Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday Night Football recap (week 13)

Exactly what it says on the tin: Houston Texans 24 @ Philadelphia Eagles 34: 27 first downs to 22. 60% third down efficiency compared to 50%. 431 total net yards compared to 416. 4 penalties for 25 yards compared to 11 for 85 yards. 100% red zone efficiency compared to 66%. Everything about those stats would suggest to someone who didn't know the score that the Texans won this game. But they didn't. Somehow the Eagles prevailed. A lot of that has to do with Michael Vick, who was 22/33 for 302 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. Add on another 10 carries for 48 yards and a rushing touchdown. Michael Vick was simply being Michael Vick. But even that doesn't tell the whole story. Matt Schaub was 22/36 for 337 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. Arian Foster had 22 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. Andre Johnson had 6 catches, 149 yards and 0 knockouts before leaving the field due to injury. Luckily for the Eagles they got an extra TD off the feet of LeSean McCoy (12 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD + 8 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD) and a field goal from a turnover as Matt Schaub threw what should have been a screen pass right into the hands of DT Trevor Laws. Of worthy note is the fact that Laws then promptly fumbled the ball which was then recovered by a team mate. This highlights a glaring omission that seems to be consistent across the NFL of teams not teaching defensive players what "ball security" means. Rookie Safety Nate Allen got himself a sack and a forced fumble, with the FF ending the Texans hope of a comeback. It was quite an even(ish) game, but once again the Texans defense came back to bite them in the butt as they gave up yards in plentiful chunks. Which -- to be honest -- has been a fairly consistent problem for the Texans under Gary Kubiak. Now don't get me wrong, he's been/is a pretty good offensive coach. But the organisation as a whole doesn't seem to have embraced the idea of building a defense to match. In the 2010 draft the Texans ended up with nine selections. Of the nine picks, they used five on offensive players. This I don't get. That offense is hardly in dire need of upgrading and while I understand that the best way to avert future problems is to stay ahead of them, what about the defense? Their second round pick was used on a running back. I understand that the Texans have had problems in this area, but that second round pick could have been used on a valuable defensive player such as another corner. Then over the course of the draft the Texans took another wide receiver (a position they are well covered in), two more tight ends (same as receivers, and even then one of the tight ends has been converted to WR) and an offensive guard. These choices just seem so odd to me. I appreciate that in general teams are not going to focus their draft so narrow mindedly on one sdie of the ball, but when you have such a great offense already I think you can afford to give the defense a bit of extra love. Anyway, the Texans lose (good. Hate 'em). That sets me off to a good start pick wise and I think tomorrow I shall begin my picks for the weekends games, split into two parts over Friday and Saturday. But just before we go, I want to point you in the direction of this article, from Obviously I can't vouch for the validity of the article or the sources named in it, but if it's all true then it poses a rather odd question; can wide receivers (or any player for that matter) really expect to dictate what type of plays they will be asked to make? If this report is true, why aren't the Eagles laughing in the face of Jackson's agent (or maybe they are)? I just find it a little ridiculous that a player would have the cheek to ask for more money while also asking to have his route tree and responsibilities shaved down. Have a great day everyone.

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