Move Over, Stagger Lee, Jacoby Jones Has Something Dumber!

jacobyf.jpg
A bigger "oops" than Rick Perry.
Last Friday, John Granato and I were breaking down the keys to the Texans' playoff game in Baltimore on our radio show on 1560 The Game. For the Texans to win the game, I thought it would be crucial for them to get a big play in the return game from either Danieal Manning (kickoff return) or Jacoby Jones (punt return) to set up a short field for T.J. Yates or maybe even score a touchdown.

In the course of responding to my point, Granato highlighted the fact that Jacoby Jones had not muffed a punt all season long! (And if you've been watching the Texans since 2007, you know Jacoby not fumbling is like Tara Reid staying celibate for a whole year. It's crazy improbable.)

Which is why it should have never been mentioned, not two days before the most important game in Texans history! Like publicly acknowledging a no-hitter in the fifth inning, Granato's mere mention of Jacoby's newfound ball security was tantamount to begging the sports gods to rain down hell on Jones and the Texans.

And rain down hell, they did.

The first five minutes of the Texans' 20-13 loss to the Ravens could not have gone any more smoothly. A 60-yard kickoff return from Manning set the Texans up in Ravens territory, the Texans cashed a field goal for an early 3-0 lead, and the defense was able to force the Ravens into a three-and-out on their first possession.

With about ten minutes to go in the first quarter, the Texans had a lead, they had momentum and they were a Sam Koch punt away from having the ball again.

And then, well, Jacoby happened.

Koch angled the ball to Jones's left. Somewhat inexplicably, Jones decided to let the ball bounce. Completely inexplicably, with two Ravens lurking, Jones then tried to field the ball and make a play. Instead, the ball caromed off his facemask, and while Cary Williams held Jones in a human straitjacket, Jimmy Smith fell on the ball at the Texans' two-yard line.

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Decisions have consequences...
Three plays later, the Ravens led 7-3. (Yes, it took the Ravens three plays to score from the two-yard line, an early indicator of just how stout the Texans' defense would be all day long. They could not have played any better.)

Four minutes later, the Ravens led 10-3. Three minutes after that, they led 17-3.

Eventually, the Texans would regain momentum, fight hard, but go on to lose to Baltimore 20-13 in a game that most of the players will think about every day for the next six months. The defense was otherworldly, with J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed (2.5 sacks apiece) announcing their presence with authority. Arian Foster was Arian Foster. Smooth, tough and highly underpaid.

After the game, players were quick to share in the blame for the loss, predictably defending Jones by saying that one play doesn't comprise a whole ball game.

And while that may be true, and while T.J. Yates's three interceptions were quantitatively probably more burdensome than Jones's gaffe, make no mistake -- Jacoby Jones's boneheaded fumble lost this game for the Texans.

The ebb and flow of a football game goes beyond mere statistics. Momentum, nerves, game pressure, a raucous crowd -- none of those things show up when you click on the box score. Sure, Jacoby Jones's muffed punt set the Ravens up for a mere seven points on the scoreboard, but it forfeited far more than just seven points.

It brought the crowd back into the game, it relieved game pressure on the Ravens, it took Joe Flacco off the hook for doing nothing on the Ravens' first set of downs, and most importantly it lit the wick on a 17-point keg of dynamite that put the Texans in a position where they would be paddling upstream all day long. It got them off their game plan, out of character, and forced Yates to become way more integral than Kubiak had hoped for.

So unless you're one of Jacoby's teammates taking up for him because that's the code, save your "It was a seven-point mistake" talk. It was a long-overdue blunder for a player who has been a blunder machine over the course of his five years in the league, and the Texans spent all day digging out from the rubble of the aftermath.



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23 comments
Mr. Blonde
Mr. Blonde

Jacoby Jones was who we said he was - his short stretch of error-free play was an anomoly and he was bound to revert to loserdom when it mattered the most.  The loss of the season by Jones is on Kubiak, Smith, and McNair et al just as much or moreso than it is on Jones, who was only being Jones.

People who think a lisfranc is recoverable are drinking cheap koolaid.  Schaub is done, Leinart never was, Yates is in over his head - the Texans are buck naked at QB.

MGL_COOG
MGL_COOG

Screw all of yall. I'm blaming T Mac. #EverythingsMyFault

csoakley
csoakley

I'm working on a proposal for a new action TV show. The premise every week is a terrorist group threatens to destroy a major city with a nuclear weapon. Our heroes who try to stop them will be played by Jacoby Jones and Kareem Jackson.

I don't think the show has a very long shelf life because I figure the bad guys will have blown up about 20 major cities by the end of the first season.

Mike
Mike

Nice Seanny. Can I blame Granato for the Saints and LSU losses too?

Mike
Mike

Nice Seanny. Can I blame Granato for the Saints and LSU losses too?

MASSMURDERMEDIA
MASSMURDERMEDIA

sean, perhaps like many columnists you don't write your own headlines...  so while jacoby's muff certainly was dumb, at least kubiak didn't tell him to do it...  which is what glanville did with stagger lee, wasn't that his call?...  sending in that play, at that stage of the game, at that end zone of mile high stadium, was definitely dumber than a muffed punt...

sippin on syrup
sippin on syrup

Look, we all know Jacoby needs to go. However, this one play is not THE reason. It's the body of work, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back. He's not a good receiver (ok, he can block), and his supposed skills as a return man have never truly materialized.

But other than that, I disagree with you almost completely.

As a so-called sports journalist and talk-show host, you damn well know better that to assert that ONE play SO EARLY in the contest cost the Texans this game. You're making a lot of hypothetical assumptions about how the game flow was affected without examining the facts.

The Texans, in large part, recovered from Jacoby's mistake. Was it a big contributor to the loss? Absolutely. Huge. But so were two interceptions from Yates (and a third less meaningful one in Hail Mary mode), as well as some borderline decisions surrounding how to attack Baltimore in the second half / 4th quarter.

Yet instead of looking at the game as a whole, you choose to appeal to the lowest common denominator of fans and play the blame game.

"We have to blame someone, right? We need a scapegoat, don't we!? It's got to be someone's FAULT, doesn't it?"

The same applies to the Kareem Jackson situation. Has he been a disappointment? Sure. But those so quick to call for his departure absolutely refuse to look at the other side of the coin. Also in part, because they probably don't know how to evaluate good coverage when they see it. He's improved vastly, and was put in a very difficult spot as a rookie. Is that enough to be a highly paid starting NFL corner? We'll see.

Back to the topic at hand: as a highly paid professional, there's no defense for what Jacoby did. And it will likely cost him his job with this franchise. But it's not THE reason we lost that game.

You're a professional. You're supposed to be better than this. You're fanning the flames of a topic that has already been beaten to death.

In short, you sound like an uninformed, bandwagoning, front runner fan who purchased a Texans jersey two weeks ago. Someone who always has to assign "blame" to someone for a happening they cannot control themselves. Someone who loves saying "I told you so!"

Things happen. Deal with it.

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

Malcolm Floyd would have looked good as a #2 WR.  Donald Driver is a free agent and looks nice for the right price...But yes, definitely need to take a shot in the draft, also.

Sean Pendergast
Sean Pendergast

Absolutely! Also, Hurricane Ike and the Chimney Rock exit off of 59. Those are his fault, too

Sean Pendergast
Sean Pendergast

I actually wrote the headline. We can debate which is dumber, I suppose, although if we end up debating that as a topic, that debate might be dumber than both of those occurrences combined.

Tumbler_the_Government_Man
Tumbler_the_Government_Man

That guy is a bum and he's gone. I fully expect him to run one back against the Texans when he's picked up by the Browns or the Cardinals or whoever because that would fit perfectly with the way Jacoby rolls. Vince Young passes the answers to Jacoby Jones during Wunderlich.

sippin on syrup
sippin on syrup

"...you seem to have a much harder time with my evaluation of Jacoby and the role of his mistake than I have with the mistake itself."

You know what? You may be right. Why? Because as I alluded to above, the local media coverage of the Texans is a joke. Have you looked at Chron.com's front page and sports headlines when the Texans have stumbled? "go ahead, blame Jacoby, sound off here...' It was the same thing all year. All they want to do is get eyes on banner ads. And your post is – perhaps unintentionally – cut from the same cloth.

Aren't you better than this? You're doing yourself a disservice.

As far as radio goes, not saying you're among them, but there are quite a few unqualified hacks in this town who neither have the sports knowledge, objectivity or life experience to be hosting a major-market sports radio show. That said, there are probably three sports talk show personalities in Houston who are credible enough to hold their jobs.

Since you're supposedly a source of knowledge and insight into the team, why don't you tell us something we don't know and haven't discussed 24 x 7 since 3:30 Sunday?

Romsho
Romsho

That one play changed the way the game was played. It was setting up to be a field position, ball control, conservative offensive approach..best case scenario for a QB with TJ Yates limited experience.

Could they have recovered? Of course. But the odds on the road against a tough, playoff tested veteran team went way down the second that play happened. It was by far the biggest play of the game.

I think what Sean meant when he said he respected your opinion was he didn't respect it at all and thinks you're an unnecessary shot taking jackass. Or wait..no that's what I think. My bad. Thanks for nothing.

Wyatt
Wyatt

All these uncontrollable happenings really make me flip my lid. Romney/Jones 2012

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

You seem to confuse someone like Sean Pendergast with someone like John McClain, and thus, entirely miss the point.

Sean Pendergast
Sean Pendergast

Ha ha, you seem to have a much harder time with my evaluation of Jacoby and the role of his mistake than I have with the mistake itself. TEN paragraphs about my evaluation? Awesome! Thanks for reading, I do appreciate your opinion. But I have my thoughts on it, and you have yours. I respect that. 

Things happen. Deal with it.

MASSMURDERMEDIA
MASSMURDERMEDIA

the 49ers get "the catch 2" or 3 or whatever number they're up to now, and we get the "return of the son of stagger lee"...  but i agree, debating the worst between jacoby and stagger might be as enjoyable as sitting thru the buffalo meltdown again...

sippin on syrup
sippin on syrup

"...you seem to have a much harder time with my evaluation of Jacoby and the role of his mistake than I have with the mistake itself."

You know what? You may be right. Why? Because as I alluded to above, the local media coverage of the Texans is a joke. Have you looked at Chron.com's front page and sports headlines when the Texans have stumbled? "go ahead, blame Jacoby, sound off here...' It was the same thing all year. All they want to do is get eyes on banner ads. And your post is – perhaps unintentionally – cut from the same cloth.

Aren't you better than this? You're doing yourself a disservice.

As far as radio goes, not saying you're among them, but there are quite a few unqualified hacks in this town who neither have the sports knowledge, objectivity or life experience to be hosting a major-market sports radio show. That said, there are probably three sports talk show personalities in Houston who are credible enough to hold their jobs.

Since you're supposedly a source of knowledge and insight into the team, why don't you tell us something we don't know and haven't discussed 24 x 7 since 3:30 Sunday?

sippin on syrup
sippin on syrup

"...you seem to have a much harder time with my evaluation of Jacoby and the role of his mistake than I have with the mistake itself."

You know what? You may be right. Why? Because as I alluded to above, the local media coverage of the Texans is a joke. Have you looked at Chron.com's front page and sports headlines when the Texans have stumbled? "go ahead, blame Jacoby, sound off here...' It was the same thing all year. All they want to do is get eyes on banner ads. And your post is – perhaps unintentionally – cut from the same cloth.

Aren't you better than this? You're doing yourself a disservice.

As far as radio goes, not saying you're among them, but there are quite a few unqualified hacks in this town who neither have the sports knowledge, objectivity or life experience to be hosting a major-market sports radio show. That said, there are probably three sports talk show personalities in Houston who are credible enough to hold their jobs.

Since you're supposedly a source of knowledge and insight into the team, why don't you tell us something we don't know and haven't discussed 24 x 7 since 3:30 Sunday?

sippin on syrup
sippin on syrup

"...you seem to have a much harder time with my evaluation of Jacoby and the role of his mistake than I have with the mistake itself."

You know what? You may be right. Why? Because as I alluded to above, the local media coverage of the Texans is a joke. Have you looked at Chron.com's front page and sports headlines when the Texans have stumbled? "go ahead, blame Jacoby, sound off here...' It was the same thing all year. All they want to do is get eyes on banner ads. And your post is – perhaps unintentionally – cut from the same cloth.

Aren't you better than this? You're doing yourself a disservice.

As far as radio goes, not saying you're among them, but there are quite a few unqualified hacks in this town who neither have the sports knowledge, objectivity or life experience to be hosting a major-market sports radio show. That said, there are probably three sports talk show personalities in Houston who are credible enough to hold their jobs.

Since you're supposedly a source of knowledge and insight into the team, why don't you tell us something we don't know and haven't discussed 24 x 7 since 3:30 Sunday?

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