Texans clinch the AFC South title
The good, bad and ugly of the Texans win over the Jags
The Texans got the win they needed to secure the AFC South title 17-3 over the hapless Jags. Here's how I saw the last game of their regular season play out:
-DeAndre Hopkins was the Lone Ranger today yet again. However, it didn't stop him from gutting the Jags' secondary with 12 catches for 147 yards and a lot, if not all of those, came against Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey is widely regarded as one of the best cover guys in the game. Too bad for him Hopkins is better.
-J.J. Watt forced his seventh fumble in this game which puts him in first place in that category. He also recorded a half a sack to mark his fourth season with at least 15. Nobody with any good sense thought Watt would be back and play the way he has. If you did, you're most likely wearing Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue glasses so your vision in impaired by your fandom.
-The defense was smothering. So much so in fact, the Jags didn't gain a first down until five minutes into the second quarter. Whitney Mercilus even got in on the fun with a sack! All in all, the defense did what it was supposed to do against inferior competition.
-Rookie safety Mike Tyson blocked D.J. Chark into DeAndre Carter as he called for a fair catch on a punt forcing the ball to bounce off of him and was recovered by the Jags on the Texans 10 yard line. This led to a field goal for the Jags. Mistakes like this can cost you playoff games.
-Deshaun Watson got sacked in the first half by Yannick Ngakoue. But it was the fact that he was being blocked by Ryan Griffin and Lamar Miller that ticked me off. Why in the world would you try to block a pass rusher like Ngakoue with a running back and tight end? Again, these are things that can cost you a playoff game, or your quarterback's health.
-Speaking of Watson getting sacked, it happened six times in the game! We all know the Jags are an aggressively tough and physical defense. Why take unnecessary chances when you're going to the playoffs?
-Another baffling decision was the very un-Bill O'Brien-like aggressive play calling at the end of the game. There were far too many pass plays; too many times Watson had runs called for him, and not enough conservative clock running.
-In the first quarter, Watson had a touchdown run overturned. He appeared to have landed on a Jag defender and reached the ball across the plane on a tremendous second effort. The refs saw it differently. They settled for a field goal after a false start on a fourth down attempt. Again, costly move that can mean the difference in a tight playoff game.
-When your quarterback was again your leading rusher, it spells trouble moving forward. Watson can't continue to be relied upon to carry the load as far as the rushing attack is concerned. Why was D'Onta Foreman inactive?The team won its 11th game of the season, the most under the O'Brien era. Potential playoff matchups loom against teams like the Steelers and Colts, and it scares the crap out of me. If those teams with those quarterback-receiver-tight end combos don't scare you, you're either not human or are wearing those aforementioned team-colored glasses. Either way, let's enjoy the ride, no matter how long it lasts. Worst to first with a promising future is a position I like for this team.