LANCE ZIERLEIN

Take a few days off, Twitter finger guy: Your Texans takes are old and tired

Bill O'Brien's play calling is not that bad. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

With a resounding 34-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans have now won eight in a row and have a commanding lead over everyone else in the division. In fact, they are the first team in NFL history to start 0-3 before landing at 8-3.

There were so many fans on Twitter feeding off on the proverbial flesh of Bill O’Brien and every offensive lineman early in the season….. and not without cause. The feeding has continued deep into the win streak but isn’t it getting a little unfocused and tiring at this point? Angry Twitter Finger guy may need to slow his roll on these popular narratives.

Bill O’Brien - Atrocious Play-Caller

Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that O’Brien is the most dynamic coordinator of an offense that I’ve ever seen, but I feel like this one gets overstated too much. To me, O’Brien’s biggest flaw as a coordinator of the offense is his approach near the redzone. O’Brien has even put blame on himself for his play-calling in that area. However, between the 20-yard lines, the Texans offense hasn’t been all that bad.

Being a good play-caller is about either picking at a defenses deficiencies, keeping the defense off-balance, or limiting your own exposure due to areas of concern with your own offense. While O’Brien has been up-and-down in all of these areas, Monday Night was not the night to come after him on Twitter and yet there was Angry Twitter Finger guy letting the hate flow.

 

The O-Line is GARBAGE

This unit had a 0% approval rate over the first 5 or 6 games of the year and rightfully so. They were ill-equipped to handle anyone’s pass rush and Bill O’Brien was doing them no favors, early on, with some of his game-planning. Then a magical thing happened. The Texans moved Julien Davenport from the right side back to his more natural left tackle spot and added the much-maligned Kendall Lamm back at right tackle.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it added an important level of consistency. Now “consistency” is a relative term, but by the standards set by last year’s unit and the one we saw early in the year, this iteration of the offensive line has been like a team of Pro-Bowlers. In all seriousness, I’m not delusional. I know this team will need new starters at no less than two and maybe three of those spots by next year. At least in a perfect world. With that said, they are fourth in the league in rushing and have done a much better job of protecting the quarterback. Is it perfect or even very good? No, but it’s good enough to lay off the Twitter Fingers and enjoy an 8-game winning streak.

 

A cheat sheet for success

Houston Roughnecks: a game day survival guide

The XFL is back. Photo by Paul Muth

Don't worry guys, I made it.

I'm six days removed from surviving the Houston Roughnecks' inaugural XFL game against the Los Angeles Wildcats. I've had time to process the moment, and I've come to an important conclusion:

The XFL is Muth-Approved.

The pace was better, the scoring was exciting, and the atmosphere in TDECU was absolutely electric. Who knows if it will carry over to this weekend, but one thing that's for sure is that I'll be there to find out. If you're planning on coming out this Sunday, here's a survival guide to help you enjoy week 2.

Parking

Here's a pro-tip: don't. Only park if you plan on tailgating. The METRORail can drop you off right in front of the stadium. The cheat code if you aren't tailgating is to park for free out in East Downtown (or EaDo, for the hipsters) and pregame at any number of the bars located around BBVA Stadium. The METRORail is free on game days, so hop on the purple line heading south and it'll drop you off in front the stadium within 15 minutes.

If you have to park, the cheapest lots are 9B and 9C for $25 and can be found at the corner of Cullen and Wheeler. All of the parking is close to the stadium, but because they only have a few lots open at the moment, congestion is terrible. It took about 30 minutes to get in and 30 more to leave out of 9C last weekend, so plan appropriately. Otherwise, make your family proud and tailgate like a true American.

Tailgating

Now if you plan on using the parking lots as they were intended, here's what you need to know. The tailgating lots are 9B and 9C (again, on the corner of Wheeler and Cullen). You can get there up to four hours before the game, and the same rules for Texans and UH Football games apply. Get there early and find a spot that backs up to Cullen Boulevard and you'll have plenty of grass and trees to set up under.

Inside the stadium

Personally, my cell phone reception was awful, so if you have digital tickets make sure you have them pulled up before you get to the gate. If you're looking to buy any merch, I recommend getting in a line at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The lines for everything were pretty awful. I had one buddy tell me it took him the entire first quarter to get a hoodie. If you're looking for beer, your best bet is to bring a bunch of cash and just walk around until you find an aisle vendor. They were so busy last weekend, they didn't have to move.

So to recap:

  • Don't park unless you're tailgating.
  • Tailgate up against Cullen.
  • Bring cash money.

Oh, and be loud. Like, really loud.

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