FRED FAOUR

Texans defense is a complete joke, which is why they are 0-3

The Texans have gotten nothing from Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney. Photo courtesy of Houston Texans

The Texans lost on Sunday to the New York Giants 27-22. Why? The Texans defense - supposed to be the strength of the team - is terrible.

Bill O'Brien said the Texans have to "coach better, and play better" at halftime. That is his go-to statement. They simply needed to play better. But this loss was solely on the defense.

J.J. Watt? Yeah, he had three sacks once the game was decided. But he was nowhere when it mattered. Jadeveon Clowney? Useless. Bernardrick McKinney? Worthless. Remember when Whitney Mercilus made plays? Yeah, me either. The Texans have lost nine games in a row. Who is to blame for that? 

The vaunted defense, which the Giants gashed all game. The Texans gave up 27 points, all earned by the Giants offense. You can blame Bill O'Brien. You can blame Deshaun Watson. But how about blame the defense? They were terrible in all phases. 

Let's start with the beginning of the game.

-The Texans allowed points to the Giants on four straight possessions, putting themselves in yet another early hole. 

-They let a broken down Eli Manning throw for almost 300 yards. He completed 25 of 29 passes for a QBR of 88.0 and a traditional rating of 132.3.

-The Giants best offensive weapons were unstoppable. Odell Beckham Jr. had nine catches on 10 targets for 109 yards. Rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries and added another 35 on five catches. As a team the Giants averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 27 attempts.

-The Texans did not force a turnover for the second straight game.

-For a second straight game, they made adjusments and finally slowed the Giants to start the second half. But on the last drive, when they needed a stop to have a chance, they allowed a 9-play, 77-yard drive for the clincher.

-The Giants were 7 of 13 on third downs and 3 of 4 in the red zone.

The game was eerily similar to last week's, when the Texans started slow, got in a big hole, made adjustments but could not stop the opponent with the game on the line.

When your top two tacklers are in the secondary (Tyrann Matthieu and Kareem Jackson, nine tackles each) you are fighting a losing battle. So while it would be easy and convienient to blame the offense (and O'Brien did more than his share to assist in the loss), the group that was supposed to be the strength of the team is killing them.

As a result? They are 0-3. The season is all but over. And all because the defense could not stop anyone. That was supposed to be their strength. Clowney may not be healthy, but he has been beyond useless. And he wants Khalil Mack money? What a joke. 

The Texans are bad as a whole. Their defense is brutal. And that's why they have not won a game.

And unless there is a major turnaround, don't expect that to change anytime soon.

 

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TEXANS MAKE SURPRISING CUT

Texans to release prominent player on defense

Zach Cunningham is on his way out of Houston. Composite image by Jack Brame.

According to multiple reports, the Texans are waiving LB Zach Cunningham. Cunningham was benched last Sunday for disciplinary reasons, which reportedly stemmed from a missed COVID test. Cunningham was also benched for a quarter earlier in the season for breaking team rules.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Texans will have to eat his 12.8 million dollar cap hit next season.

Cunningham started in seven of the 10 games he’s played this season recording 67 tackles and a forced fumble. The Texans are at a point where there's hardly anyone left on the team that has any name recognition with what's left of the fan base. And now the Texans have another position that will have to be addressed this offseason.

Cunningham will likely command a lot of attention from other teams interested in his services.

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