Cardinals 32, Texans 0: 4 Winners, 4 Losers
Yeah see, this was kind of my point.
Trouble for the Texans.
In my bi-weekly piece that I wrote for the most recent edition of the Houston Press, I analyzed the Texans' near total failure in the three NFL Drafts (2011, 2012, 2013) prior to the most recent one. (I'll give the Class of 2014 more than two weeks of practice before passing judgment.)
I wrote most specifically about the unprecedented run of bad luck and poor evaluation that's beset the 2013 class, but the fact of the matter is that, outside of J.J. Watt, 2012 and 2011 have been nothing to write home about either.
And it shows. It showed big time Saturday night in the Cardinals' 32-0 slapping of the Texans in a game that looked a lot more like an early September "SEC vs FCS school" tune up than a matchup of two rosters of paid pros.
Granted, the Texans were without the services of Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph, and Brandon Brooks (among a few others deeper down on the roster). But no NFL team should display a drop off this drastic from their ones to their twos.
The game was at its least competitive when the Texans had their starters on the field, and it was their starters who played most of the first half, at least on offense. That is, when the offense was on the field (they had only run about eight plays by halfway through the second quarter). The Texans had no third down conversions (they wound up with none all night), two horrific interceptions, and a gaggle of penalties.
And this was just the first half!
To start the second half, the Texans had a holding penalty on the opening kickoff which put them back at their own ten yard line, and then promptly picked up a delay of game penalty by not running the play in time. I half expected head coach Bill O'Brien to have the offense take a lap on the spot. (That's been part of O'Brien's gimmick the first two weeks of camp. Lots of punitive laps.)
Anyway, it went from bad to worse to Savage, and eventually, like a colonoscopy, the game ended with a lot of pain in a lot of really bad places, and we all wished we wouldn't have to re-live it.
But we do.
It feels like an overreaction, because it's the first preseason game for crying out loud, but can we really ignore that the Texans, without four of their top eight or so guys (and with the other four or so of those top eight guys essentially bowing out early), looked like an expansion team on Saturday night? In fact, calling them an expansion team is an insult to my dear friends Seth Payne and Marcus Coleman and the great men who repped the actual expansion version of your Houston Texans.
This game was horrible, and it was validation of all the things I feared would and will come back to roost on Bill O'Brien's front lawn this season. The Texans, outside of their upper crust, just don't have a lot of good NFL players right now. This is what happens when you continually whiff on second, third, fourth, and fifth round picks.
Finding winners and losers in Saturday's rubble, well, this is what I do, so here you go...