I'm going to spare you the corny "Houston-we-have-a-problem" jokes. Not because they're corny, I love that stuff, but because you've probably got a horrible headache after watching the Houston Texans' latest loss.
And because there is more than one problem.
The offseason is a time for reflection. The front office brass has to be brutally honest in their evaluations, identify the problems and find the best solutions so the franchise can move forward.
What? The season isn't over? It just feels like it?
Oh. Well, I'm still going to keep the eulogy in this article because this team is backing into the playoffs in the worst way. The Texans have lost three of four to probably fall to the third seed, meaning they won't get a week off and will only get one home game.
So who is to blame for this season's choke job down the stretch? In other words, who should those front office types be looking to replace once the offseason does officially begin in Houston?
I'm not going to single out one person. These guys have been terrible as a unit and every one of them must be screened carefully before allowing any of them back on the field in 2013.
While the defensive backs played decently against the Indianapolis Colts to end the season, the unit hasn't played with any consistently. Plus, we're going to toss out the game against Christian Ponder in our analysis. You don't get credit for shutting down Christian Ponder.
The unit was exposed against the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. Those teams combined to average just less than 37 points per game and that was largely at the hands of the secondary. Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Chad Henne(!) combined for 1,091 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Lack of a Secondary Receiver
The Texans have centered their offensive game around the rushing attack and Arian Foster. Not a bad idea considering his talent level, but the Texans lack playmakers.
Andre Johnson has reminded everyone that he is still a force with a strong 2012 (1,598 yards). He just doesn't have anyone to keep pace with him, or at least provide some balance.
Excepting tight ends and running backs, the other receivers have combined for 741 yards and four touchdowns. That's it.
The lack of explosion on the outside and in the slot has seriously hindered Houston's offense. The gaping hole in the roster has allowed opposing defenses to ignore those "receivers" and shift their attention to Johnson and the running game.
Additionally, it means that Matt Schaub has to force the ball to Johnson. This leads to turnovers and inefficient production.
The secondary has been atrocious, but I'm going to side with the receivers. The offense is incomplete and will likely be the Texans' Achilles heel this postseason.
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