Off the top of my bald head: Texans were no match for Rams

Bill O'Brien is 3-6 for the first time as Texans coach. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

When the 20127 schedules were released, the game against the Rams was one I quickly circled.  I figured that Deshaun Watson would finally be starting, going up against Wade Phillips’ defense.

Without the new face of the franchise, it’s a free fall, an out of control sports car going the wrong way down a one way.

The Son of Bum is more than twice the age of wunderkind Rams head coach Sean McVey, whose brilliant play calling has the Rams 7-2, while the Texans are 3-6.

This is uncharted waters for Bill O'Brien, who has never been three games below .500 after the midway point of his previous three seasons.

Even if Watson had remained healthy, the Texans were not a playoff contender.  But they were fun to watch.

Tom Savage faced a typical Son of Bum Defense.  In the first possession, Aaron Donald threw Xavier Su’a Filo around like a Cabbage Patch Doll and came up with a strip sack. A few plays later and the Rams were up 3-0.

Even with a shaky Savage. Jadeveon Clowney  was wreaking havoc, and the Rams’ offense repeatedly stalled. They had only six total yards in the first quarter. Even getting double teamed on the majority of snaps, Clowney has a dozen tackles for losses this season.

Wade showed no mercy, varying up where the pressure was going to appear next.

It looked like blitzers were coming from Manhattan Beach, the Valley, Santa Monica and Dodger Stadium.

One good thing for those of us not drinking Texans Kool Aid.  They keep giving us great material to work with.  You can’t make this up.  The not so special teams cannot even count, burning a timeout lining up for a 34 yard FG.

They didn't have enough guys on the field. This is with two special teams coaches.  I hate to think what would happen weekly if there was only one deep thinker.

In the closing minutes of the first half, the Texans caught a big break. Punter Johnny Hekker, a former high school quarterback, threw a pass out of punt formation. The Rams came up short, giving Houston the ball on the 38 and momentum to take the lead into the locker room.

But Savage threw his first interception of the season at the worst possible time as former Alabama All American Mark Barron got the pick with 1:35 left.

“Ridiculous” Bill O’ Brien barked at the obligatory network interview, when asked about the Savage pick.

This was typical Texans, failing to capitalize on a huge break on the road.

The fourth-year quarterback did not appear to know the difference between scratching his watch and winding his ass.  

Would someone in the PR department write some new material for the head coach of the Textanic?

O’Brien was in typical coach speak, reverting to his weekly post game refrain ‘’ I haven’t done a good job coaching this team this year, and that was my message to the team. I have to figure out how to coach this team better and try to get them to play better.”

Players must execute, something that even a novice can see is not happening.

They have been consistent the last two games.

Only one touchdown.

Father Time is catching up with Jonathan Joseph again. Last week it was T.Y. Hilton. Sunday, it was Robert Woods on a 94-yard bomb.

Second year quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 of 37 passes for a career-best 355 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, against the Texans Swiss cheese secondary

Lineman Aaron Donald and linebacker Samson Ebukam forced fumbles and linebacker Barron and defensive back Blake Countess intercepted passes for the Rams.

The Rams managed three Greg Zuerlein field goals on their way to a 9-7 halftime lead.

But the Rams came alive in the third quarter.

On a second-and-eight play at the Rams’ six-yard line, Goff took a snap and dropped back into the end zone. From three yards behind the goal-line he lofted a pass to Woods streaking up the middle of the field. Woods caught the ball at the 50 and sprinted past Jonathan Joseph to the end zone for a 94-yard touchdown.

Later in the quarter, Goff connected on a catch-and-run that Sammy Watkins turned into a 17-yard touchdown and 23-7 lead.

On the next series, Ebukam sacked Savage and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Rams at the Texans’ 12.

Goff tossed a short screen pass to Woods, and the former USC All-American ran the ball into the end zone for a 30-7 lead.

The Texans averaged 39 points per game over the last four Watson games. They have scored 21 total in 10 quarters Savage has played.

It was yet another forgettable starting experience for the likeable Savage. A four-turnover meltdown on two picks two fumbles, and he had a pick six called back that would have made it five turnovers.

For the day, he completed 18 of 37 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions.

When O’Brien came from Penn State, he was hailed as a “quarterback whisperer.”

Maybe he needs to get Tom Savage some Q-tips to remove the wax blocking his ears.  That’s the only explanation I can figure for the kid who holds on to the ball too long.  There were some moments that he looked improved, before going back to bad fundamentals.

O’Brien and his veteran staff were outcoached by a 31-old kid as the head coach.  They were innovative and did something the Texans failed to do; execute like professionals.

Sports is now the entertainment industry. Except there is nothing entertaining about watching paint dry. With nearly two months left in the regular season, I guess we will have to watch politicians and scandals for amusement. Or more Hollywood harassment cases.  Maybe fans can start planning for the after -Christmas sales.

I have already purchased tickets to the new The Last Jedi. The movie will have more action in the first two minutes than third round project Braxton “Wildcat” Miller all season.

We don’t have to look for entertainment to come from Kirby Drive.

Who will start Sunday against Arizona at NRG?

Does it really matter?


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Watson was missing from practice again. Photo by Zach Tarrant/

The Houston Texans had their second day in pads and it was a bright day for a couple of rookies.

1. Deshaun Watson was absent again from practice. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly explained the team is keeping Watson "engaged" and he has been helpful in the meeting room with the offense.

2. Watson, if Kelly is telling the truth, can absolutely help the quarterbacks with his knowledge. The offense shouldn't be that different, and Watson doesn't have anything against the quarterbacks specifically. It is strange to think Deshaun Watson would be helping the quarterbacks while actively wanting to be playing elsewhere, but Kelly has no reason to lie about Watson's level of engagement.

3. It was Roy Lopez day on Wednesday. The rookie defensive lineman had a sack and is quite the load to handle upfront. Lopez will have to build on these days to earn time on a busy defensive line but if he repeats this day, people will have to beat him out.

4. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins finds himself open quite a bit. Collins isn't afraid of traffic, though there aren't any real big hits in training camp. Collins' athleticism is very clear and as he grows more, he should earn more opportunities.

5. Brandin Cooks threw his hands up and let out an exasperated sound as Tyrod Taylor found Collins wide open in the middle of the field. Cooks was even more wide open in the end zone, and Taylor didn't see him.

6. Tyrod Taylor's legs will be a weapon in this offense. Taylor doesn't take off in a lot of the drills, but his mobility is apparent. Taylor did run into a sack by defensive lineman Derek Rivers.

7. Veteran wide receiver Chris Conley is extremely athletic and speedy. Conley can get vertical on all the defensive backs. In a pass-catching drill Conley wowed. The drill consisted of a coach wearing a pad and attacking the wideouts on a jump ball. Conley skied, ripped the ball out of the air, and withstood the attack from the coach easily coming down on both feet. Conley would make the team if the season started tomorrow.

8. Tight end Pharaoh Brown had a great catch beating Justin Reid for a touchdown on a pass from Tyrod Taylor. Reid was very upset he lost the rep. Brown was solid last year and he remains one of the better tight ends on the team.

9. Linebacker Neville Hewitt has had some flashes in camp. Hewitt had over 100 tackles for the Jets last year to go along with 12 tackles for a loss over the past two seasons. Hewitt had a hurry on Tuesday and a pass breakup on Wednesday. Hewitt is certainly in consideration for a spot in the revamped linebacker room.

10. Defensive linemen Charles Omenihu and Jonathan Greenard each had sacks in a team period. Omenihu's rep was a forced fumble and Greenard darted through the middle of the line for his successful rep.

11. Tytus Howard had a hold your breath moment when he slowly got off the ground and gingerly walked off the field. Howard had to walk it off, but returned to practice with no issue. He has played a multitude of positions in training camp.

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