Posted by Josh Katzowitz
The Texans defense is so bad ….
(How bad is it? the crowd asks)
The Texans defense is so bad that it’s going to keep Houston out of the playoffs for the ninth season in a row and it’s so bad that it’s going to cost coach Gary Kubiak his job (not to mention defensive coordinator Frank Bush).
Look, Houston has the players on offense. Matt Schaub, though he’s a tad underrated, is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Andre Johnson is perhaps the best receiver. Arian Foster has emerged as the league-leading rusher.
The offense averages 373 yards per game (seventh in the league) and you might remember the Texans opened the season beating the Colts 34-24 in the season-opener, leading all of us to rethink the order of the AFC South.
And we were right. The AFC South is playing out differently than we thought. But that’s because the Jaguars are battling with an average Colts team for the division lead. After tonight’s 34-24 loss to the Eagles, Houston is 5-7 and in last place (behind even Tennessee).
Yes, Schaub wasn’t perfect (22 of 36 for 337 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, plus a late fumble that sealed the game for Philadelphia), but if he had a defense that didn’t allow 417 yards tonight and 24-plus points in 11 of 12 games this year, he’d have more room for error. As it is now, he has none.
That’s because the Texans secondary has played horrendous this year. Coming into tonight, they ranked 31st in the NFL by allowing 286.2 passing yards per game, and Michael Vick threw for 302 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
In a game full of bad defensive moments, the killer occurred on the fourth-quarter Eagles drive that began with 10:10 to play. At that point, Philadelphia had a three-point lead, and if the Texans could simply hold the Eagles to a field goal, they’d still have a chance to win the game.
The Eagles started on their own 28-yard line, but a 40-yard screen pass from Vick to RB LeSean McCoy and a 19-yard pass to TE Brent Celek on a third-and-19 (in which Celek rolled over LB Kevin Bentley to stretch for the first down) brought the ball to the 5-yard line. Two plays later, Vick hit FB Owen Schmitt for the touchdown to make it 34-24.
"I would say we didn't tackle very good, especially in the fourth quarter,” Kubiak told reporters in his postgame presser in what shouldn’t be considered an especially astute observation.
The truth is: when Houston needed its defense the most, it allowed an eight-play, 72-yard drive to put the game out of reach for the Eagles. It’s been a problem all season, and until the defense can improve, Schaub might never, ever see the postseason as a starting quarterback. Kubiak almost certainly will never see one in Houston as a head coach.
It’s a shame.
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