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Old 01-07-2005   #1
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Default Texans 2004 Evaluation

Obviously there were some high spots (Tennessee and Jags sweeps, KC, Chicago and Oakland wins), some reasons for encouragement (tough losses to GB and Minny) and some real, real downers (Denver, Indy and NYJ as well as Cleveland). Overall, "The Team" improved two games over last year so you have to say that "The Team" is getting better. But that Cleveland game was a real teller. I was on a high after those two road wins in Chicago and Jax. I came to Reliant Stadium on Sunday ready to whoop it up for an 8-8 season which would show we were really on the rise. But what I got instead was a rude awakening and a sober reality check. Our weaknesses were exposed by another weak team -- and if you don't think the rest of the league was taking notes, then you're kidding yourselves. This team still has some major, major obstacles to overcome. During the first year, the defense was overall a lot stronger than this year's team -- which is regression rather than improvement. The secondary has improved, but the DL can't stop the run and puts almost no pressure on the opposing QB. As for the offense, the running game has improved immensely over Shane Mack from year one. And David Carr/Andre Johnson have boosted the passing game in the past two years. But the pass protection went from absolutely horrible the first year to a slight improvement the second year back to horrible this year. Another regression. And gone are the heady days when Kris Brown was Mr. Reliable. Another regression, though slight. After watching the Browns debacle, I will never predict another win for "The Team." After all, if you can't beat a team that has nine straight losses with nothing to play for and you have them in your own house going for the first non-losing season in franchise history, then who CAN you beat with a certainty?
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