Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.
Sunday was what it was. "They were who we thought they were" so to speak and now after a long day of thought about what happened and what's been happening I'm going to tell all of you what I think (and if you're not interested the back button on your browser works like it always has).
I've seen this before. I recognize what's happening here. I've seen it happen in the past when the previous Houston NFL team was trying to pull it's collective ass out of a near decade long losing binge. In that game the part of Sage Rosenfels was played by one Ian Howfield and the "meltdown" was the far more common case of a kicker losing a game that his team had fought hard to win. It was bad and kind of made you sick but it didn't hold a candle to the clinic in stupidity that Sage put on Sunday. It was however the same kind of game.
When the Oilers were somewhere between bad and respectable these kinds of games were commonplace. You would see the team go on the road, not show up, and get the snot beat out of them 4-5 times a year just like the Texans did in Pittsburgh. Instead of Schaub throwing interceptions in batches it was Moon doing it but the Oilers lost quite a few games just like we saw the Texans lose in Tennessee a few weeks ago. Long drives ending in turnovers were frustratingly common for most of Jerry Glanville's early reign as coach of the Oilers. Prior to that from 1981 to 1985 you had Ed Biles, Chuck Studley, and Hugh Campbell and all together they won something like 12 games in 4 and a half years. Think of them as the Dom Capers regime was to the Texans. They were all going nowhere fast.
Then Glanville made a little progress and the Oilers started winning at home on a pretty consistent basis. They were 5-11 for two years (one of which he split with Hugh Campbell) but then went 9-7, 10-6, and 9-7. That was just a bit over .500 but winning nonetheless. The thing was they never looked consistently good during those three years. Yes, they were winning but no, they weren't even close to the real "elite" teams of the era. They were capable of going out and destroying somebody one week and then rolling over for a bad opponent the next.
The Texans make me think of those Oilers with the way they played last year and the way this season is starting out. The real clincher was that game Sunday. That was my Déjà vu moment. Sage had that same look on his face that Howfield had and I don't mean to draw a big comparison between the two. I just want to point out that the entire team played that game to win it right up until one man screwed up big enough to lose it. When that happened you saw the Texans just fold up much like the old Oilers would when adversity came calling. Back then they weren't good enough or confident enough to ovecome something like that and you could probably argue that those Moon era Oilers never did get to that level. Right up until the end Moon could throw a few picks and the entire team would just fold up their tents and go home. Jerry Glanville didn’t have the coaching skill necessary to get the Oilers past that point. Jack Pardee didn’t have it either. If Jeff Fisher had arrived sooner then maybe we’d have seen a Super Bowl out of that bunch or maybe we wouldn’t have. Nobody will ever know the answer to that and it’s really not important at this stage of the game. Today we need to know if Gary Kubiak can get the team beyond that point. I don’t care if Sage Rosenfels can bounce back from this. I don’t care anything about him at all. As far as I’m concerned Sage is dead to me because he put himself before the team. All I care about now is whether or not the coaches can get the team to take another step up.
The loss to Indy represented a bit of progress to me (albeit an ugly one). The Texans will finish around .500 on the season this year. Now I know this to be true. They’ll win most of their games at home and steal a couple on the road and be 8-8 again or maybe 9-7. They’re making progress and one more draft should give them the talent they need to be as effective as any team in our conference. I really mean that too. The only question is can these coaches do anything with that talent. One guy losing one game doesn’t change that.
Sage Rosenfels fumbled the ball, fumbled the ball, and then threw the interception that sealed the loss. This one was all on him and nobody can deny that. The next time some imbecile tells you that Sage should be starting resist the urge to punch the fool in the mouth. You’d be right of course but it’s not worth the jail time. Sage killed that win just as effectively as if he’d missed a chip shot FG on the last play of the game and I think that it’s entirely appropriate to lay every single ounce of blame for this loss on his shoulders. I also think that it’s doing an injustice to the rest of the team to go off on some rambling tirade about how they’re cursed or how the head coach should be fired. One man alone did this by playing sloppy, undisciplined football. Sage wasn’t trying to win the game. The game was won. Sage wasn’t trying to help the team. The team (with Sage being a part of it) had beaten the Colts handily all day long up until that point. Sage was trying to win the starting QB spot. Sage was trying to help himself.
A wise man once said "...well at this point it's all been hashed out and you either see it or don't. Hoping for a win next week" - HTown2ATX