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Old 07-07-2008   #1
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Default Sporting News on Texans Prospects

http://news.yahoo.com:80/s/sn/200807...breakoutseason

Pretty good job of telling it like it was. However, they delegate us to the bottom again in the division. We must find a way to beat our division opponents, which I feel we are poised to do this year.

Last edited by NBT; 07-07-2008 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008   #2
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Nice post. They got lot of "ifs" to make an early season run and end up @ 4-2 or 5-3 @ the bye. Not saying it can't be done...they have all the parts in place. Just a lot to ask of a very young football team.

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It's hard to recover from such a lopsided division record, because it leaves little room for error throughout the rest of the schedule. The Texans were fortunate just to get to .500, getting a break with games against the lesser teams in the NFC South and AFC West.
We ain't playing them this year. The ones we do down the stretch boast some fine rushing attacks. By my count six of eight.
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Old 07-07-2008   #3
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Yes, a few things have to happen for us to come out of the first games 2-2, or better. 1) Alex Gibbs ZBS has to work from the getgo, and for that to happen some young linemen are going to have to show their mettle quickly. 2) and just as important, the defense must gel on the run. 3) 'Ol injury bug has to visit his infestations on some other team, prefferably Indy, or Jax, or even the Tacks.
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Old 07-07-2008   #4
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Not a bad write up. It kinda tempers your expectations a bit...which is a good thing imo. We do play in what could turn out to be the best division the NFL has had in a long while. So, while we should and will improve overall as a team this year... we could still very well finish .500 again considering our games outside the division are tough as well (at GB, at Vikings,etc). It might be wise to slow myself down a bit and not let all my self sold off season optimism go to my head just yet. We all know something special is being built here in Houston... more than likely 09 is the year we really start to put it all together. None the less... bring on the playoffs in 08 I say!!
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Old 07-07-2008   #5
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

I am confident we have the talent, depth, and coaching to help us make that final push to the playoffs *knocking on wood*.

I also like that we play in the toughest division in the NFL IMO, because it is molding us to become the best team in the best division which means, well, we can only be the best. If we were in some podunk nfc division with the falcons and saints there wouldnt be much to build towards because a .500 season or even a sub .500 could win your division and we'd be in the playoffs.

If we can beat the jags, colts, titans on a consistent basis, why cant we beat any other team in the league. With our youth, talent, staff, front office, I say we are building an empire to take over the world. Maybe I am just babbling because its the end of the work day after a holiday weekend. Is it football season yet.....????
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Old 07-08-2008   #6
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Quote:
We ain't playing them this year. The ones we do down the stretch boast some fine rushing attacks. By my count six of eight.
Agreed that several of our nondivisional opponents have good RB's, but that doesn't help them play from behind, and most of them have iffy to awful QB/WR situations. I'm not nearly as worried about our nondivision games as everyone else seems to be. Pittsburgh is on the way down, IMO -- I also wonder if they'll be ready and expecting what we bring Week 1. Cincinnatti always manages to beat themselves, and we play them here. Cleveland is probably the best team in the AFC North and is still a winnable game (although I think going on the road might mean the Browns take this), and Baltimore stinks. As for the NFC, Chicago and Detroit are both games I will be disappointed if we don't win, and I don't think Green Bay will be quite what they were last year. Minny isn't bad, but I don't think they are that much better than we are, although much like our games with Cleveland and GB I think playing on the road could break these games against us. Basically I think we should take 2 out our 3 road games against PIT, MIN, and GB and I expect CLE to beat us. I will be very upset if we don't beat MIA and OAK both. Besides, every AFC South team plays the same teams we do in the North(s), so it basically comes down to our divisional rivals. Gotta beat the Jags and Tacks, and maybe sneak one by Indy when they aren't expecting it.
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Old 07-08-2008   #7
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

The 2 keys to us making the playoffs are less injuries, and less turnovers.IIRC in AJ's last 11 games that he has suited up we are 8-3. And in another thread it was said in games that we had less TO than the other team we were 6-1 last year.
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Old 07-08-2008   #8
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

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Originally Posted by whiskeyrbl View Post
The 2 keys to us making the playoffs are less injuries, and less turnovers.IIRC in AJ's last 11 games that he has suited up we are 8-3. And in another thread it was said in games that we had less TO than the other team we were 6-1 last year.
Well, almost....

I did some stat mining and what I found out was that we were 4-0 when we won the T/O battle and 2-1 when we broke even. So the 6-1 was when we broke even or did better.

What I take away from that is that we can play with anyone IF we can keep from shooting ourselves in the foot. And IF we stay healthy, watch out!
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Old 07-08-2008   #9
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

It's hard to make a call on the upcoming season. I think our success hinges on three things. Staying healthy, turnovers, and establishing a credible running game. Alex Gibbs' ZBS should make a marked difference in the rushing attack. The question is, how fast can our linemen pick it up? The health issue is tantamount, but there is just no way of telling what will happen. I hear some questioning our strength and conditioning coach, but I don't buy into that. I think it's just the way the breaks go that tell the injury tale. Word is that they are concentrating on changing our turnover problems. (Yeah Owen Daniels, we're watching YOU!) LOL! If we can get some breaks and the injury gods smile upon us we can take a wild card berth. C'mon Coach Gibbs. Make believers out of us.
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Old 07-08-2008   #10
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

I have a hard time reading any generalized review of the Texans prospects in 2008 without a mention of the Alex Gibbs thing.

He talks about the WR/TE group as one that is a standout, but I think part of that is the system with Kubiak. Other than AJ, I do not believe that any of our other pass catchers are anything special. I believe what Kubiak does with them makes them look better.

And while I acknowledge that the RB group gives me some heartburn, I believe that this is the year that the Texans start really seeing what this offense is supposed to look like with Gibbs. The passing game looked more what it was supposed to sans Carr, and I believe the running game will start looking more like it is supposed to.

I agree with the premise of the article that it has been the defense that has created bigger problems for the Texans. That being said, the offense didn't do the defense any favors by turning the ball over, especially early in games. This puts defenses on the field waaaaay too long. I believe if the Texans get their stuff together in their running game, I believe this will help the defense by keeping them off the field, and by keeping opposing defenses honest.

I believe an Alex Gibbs running game will result in improvement from previous years. My biggest concern is with the secondary. Dunta Robinson or not, they have been the worst performing group from 2005 on. Last year, they simplified the defense because of inexperience and injuries in the secondary. How has that improved any? We've got some new personnel, but they are still pretty green. //praying that Ray Rhodes has some magic from the assistant's position.
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Old 07-08-2008   #11
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Vinnie Iyer premise is built on the Texans divisional foes sliding, does not mention Texans proactive approach to address specific weakness'es to defeat divisional foes, Tennessee, Jacksonville & Indy. Gibbs addition is key because it addresses two of the weakest areas, blindside pass protection & running attack. both will be much improved so the Texans don't neccessarily have to wait for the rest of division to decline. what the Texans can do is go out & compete in every match-up.

the other area of concern that is already on the upswing is the Texans pass rush as I see the numbers only rising (Marios rookie season the Texans had 28, last year 31). conversly the Texans sacked numbers are falling post David Carr from 68 in 05 & 41 in 06 to Schaubs 16 + Sages 6 in 07. our divisional foes fed off the Texans (David Carr) in the old days, now those days are over. the Texans have revamped the OL traded for stating center Chris Meyers, drafted 1st rd. OT Duane Brown with Alex Gibbs implanting a true zone blocking scheme.

so there are changes in process to reverse course its these national media talking heads that fail to understand its evolution & relationships changing the landscape of NEW AFC South Division.
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Old 07-08-2008   #12
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Default Texans’ burning question: Ready for a breakout season?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...=tsn&type=lgns

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The Houston Texans have shown some promise the past two years, indicating they were close to turning the corner and making the franchise’s first playoff appearance. Unfortunately, the Texans also reside in the AFC South, one of the NFL’s two toughest divisions.

The Texans’ 8-8 finish last season would have been good enough for second place in five other divisions. In their own division, however, they were stuck in last place, watching as Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee all advanced to the playoffs.

The Texans’ biggest playoff hurdle starts with those three teams. The Texans were 1-5 against AFC South teams last season, allowing 33.2 points on average to division foes. The Texans lone intra-division win came against the Jaguars in Week 17, when Jacksonville was resting its key players with its playoff position predetermined.

It’s hard to recover from such a lopsided division record, because it leaves little room for error throughout the rest of the schedule. The Texans were fortunate just to get to .500, getting a break with games against the lesser teams in the NFC South and AFC West.

Defense was Houston’s biggest problem, and what ails them goes beyond allowing a whole lot of points. The Texans weren’t particularly good at defending the run or pass. Their defense came away with a league-low 11 interceptions. They were average in the sack department (31), but the stat was somewhat inflated because 19 1/2 came from end Mario Williams and tackle Amobi Okoye.

Williams, Okoye and middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans are great young talents, but the team has a ways to go to fill the holes around them in the front seven of their 4-3 scheme. There also is a major concern in the secondary, where the Texans will have to perform without their best cornerback, Dunta Robinson, for at least half the season as he recovers from knee and hamstring injuries.
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Old 07-08-2008   #13
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

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Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
Not a bad write up. It kinda tempers your expectations a bit...which is a good thing imo. We do play in what could turn out to be the best division the NFL has had in a long while.
I'm watching a lot of NFL Replay lately, and so I'm watching more games without the Texans involved. I'm seeing Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Indy, playing other teams.

I've got a new appreciation, for just how good they are. Sure, we rag on the Titans, and the Jags, and undervalue the Colts on this board, but they are really good.

In a couple of months, I'm going to start my "anything could happen" optomism, but for now, I think it'll be all we can do, to get to 9-7, and at that, we still might miss the play-offs.

I'm going to be rooting to win every game of course, but I'm really going to be watching our coaches. Last time we were in this situation, on the verge, we ended up going 2-14, and allowed a whole slew of excuses to walk in and take residence.

Injury is a big thing, we have a had way too many, for way too long. We've got to be doing something wrong.

Clock management, I want to see a 2 minute offense, before the game gets out of hand.

I want to see a Killer instinct, I want to go for the jugular, remember when the Broncos would get a lead, and continue to poor it on?? That's what I want to see.

And most importantly, I want to see some adjustments after half-time. I'm tired of being outscored, outplayed, and out hustled in the third freak'n quarter.
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Old 07-08-2008   #14
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

I don't know as I completely agree that, other than AJ, the other WRs are better because of Kubiak. I think they had the talent, Kubiak just did a better job of pulling it out of them. I fully agree that the RBs will be better, as will the Oline, because of Gibbs teachings. The defense has been a problem as much because of the way Richard Smith has used them, as has the lack of talent. We need to be more aggressive on defense so as to make the opposing offense work harder. Our run game should make more first downs, thus keeping the defense off the field longer, keeping them fresher. Switching the Dlinemen out on every other play should help keep them fresher also. But if Manning, or some other QB, goes to the no huddle, the guys on the field at the moment are going to have to be able to handle the job if replacements can't shuffle in. We have the people now, we just have to make it work.
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Old 07-08-2008   #15
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

The schedule talk is over emphasized given the ebb & flow of this league. Things can quickly change during training camp and at the start of the season due to injuries and a lack of confidence. Moreover, each team in our division plays the same divisional rotation schedule.

Our historical weakness from a scheduling standoint begins and ends in the division and on the road. In my opinion, this is the last major obstacle we must overcome before we are consistently in the mix for the playoffs.
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Old 07-10-2008   #16
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Exactamento, if we can play well on the road and against our division foes, it will go a long way in helping us make the playoffs for the first time. This city certainly deserves it after all we've gone through.
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Old 07-16-2008   #17
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

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Originally Posted by JWarren14 View Post
I am confident we have the talent, depth, and coaching to help us make that final push to the playoffs *knocking on wood*.

I also like that we play in the toughest division in the NFL IMO, because it is molding us to become the best team in the best division which means, well, we can only be the best. If we were in some podunk nfc division with the falcons and saints there wouldnt be much to build towards because a .500 season or even a sub .500 could win your division and we'd be in the playoffs.

If we can beat the jags, colts, titans on a consistent basis, why cant we beat any other team in the league. With our youth, talent, staff, front office, I say we are building an empire to take over the world. Maybe I am just babbling because its the end of the work day after a holiday weekend. Is it football season yet.....????
Is it just me or is this faulty logic. If we can beat the jags, colts and titans on a consistent basis. When have we EVER done that. We were 1-5 in our division last year, and honestly say what you want, but Jville didn't give a damn about the game the time we beat them. I'm picking us to beat Tenn, but we aren't in the same class as the Jags/Colts.

I think when you look at the AFC the Pats/Colts/chargers/steelers are the division winners. Jags are better than we are and finish ahead of us. I think we are about even with the browns. We are probably a little better than they are to be honest. But we don't get to play Pitt/Cincy/Balt twice a year.

I'm not trying to be down on us. I think we're much improved. Unfortunately I don't see us finishing better than 9-7. In the AFC that means I don't see us making the playoffs. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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Old 07-16-2008   #18
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

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Originally Posted by Texanmike View Post
Is it just me or is this faulty logic. If we can beat the jags, colts and titans on a consistent basis. When have we EVER done that. We were 1-5 in our division last year, and honestly say what you want, but Jville didn't give a damn about the game the time we beat them. I'm picking us to beat Tenn, but we aren't in the same class as the Jags/Colts.

I think when you look at the AFC the Pats/Colts/chargers/steelers are the division winners. Jags are better than we are and finish ahead of us. I think we are about even with the browns. We are probably a little better than they are to be honest. But we don't get to play Pitt/Cincy/Balt twice a year.

I'm not trying to be down on us. I think we're much improved. Unfortunately I don't see us finishing better than 9-7. In the AFC that means I don't see us making the playoffs. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Mike
Its just you.

Actually, you're both right.

JWarren said: If we can beat the jags, colts, titans on a consistent basis, why cant we beat any other team in the league.
I think that's a true statement.

You correctly pointed out that: We were 1-5 in our division last year. And I'll add to that the fact that we've managed to lose to Tennessee that last four times in a row. So we aren't beating our divisional foes at all, let alone "on a consistent basis".

So obviously, we're not where JWarren, or any of us, want to be.

When we can beat down the Colts, Jags, and Titans with regularity, we WILL be a playoff team with the Super Bowl in our sights.

Can we "make the final push to the playoffs"? If we don't throw away any non-divisional games and win a couple more inside the division, yes we can. But we have yet to show we've arrived at that point. However, we're closer than we've ever been.
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Old 07-16-2008   #19
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

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Originally Posted by ObsiWan View Post
Its just you.

Actually, you're both right.

JWarren said: If we can beat the jags, colts, titans on a consistent basis, why cant we beat any other team in the league.
I think that's a true statement.

You correctly pointed out that: We were 1-5 in our division last year. And I'll add to that the fact that we've managed to lose to Tennessee that last four times in a row. So we aren't beating our divisional foes at all, let alone "on a consistent basis".

So obviously, we're not where JWarren, or any of us, want to be.

When we can beat down the Colts, Jags, and Titans with regularity, we WILL be a playoff team with the Super Bowl in our sights.

Can we "make the final push to the playoffs"? If we don't throw away any non-divisional games and win a couple more inside the division, yes we can. But we have yet to show we've arrived at that point. However, we're closer than we've ever been.
You forgot that J also said:
Quote:
I am confident we have the talent, depth, and coaching to help us make that final push to the playoffs *knocking on wood*.

That's where I got "faulty logic" from.

Mike
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Old 07-16-2008   #20
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Default Re: Sporting News on Texans Prospects

Texans Chick said; "My biggest concern is with the secondary. Dunta Robinson or not, they have been the worst performing group from 2005 on. Last year, they simplified the defense because of inexperience and injuries in the secondary. How has that improved any? We've got some new personnel, but they are still pretty green. //praying that Ray Rhodes has some magic from the assistant's position."


Can't disagree with her at all but, I also want to add the OLB's are a big concern to me. We don't have one proven quality NFL starter there and we need 2 of 'em! Colvin may help if he's not over the hill. Everybody else is "ho-hum". So IMO, the defense is still our biggest concern as are the schemes we use on defense. And, until we get a RB that proves to be a durable every game consistent producer, we just still have too many questions to be considered a legit playoff team. And we still need more consistent oline & dline play with an attitude. But, if the stars align.....

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