View Full Version : AJs five reasons the Texans miss the playoffs

07-14-2009, 09:49 AM

Forgive me but if I see another article proclaiming the Texans are playoff bound, I think I'm going to have to organize a heavy duty intervention.

I'm talking about news filters that would make Ahmanidejad proud.

Don't get me wrong. Being in the discussion is much better than coming off 2-14, but this cloned lemming parade of 'team to watch' and 'biggest surprise' articles has gotten very old.

Hit Google News using "houston texans" and "playoffs" as your search criteria and you will see what I mean.

Better yet, don't do it, and listen to what I have to say.

Nothing we don't know but definately points out somethings that can trip this team up.

07-14-2009, 10:47 AM
AJ is just trying to keep things in perspective, to avoid reaching a state of "over-indulgent exuberance". :splits:

07-14-2009, 11:12 AM
At this time of the year I say throw caution to the wind and predict a Super Bowl year. Then after game 1 we have a better understanding of what we do and do not have and then adjust optimism accordingly. I do not give this advice to those who are placing money in any gambling adventure.

07-14-2009, 12:10 PM
It's a good article by AJ and certainly has merit. I'd like to make a few counter-points for a different perspective.

1. INJURIES- Obviously if we are ravaged by injuries, we are doomed for a bad season. However, our depth is quite good at a number of positions. I'm as big a fan of Schaub as anyone on these boards but I think this team could do quite well with Orlavsky seeing a month or so of time. Orlavsky has the arm and athleticism to keep safeties honest and also threaten the backside with bootlegs. The addition of Caldwell on the OLine is huge IMO. I was terrified last year that KStuddard or CWhite would end up seeing significant time. Caldwell can play center or guard and I believe he may end up beating out Briesel or MYers at some point. Also, everything I've seen from Rashod Butler tells me he will be more than adequate at either tackle spot should Brown or Winston go down. TE is ridiculously deep and an OD injury does little to threaten our season. Clearly the two most costly offensive injuries would be Slaton and AJ. In Slaton's case, it becomes tragic if Chris Brown gets injured as well (which is likely) but I still think we will do something to strengthen depth at RB. AJ would hurt but we could still manage due to our good depth at WR, particularly if Slaton is playing and causing a safety to walk into the box.

Defensively, LB depth is amazing. We have promising but unproven talent at CB. Clearly Mario would be a painful loss. However, even losing him, I think the addition of Barwin and A. Smith along with a more aggressive scheme and better coaching will allow the DL to be better than last season. Other than Mario, I worry most about an injury to Eugene Wilson. Our lack of depth and experience at FS could cause us a lot of trouble.

SO, overall, it would take a series of injuries to key players to derail us this year, IMO.

2. Defense slow to gel- I don't see this as a problem. Only 2-3 pieces are changing and they are clear upgrades. Also, Dunta is healthy and the new DC has been here for 2 years. Besides that, I think the players are eager to embrace a more aggressive style and will do so with excitement.

3. Players buying the hype- overconfidence isn't an issue for a team that's never had a winning record. As Dungy pointed out this off-season, confidence is the one element the Texans need to have a special season.

4. Turnovers- Better QB play, better defense, better running game will all help to limit turnovers. That being said, is our QBs take a step backwards this season that would suck!

5. Slow Start- considering we probably have to win 11 games to make the playoffs, any grouping of losses is going to dramaticly affect our chances. However, this year our early season schedule is much more favorable and we will be a more experienced team than we started out with last season. So, I expect a good start.

Our chances of success this year all comes down to how we play the division. We need 4 division wins to make the playoffs, IMO. So, can we split with Indy and Tennessee while sweeping Jacksonville? YES! But it remains to be seen if we will.

07-14-2009, 12:20 PM
AJ is just trying to keep things in perspective, to avoid reaching a state of "over-indulgent exuberance". :splits:

It's true; once you get really stoked about something, you increase the likelihood that it won't happen. You have to outwardly be like "whatever, i hope we make the playoffs, but if we don't, oh well" while you really do hope it happens.

The moral? Don't get too stoked.


07-14-2009, 01:11 PM
Good stuff. The Texans have been flakes for years. It would be no surprise for them to flake out on us again.

07-14-2009, 01:56 PM
I respectfully disagree with aj on pretty much all accounts.

1. Injuries

Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, this applies to any team but the Texans have been hurt by it in the past and until they can overcome key injuries and still play at a high level, this remains at the forefront of limiting factors for a successful Texans season. The Texans can't afford to lose Matt Schaub (or Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Duane Brown or Eric Winston for that matter) for more than a third of a season and expect to be a serious playoff contender. Same goes for Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans.

The Texans are deep this time around. Bulman, Barwin, Robinson, Diles, June, Bentley, Moldin, GLove, Bennett, Andre Davis, Anderson, Chris Brown, Ryan Moats, Rex Grossman, DanO, just to name a few.

This team has got talent through the first and second level. Now if we have to tap into the 3rd stringers then.........

2. Defense slow to gel

Everyone seems to be foaming at the mouth because of Frank Bush's new "aggressive" defense that has yet to play a down. Talk is cheap. If the Texans defense fails to come together quickly (like during Week 1), and take advantage of a favorable early season schedule, then we'll be right back in 'fight for .500' mode quicker than you can say 'tickets for sale - face value.' Buddy Ryan's Oilers started off 1-4 in 1993 but got it together in time to finish 12-4, but this defense isn't the '93 Oilers. Implicit in all this is overall improvement of the defense from its lowly statistical standing of past seasons.

Oh no not the "G" word. These aren't scrubs. And they are not rookies save 1. I don't see this as a problem. It's the same scheme with a coach that was on the staff last year.

3. Players buying into the hype

I'm pretty sure the players are above all the fluff that's being written and said about them, but I remember last year at a remote asking Eric Winston how they were going to guard against a letdown against the Raiders after beating the Titans. He just kind of laughed at me. The coaches need some negative locker room material to counter all this playoff talk. How about this article? This team is a slip-up against the Jets from being the same old Texans. I think most players get it. I think the goal of 'nothing less than the playoffs' is the right thing. They just need to keep their heads straight about it all.

Good. They should buy into the hype. They need to have the confidence that even when things are going badly they are still the Houston Texans and will end up with a "W" at the end of the day.

4. The return of the great offensive mistake machine

The Texans were 3rd in the NFL in yards gained last year with 382 yards per game, and 5th in the league in time of possession at over 32 minutes per game, but they were also 4th worst in the league in turnovers with a minus 10 margin, and only 17th in the league in scoring despite the yards gained and time of possession. The Texans offense was also 7th worst in the league in touchdowns scored inside the red zone with a paltry 45.9% of their trips inside the opponents 20 resulting in TDs. Does that make them the #3 offense in the league? Not by my standards.

No Sage. Run the ball more. Not having to play from behind.

I know its all if's and butts, however that was last year and this is this year.

5. A slow start

This relates to #2 but deserves its own mention. The Texans open the season with three of their first four at home where they are 12-4 over the past two seasons. A 4-3 record heading into November is the absolute low end of acceptability while a 2-2 record in November would be reason to celebrate (given a 4-3 record or better heading into the month). Winning streaks breed confidence among players and it's important for the Texans to get on the right side of the win-loss ledger early. The Texans have yet to walk into an opponent's stadium with a legitimate sense of swagger - ever.

The 93 Oilers werenít the 93 Oilers till they did what they done. Not to mention they are starting off, barring a hurricane, at home where they have gone 12-4.

In the end itís all speculation.