Another loss

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans' 45-7 loss to the Jaguars

DeAndre Hopkins was once again one of the lone bright spots. Houstontexans.com

Quarterback T.J. Yates’ first start didn’t go as well as he hoped as the Texans fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 45-7. Another week, another poor performance by the Texans. They went down like Mike Tyson hit them with one of his famous uppercuts.

The Good

-It took DeAndre Hopkins about two and a half quarters to really get going, but he beat Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey on two good plays. The first was a 40-yard go route on a third and 11. The second was a similar go route for a 25-yard touchdown.

-Benardrick McKinney showed that no-quit attitude on a hustle play. Jags receiver Keelan Cole broke away from the defense on a 73-yard catch and run. McKinney hustled down field to prevent it from being a 74-yard touchdown. The fact that McKinney chased him down shows that it means more to him to make that play as opposed to feeling sorry for himself and his team. No “business decision” made here.

-Will Fuller had five catches on five targets for 44 yards. I find this fascinating since he was labeled (and rightfully so) a guy that drops too many passes, as well as being only a deep threat. He ran good routes and made every catch. His best route/catch combo came on a third down conversion on a nice out route in which his crisp cut created not only separation, but a throwing lane for Yates as well.

The Bad

-While the team only gave up four sacks, all three sacks came on third downs and ended possessions. Those three possessions that ended in sacks also came in the dreadful first half in which the Jags jumped out to a 31-0 lead.  

-One of the plays you learn not to make is a costly mistake before halftime. Especially when it gives the team with a sizable lead another shot at putting points on the board. That’s exactly what Yates did by throwing an interception 42 seconds left before halftime. He floated a ball out to Hopkins that Jags safety Barry Church picked off at the Texans’ 45 yard line.

- Offensive lineman Jeff Allen was penalized three more times today. His play has been downright awful. Contrary to what may be popular opinion, he’s not even the team leader in penalties. He has eight, while Jadeveon Clowney leads the team with 11.

The Ugly

-Speaking of penalties, the Texans as a team were penalized 13 times for a total of 122 yards. It’s bad enough when your offense can’t move the ball, but when you give up over 100 yards in penalties, that’ll make any difficulties even more insurmountable.

- Jags fullback Tommy Bohanon scored two touchdowns on a couple 1-yard fullback dive plays. Whenever the opposing team’s fullback scores twice, that’s a clear sign your defense has allowed their offense to deeply penetrate your turf.  

-The pass defense was absolutely shredded by Blake freaking Bortles (21 of 29, 326 yards and three touchdowns) and a couple of undrafted wide receivers! Craig Shelton and I were thinking the same thing earlier, but he actually tweeted it out. Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens combined for 11 catches, 247 yards, and all three of Bortles’ touchdowns. Mickens actually slept in his car as a member of the practice squad because he couldn’t afford a place to stay!

Texans defense couldn’t cover the head of a nail with a blanket today. They were playing some man coverage and consistently got beat on crossing routes because their cover guys lack speed and man cover skills. When they resorted to playing more zone looks, they were still getting beat because they can’t generate enough of a pass rush…and their defensive backs can’t cover! Kevin Johnson got penalized and abused yet again today, while the All-Pro who was more than likely not on their draft board that year had two interceptions and a forced fumble last night for the Kansas City Chiefs. There’s nothing great about losing to look forward to since they don’t own their 1st or 2nd rounders in the upcoming draft, so the rebuild will take longer than most will think. Here’s to hoping Rick Smith finds a magic personnel genie to help him make moves this offseason, or I could see another subpar year coming next year.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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