BARRY WARNER'S VIEW

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?

Chirp!

Drew Brees and the Saints escaped with an ugly win. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Saints have effectively wrapped up the NFC South with their 25-14 win over the Tampa Bay Bucs. Here's how I saw things:

The Good

-Michael Thomas got himself going this week after a subpar performance against the Cowboys last week. He finished with 11 catches for 98 yards. More of note was his record of most catches in first three seasons. He surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry on his second catch, his 289th of his career. I hope people take notice and realize how great of a player he is.

-Taysom Hill once again proved his worth as just a football player. He blocked a punt the Saints recovered at the Tampa 30 yard line. It helped set up their first touchdown. Hill is listed as the third string quarterback, but plays running back, wide receiver, and special teams. He also drew a double team penalty on a kickoff.

-Drew Brees is known for his pinpoint accuracy throwing the ball. However, his athleticism is underrated. He notched his fourth rushing touchdown on a 4th and goal play in which he leapt over the line and extended the ball across the plane. The Saints took the lead early in the fourth quarter on that play.

The Bad

-Right before the half, Brees threw an interception that set up Tampa's second touchdown. When this team is rolling, they are the ones scoring before the half when they're getting the ball back after the half.

-They totaled just three rushing yards in the first half on nine attempts. The longest run was from fullback Zach Line at four yards. Another component of this team's success is predicated on the run game.

-Alvin Kamara was held in check. He was limited to 87 yards on 17 touches. His 76 yards on three kick returns were a help, but this team needs him to get going running and catching passes in order to operate at full capacity.

The Ugly

-This was the second game in a row that the Saints failed to score a touchdown in the first half. It could be a sign of teams catching up to them, or it could be a sign of a team that's feeling complacent. Either way, they need to get their offense going again to start games. 24 plays and 104 yards of offense that produced only three points in the first half.

-On their opening possession of the second half, Brees was stripped in the pocket and the Bucs recovered. The pressure came from the left. Missing starting left tackle Terron Armstead is becoming more and more of a glaring issue.

-Brees was limited to less than 270 yards passing, while they also totaled less than 130 yards rushing. Being held below their season averages on offense and still winning is the definition of winning ugly.

The Saints are now 11-2 and firmly in second place in the NFC. Now, they sit back and hope the Rams drop another game down the stretch. They own the tiebreaker over the Rams and need to finish with the same record to get homefield throughout the NFC playoffs. Saints fans will be Bears fans tonight, as well as Eagles, Cardinals, and 49er fans the rest of the season. This is what happens when you drop games you should've won.

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