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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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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