Texans-Saints: 4 Winners, 4 Losers (The Trindon Holliday Conundrum Edition)
If you are a sports couch potato (and if you are reading this, chances are that is the case), Saturday night was one of those nights that we probably take for granted all of the technological advances that allow us to consume all of the fare on the sports buffet simultaneously.
Photo by Marco Torres All eyes on Andre Johnson.
Picture, if you will, me sitting on my comfortable leather sofa with the Texans-Saints preseason game on the flat-screen wall television, Roger Clemens's start with the Sugar Land Skeeters streaming on my laptop and Season 3 of Friday Night Lights paused on Netflix on my iPad to play when both live games were in break. On top of that, I tweeted all about it on my iPhone! Seriously, it was like going to Golden Corral with four stomachs. It was awesome! (By the way, if you think my goal is to never communicate verbally with a human being outside of my radio show again, well....)
So obviously Apple was one of the big winners on Saturday night, but there were others. And losers, too! Here they are:
4. Matt Schaub
Other than the one bad throw against Carolina in the opener, the Texans have to feel good about what they've seen out of their most important player. Last night, Schaub showed good poise in the pocket, good rhythm and pinpoint accuracy. (All I need is a mention of footwork and tempo in that last sentence, and it would almost make me sound like I know what the fuck I'm talking about! Almost.) Schaub's numbers -- he completed 15 of 18 for 194 yards and a touchdown -- were stellar, and most important, he stayed healthy.
Quarterback sidebar -- if the Texans' second unit on the offensive line is going to be such a massive sieve, I would request Gary Kubiak kindly place John Beck in there to take the hits. Poor T.J. Yates looked like a carcass getting mauled by jackals by the end of the night. We need Yates healthy, and we like Case Keenum. The irrelevant fourth-string quarterback is supposed to be the one to get the shit kicked out of him, not the second-stringer.
Five fumbles in the first half between the two teams, here's what I liked and disliked about those plays:
LIKED: Glover Quin tattooing Chris Ivory and recovering the ball on the same play. Other than the one botched interception last week versus San Francisco, Quin has been playing at a high level for the whole month of August.
DISLIKED: Trindon Holliday's fumble would obviously be a near hanging oftense if it happened in the regular season and as it is, it refunds a lot of the goodwill he'd accumulated over the first two games (LOTS more on this in a minute). One of the problems with the other two fumbles is they were committed by the guy (Keshawn Martin) who would likely take Holliday's spot returning punts if Hoilliday does get cut.
2. Dudes with the last name Graham
While this was a terrible week to have the last name "Armstrong" (R.I.P. Neil, by the way. I think his dying and Snooki's reproducing on the same day is as good a metaphor for the direction our country is going as anything), last night was a good night to have the last name "Graham."
First, Garrett Graham was once again the Texans' leading receiver, showing that what he lacks in Joel Dreessen's underrated blocking skills, he might make up for with some explosive plays in the passing game. Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham in a poor man's version of the Gronk/Hernandez deal the Pats have might be one way to make up for the uncertainty at wide receiver opposite Andre Johnson.
As for the other Graham, Shayne, he hit a 53-yard field goal (firm and down the middle) and continues to show better overall consistency than fifth-round draft choice Randy Bullock,
so much so that the Texans concocted some bogus groin injury so they could save face on wasting a fifth round pick on Bullock and that's a good thing, too, because as of yesterday, Bullock is done for the season with a groin injury. The job is officially Graham's.