BATTLE-DRINK: The Interim Wade Phillips Era Begins!
After a ten day hiatus where the Texans managed to fulfill their weekly drama quota by firing their head coach, it's back to the gridiron on Sunday as the Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Indy, where the team still seeks its first win in franchise history at that venue.
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I don't know if I can think of a Texans game where I've thought about or discussed the X's and O's less leading into it than this one against the Colts. Every Texans related story discussed this week on my radio show or privately has been about the NFL draft, the coaching search, or Rick Dennison's general pissiness.
But there will indeed be a game this Sunday, and you will likely need to be hammered, so I'm here to help.
Let's play BATTLE-DRINK, Week 15 edition!
Here are your new squares on the board this week as we embark on the Wade Phillips Era (Interim Head Coach version):
B4: J.J. Watt sack/TFL/pass defend
Before the season, J.J. Watt was asked about personal goals, and he said he wanted to have a "20/20/20" season -- 20 sacks, 20 passes defended, 20 tackles for loss. Thus far, like 2012, Watt has been the best defensive player on the planet, but the 20/20/20 milestone is going to be tough to reach. Like, Right now, he sits at a spectacular-but-not-quite-2012 stat line of 9.5 sacks, 6 passes defended, and 11 tackles for loss. Good, but not quite Princeton material now, is it Joel?
B5: Texans run trick play
Wade Phillips has promised some new and exciting wrinkles. I'm hoping one of them is a trick play or two. My suggestions....this....
Make it happen, Wader. Hey, speaking of Wader....
I1: Wade Phillips jolly fist pump
I2: Wade Phillips blank stare
I3: Wade Phillips pissed off
I4: Wade Phillips loses replay challenge
I5: Wade Phillips punches Rick Dennison
He's in his first real game as interim head coach (I'm not counting the Arizona game after Gary Kubiak's mini-stroke, where he was double secret interim head coach), so Wade Phillips gets his own column on the game, with the arsenal of classic Wade Phillips moves. If Wade were a video game character, "jolly fist pump" would be A, "blank stare" would be B, and punching Rick Dennison would need to be unlocked via some sort of cheat code.
N1: Shane Lechler hang time chug
N2: Randy Bullock made FG
N4: Kickoff return past the 20 yd line
N5: Blocked kick by Texans
Not only is it the first game of the Interim Wade Phillips Era, on special teams it's the first game of the "Bob Ligashesky coaching special teams by himself" Era! Ligashesky was brought in before the season from Tampa Bay to help out Joe Marciano, and apparently Marciano listened to exactly zero of Ligashesky's ideas because a) the special teams were just as wretched as they were in 2012 and b) Ligashesky announced a multitude of soon to be unveiled changes to the special teams' modus operandi against the Colts this Sunday.