Colts 27, Texans 24: And That Will Just About Do It for 2013
The special teams ceded field position, they committed untimely penalties and ultimately their field goal kicker, who Kubiak has stuck with about a month longer than most other NFL coaches would, did them in. Hell, truth be told, Randy Bullock's 55-yard miss at the end of regulation may not even be necessary if he makes a 43-yard attempt just minutes earlier.
And the 55-yard attempt at the end is probably a much shorter one if the Texans offense doesn't burn off nearly 45 seconds of clock running a play on 3rd and 11 the previous series, another silly mistake that essentially turned the two-minute warning into a moot stoppage on a change of possession on the fourth down punt. Just inexcusable, junior high kind of stuff.
Yes, the whole thing was a mess in the second half, overshadowing what was a record-breaking first half for quarterback Case Keenum and wide receiver Andre Johnson, who hooked up for 190 yards and three touchdowns before halftime, Johnson's first three-touchdown game of his career. In fact, it appeared that Keenum was on a one-man mission to try and singlehandedly erase the "but he doesn't catch many touchdowns" objection from Andre's eventual Hall of Fame candidacy, they looked that good together.
Case had himself a night.
Throws down the field, throws on the run, extending plays. It was that sweet to watch. It was an NFL offense.
But there's no denying that it doesn't matter who's under center; this is a team that can't execute in the second half of games. Aside from one garbage touchdown against the Rams in Week 6, the offense hasn't scored a touchdown after halftime since overtime of the Titans game in Week Two.
Sunday night, the offense and the defense shared with the special teams in a fourth-quarter collapse (outscored 15-0) that has now sent the 2013 season into a dark, helpless place.
The truly important thing, of course, is that Gary Kubiak will apparently be okay. For all of the campaigning I've done in this space for the man to be replaced, I can say that whatever day he returns to the job -- this week, next week, next month, whenever -- I will be happy for him after what he went through Sunday night.
It's been a crazy and mentally exhausting couple of weeks for football fans in this city. The sorrow of losing Bum Phillips, the coming to grips with how to process the death of Bud Adams, and now Sunday night.
Most of us want to believe that the football gods would follow Bum's unfortunate passing by blessing us with some sort of storybook ending -- the 2013 season rescued by a local hero, forgotten by 31 other teams, putting the franchise on his back.
But the football gods are cruel.
Instead of the Cinderella turnaround, the beatings continue, the injuries pile up and oh by the way, your coach is going to the hospital at halftime.
On Sunday night, a lost season became downright mean.
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