There’s really only one word that aptly describes the feeling after last night’s game between the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens came to its sudden end. That word is crestfallen.
The good people over at infoplease.com define crestfallen as “dejected”; “dispirited”; or “discouraged”.
I am definitely dejected, I might be dispirited, and let’s face it, I am completely discouraged—at least when I consider the chances of our team making the playoffs this season.
Who, as a true Texans fan, would not be dejected after that game? To be riding the euphoric high of adrenaline gained by watching my favorite team mount yet another improbable comeback against as impressive a foe as the Baltimore Ravens, just to be brought back down to earth by another Texans miscue, is more than one should be forced to endure.
Houston overcame a 28-7 third quarter deficit to tie the Ravens and send the game into overtime, and they did it with steeped drama, tying the Ravens on, of all things, a two-point conversion. The one and only time Houston has even tried a two-point conversion this season, and it paid off.
All of Texans fandom rejoiced with glee.
The Texans defense, which stepped up and played man-size football in the second half, stopped the Ravens on their first overtime possession, and the stage was set. Set for the hometown team to pull out a miracle finish, or at least drive 40-50 yards and kick the game winning field goal, thereby improving to 6-7, and still able to sniff a possible playoff appearance for the first time ever.
Fate’s fickle finger once again pointed its blessing at the Texans opponent when Matt Schaub, last year’s Pro Bowl MVP, misread the Ravens coverage while trying not to be sacked in the end zone for a safety and delivered the ball right into the anxious arms of Baltimore cornerback Josh Wilson, who promptly scampered into the end zone with the pick.
All of Texans fandom was, well, crestfallen.
I was dispirited, but not as dispirited as I’m sure Schaub was. I am discouraged, but probably not as discouraged as Texans coach Gary Kubiak may be.
This season held such promise for the Texans. Tom Jackson, NFL analyst for ESPN, even picked Houston at the start of the season to be in the Super Bowl as the AFC representative. The Texans can still make the Super Bowl, but they will need to purchase tickets.
If this season had turned out the way it was supposed to for Kubiak, Schaub and the rest of the Texans fan base had hoped, then Kubiak would be everyone’s greatest hero. Instead, everyone east of The Brazos River is calling for him to be dismissed, and right now.
That’s just the way in professional sports. A head coach is only as good as the team's Ws and Ls, and Kubiak is sitting at 5-8, at least one game worse than last year’s 9-7, with three games to go.
I’d be willing to wager, however, that if you ask Andre Johnson, Houston’s all-world wide receiver, if he thinks Kubiak should be sent packing, he’d say no. He would probably tell you it was Johnson himself who kicked the ball out of his own hands into the arms of a San Diego Chargers defensive back giving the Chargers the win in Week 9.
If you were to ask cornerback Glover Quin, he’d tell you it was he who knocked down the hail-mary pass at Jacksonville right to Jaguars wide receiver Mike Thomas in Week 10 that gave the Jaguars the win, not Kubiak.
Someone must be to blame for the dysfunction and disappointment that is the season for the Houston Texans, and the blade will probably fall on the head of Kubiak, like it or not, right or wrong.
I personally don’t think he should be let go, but that’s not for me to decide. For what it’s worth (not much, I know, but I am writing this piece), he should be allowed to at least serve the tenure of his contract, then he and owner Bob McNair can discuss his future employment with Houston, or the lack thereof.
I’ve been dismissed from employment positions before myself, and well, there’s only one way to describe the feeling.
That’s right, crestfallen.