Texans clinch the AFC South title

The good, bad and ugly of the Texans win over the Jags

DeAndre Hopkins arrived and made splash on and off the field. Zach Tarrant, Texans website

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:

The Good

-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.

The Bad

-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?

The Ugly

-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 11

th 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.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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