Colts 27, Texans 24: And That Will Just About Do It for 2013

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Photos by Marco Torres
Here comes the frustration.
"What if I told you that a desperate team would play its best half of football in over a year, only to have the happiness taken away in an instant in the scariest way possible?" -- ESPN "30 for 30" Voice Guy on the eventual ad for the inevitable documentary on this bizarre Texans season

As a Texans fan and a human being, how do you process what happened on Sunday night at Reliant Stadium?

Yes, the Houston Texans found yet another way to lose a football game on national television. This time it was a Randy Bullock missed field goal as time expired (a 2009 Special, as I call it) giving the Indianapolis Colts an improbable, but at this point unsurprising, 27-24 win.

As high as this city's hopes were going into the season, Super Bowl or bust, it would seem to be almost impossible for anything that could happen Sunday night to overshadow the drastic football effects of a Texans loss.

So naturally, in a season where the painful has become the norm, when the Texans have sprinted past every boundary of "finding ways to lose" heretofore set by prior Texans teams, on this night their head coach would have what appeared at the time to be a chilling, for-all-we-knew near-death episode heading into the locker room at halftime.

That apparently is how you overshadow the actual football outcome of a game.

Sunday night's game will be lamented for the usual mountain of special teams gaffes, missed field goals, and offensive impotence in the second half. Sunday night itself will be remembered, in a macabre way, for Gary Kubiak's frightening issue at halftime, where it appeared he may have had a heart attack and wound up being stretchered to an ambulance and rushed to a local hospital.

In the end, Kubiak's trip to the hospital was reportedly precautionary, and the second half of the game was in effect the same as the second half of the last five games, which is to say it was depressing.

So how do we process it?

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Photo by Groovehouse
Different game, same fan reaction at Reliant.
To ignore the human element of 46 men and a coaching staff trying to reassemble and organize after finding out their leader had something happen to him, something appearing to do with his heart, would be unfair. There are a lot of things you can say about Gary Kubiak, and in this space I've flung around many of them this season, but one thing is unequivocally true -- his players love the man.

Every player that I've spoken to who's played for Kubiak privately swears by him. They swear that he is their favorite coach they've played for, and that the sometimes infuriatingly bland, conservative guy we see after games and on Monday afternoons is different from the one they see behind the scenes, at practice, before games.

As one example I can give you (and there are many), recently I was having a conversation with former Texans tight end Bennie Joppru, who was a second round pick in 2003 and was injured for much of his Texans career. (His Twitter bio even admits it in the first two words: "NFL BUST.") Joppru only played for Kubiak for a few weeks to start the 2006 season before Kubiak cut him.

Unsolicited, Joppru told me that Kubiak, the man who gave him his walking papers after just a few games, was his favorite coach he ever played for.

That's pretty strong.

So I don't want to disregard the human element and the deleterious effect it may have had on the Texans' performance in the second half Sunday night. I don't.

But how can I say, "That was the reason they lost" when the second half of this game looked precisely like the second half of every game since the team's 2-0 start? With Gary gone, all of the byproducts of his indecision were left to crater the Texans' 2013 once and for all, namely a special teams unit that blocked a field goal and a punt yet still managed to garner a failing grade for the game.

And yet, come Monday, special teams coach Joe Marciano will still have an office.


Location Info

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NRG Stadium

1 Reliant Park, Houston, TX

Category: General


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9 comments
Puller58
Puller58

It still comes down to Kubiak being out of his depth.  He is NOT head coach material.  (Given his refusal to turn over playcalling duties, I'm not even sure he's coordinator material.  Position coach is probably his best fit.)  Yes, a popular coach with the team can still be a liability if the team can't win.  (The past two seasons might be best described as being won despite him, rather than because of him.)  Hopefully he comes back healthy, finishes the season and gets fired so he can go work Shanahan again.

Tony Gutierrez
Tony Gutierrez

He should retire for health issues. Get well soon.

jacob_jones72
jacob_jones72

Sure, they love him, AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM.. Just like that lovable kid you give repeated chances to, till you have to finally do something about it.. I feel for the guy, going down, and all, but my thought processes have not changed.. Kubiak is a loser, and a terrible coach.. His play calling should have run him from the league, by now, and he needs to be fired, period.. Him and his 30 year old, ARCHAIC OFFENSE!..

I am so sick and tired of key plays where we just let the end come free, BY DESIGN!.. As if trick em, dick em is gonna get you where you wanna go in this league?.. lol..

JarvisMcCoy
JarvisMcCoy

I find it real bizarre that Rick Dennison had a chance to prove his worth and yet somehow managed to look more conservative than Kubes. Apart of me really thought he was going to do something that we haven't seen before in the second half [come out guns blazing and stomp on the throat of Indy]. 

Would have loved to see Schaub come in as a back up in the 4th qtr at home. 

This season definitely has the feel of 2009 all over again. Missed FGs, questionable play calling, and the grand daddy eeriness of being up big at home against the Colts in the first half only to lose in the second half.


Sancho
Sancho

As unfortuante as this season has been, the Texans schedule the rest of the way keeps them in the running for a potential Wild Card spot.  They have games against Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Oakland, Arizona,  and Tennessee.  Sure, they also have games against Denver, Indy, and New England, but the team has shown that they are capable of competing against the best, and 2 of the 3 tough ones are home games, so really they aren't out until their next loss.  As unlikely as it seems, they have a very realistic shot at a run to get into the post-season.

mkelly
mkelly

@Sancho   You are really dreaming at this point.  Denver, Indy and New England are almost certainly losses. Tennessee and Arizona are also possible losses.  Too much other competition competing for only one other wild-card spot.  At some point as the song goes, you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them and after last night it is very clear to most people this playoff talk is just pyrite.  Realistically the Texans would have to run the table and they have not been able to win one prime-time against a quality opponent in the past two seasons.  What make you think they are ready to do something different?
 The Texans are toast and soon they will be burnt toast!

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