Re: Bob McNair's Thoughts...
Back to Gary Ball now.
If there is anything that signals that this team is in trouble for the future, it's how we settled for FGs so often down the stretch.
We're all pretty in-tune with this team's ebb and flow, and so somebody please tell me what the running joke was--in the game day threads--the last month of the season?
Answers vary, but have the same tone:
"Dialing up a 3 burger in 3...2...1!"
"Here we go guys, we're in FG range now. Yessss!"
"Shocker, another FG."
Defenses, IMO, know that they can let Gary Ball defeat itself. Let it get down to the RZ, then tighten up your coverage and bottle up Foster...because for whatever reason, be it play calling or a lack of focus/killer instinct by the players, the offense rarely punches it into the EZ unless the defense has a complete lapse of awareness, i.e. "Beating up on the weak sisters" theory.
But hey, JJ Watt and our defense will turn around and get that ball back for Matt and boys. Oops, I forgot: That's not always automatic.
I think we COULD be in for a rude awakening in 2013. AJ will be a year older. We've lost Posey who was arguably our up-and-coming WR who has the hands, the route running, and the attitude when he catches the ball to do something with it. Who the hell knows, with certainty, if the OL will "gel" or not. Owen is beginning to battle weekly injuries. Garrett Graham is an unknown. We don't use Casey, and my gawd can you imagine this guy on a team like the Patriots??? Special teams will be Marciano's handiwork all over again, bank on it.
That leaves with the defense, and those guys were straight BLOWN UP in the middle...all the ILB injuries we sustained, which started with Cushing and went like dominoes thereafter. Brady James was a really bad gamble by Wade. He let his heart dictate his decision making there. JJ Watt needs help, and I don't think this team brings Antonio Smith back. I can see them putting Mitchell in his spot, then finding a NT solution out of thin air somehow.
Sorry to be a negative nelly, but this team--under the current leadership and facing the problems I stated above--I think we're in for a .500 season or slightly better, and I think we could even end up fighting for a WC playoff spot because I think the Colts retake the AFCS in 2013. Might be wrong, we might have a repeat of 2012 where we win the AFCS and the Colts get the WC spot again.
I just know that this team was settling for FGs the last month of the season, maybe with the exception of that last Titans game whereby the Titans royally handed us that game on a platter all day long. That's a look into the mindset of this team's character, specifically its genius HC Gary Kubiak. Settling for FGs, then expecting Wade to work his magic. Then coming back and...settling for FGs again. The white flag wasn't just waved in the Patriots game, it was still flapping in the wind the rest of the way (with the exception of the Bengals playoff game).