elite quarterback, if they wish to even get close to the playoffs.
Matt Schaub proved that he might be unable to rally his troops in an important game for the second straight week, and his dependency on Andre Johnson is very concerning.
The offensive line proved that they have not recovered at all from the turnover that occurred when Eric Winston and Mike Brisiel were essentially forced to walk away from the Texans in the offseason. Ben Jones and Derek Newton are simply too inexperienced to compete at the high precedent that the 2011 offensive line set for them.
With all of these issues floating around, it seems nearly impossible that the Texans will achieve success in the playoffs, and it pains me to say it.
Winner: Arian Foster
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In the first half, Arian Foster was putting on one of his unusual and terrible performances that have occurred more than once in this up-and-down season for the Texans.
He was averaging less than three yards-per-carry against a team that he has averaged over six yards-per-carry in his career.
Then, in the second half, it was as if a switch clicked on his Foster's head.
He began to display extremely tough downhill running, and he used his impeccable vision to find the correct holes to hit.
He nearly single-handely willed the Texans back into the game, and while he did not, he hopefully gave the Texans' coaching staff an extremely important to learn: you run, you win.
If the Texans do not establish a presence on the ground, their chances of winning a playoff game will be about zero. This offense depends on Foster and the offensive line, and they must step up in the playoffs.
Loser: Joe Marciano and the Special Teams
Have the Texans gone a single week this season without tallying a special teams' penalty?
Honestly, at this point, the special teams' struggles cannot even be blamed on the lack of talent in the Texans' special teams' unit. All the blame must be solely placed on Joe Marciano, the special teams' coordinator.
The special teamers are so undisciplined, it is almost hard to believe. They seem to make a costly mistake that is detrimental to the Texans' success nearly every single game.
Whether it's recording numerous holding or block-in-the-back penalties—some of which have nullified huge returns by Keshawn Martin—, Martin not calling for a fair-catch deep in his own territory, or allowing opposing returners to break out big returns, the special teams' unit has been horrifically awful.
I see no reason to keep Joe Marciano on board for next season, and quite honestly, I think we should replace him before the playoffs start.
It really cannot get much worse than it is right now.
Loser: Matt Schaub
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Matt Schaub's performance was exceedingly underwhelming in this one. Although his stats suggest that he did a decent job of throwing the football, as he completed well over 50-percent of his passes, the stats do not paint a true picture.
Schaub was hesitant and looked like he had no confidence in himself. For most of the game, Schaub would only throw short passes, refusing to try a deep ball or even pass to a player not named Andre Johnson.
He had a wide-open touchdown to James Casey, who had a step on Vontae Davis, but he instead under-threw it right into the hands of the Colts' cornerback.
While Schaub is not solely responsible for the Texans' pathetic loss, he certainly deserves a fair share of the blame.
Loser: Pass Protection
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One factor that highly contributed to Matt Schaub's poor performance was the inability of his offensive line to grant him ample time to pass the ball.
When his offensive line did deliver and create an acceptable pocket for Schaub, he was able to progress through his reads and quickly diagnose which receiver to throw to.
That rarely happened, however.
The offensive line was unable to defend Schaub for the majority of the game, and since Schaub is one of the most immobile quarterbacks in the NFL, he was unable to escape the pressure.
He simply saw the oncoming pass-rushers, ducked his head and hoped it would not hurt that much.
If the offensive line cannot protect Schaub from a defensive line that was sometimes composed of reserves, I am terrified to see what will happen to him against a capable pass-rush.