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Old 08-04-2008   #1
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Default What will make or break our season?

Keys to the season, IMO

1. Injuries - I know this goes for all teams, but especially Houston. We led the NFL in players on I/R the last two seasons. We need our guys on the field. The games that we had Green, Schaub, And Johnson together, the offense played great. Unfortunately, we only had them together for 2 or 3 games.

2. Divisional play - We were 8-8 last year while being 1-5 within the AFC South. That's 7-3 against the rest of the NFL, which isn't bad. We have to steal one from Indy, and we have to at least split with Ten & Jax. An even 3-3 might have put in the playoffs last year, 3-3 is the minimum if we expect to contend this year.

3. Turnovers - This just has to improve. We all know how coaches feel about winning the turnover battle, and last season we were downright terrible. In training camp, the offense is wearing shorts that read, ''Protect the ball''. The defense wears, ''Take it away''.

If we improve those 3 areas, get a few breaks, and have a few teams fall off a bit in the super competitive AFC, we may have a real chance at a playoff game.

::Jim Mora:: Playoffs?!?!
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Old 08-04-2008   #2
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Scoring more points than our opponent will make or break our season imo.
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Old 08-04-2008   #3
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

a) Injuries to key players but that's with any team.

b) Running the ball successfully and keeping it away from the powerful divisional opponents this team faces every year.

c) Winning some road games.

The Texans could make some major noise this year. They have the parts in place.
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Old 08-04-2008   #4
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

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a) Injuries to key players but that's with any team.
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Old 08-04-2008   #5
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

The way I look at it. There were a combination things that kept us out of the playoffs last year. lack of running game, injuries, and our defense didn't live up to it's potential, we just let too many QBs pick apart our secondary and we really didn't have any pass rush besides Mario. I think we've made strides to improve thoses areas, adding Alex Gibbs, Colvin, adding more depth etc. I think if we significantly improve on any of those we'll be in the playoffs.
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Old 08-04-2008   #6
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Injuries and turnovers.
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Old 08-04-2008   #7
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

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Originally Posted by whiskeyrbl View Post
Injuries and turnovers.
That's it right there. Injuries are something you have no control over, but turnovers are something you do. And I'm not just talking about the offense turning it over, but the defense forcing them as well. They win the turnover battle on a game by game basis and they have a lot better chance to win football games. Of course that pretty much goes without saying for anybody, but it doesn't really take that much to be 7-9 or 10-6. A play or 2 each game could be the difference.

Injuries are probably going to happen, but we can't have them at the key positions like QB, #1 WR, top 3 RB's, LT, CB. I know you can't control it, but sheesh, we've had our share already.

Oh, and of course a lot depends on how much PT #38 gets, who I can't believe is still on this roster.
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Old 08-04-2008   #8
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

!. Turnovers - don't give up the damned ball: 21 INTs and 17 lost fumbles. Two free possessions for the other guys every game. Unacceptable.
2. Turnovers - take the damned ball away: we were decent in the fumble catagory (tied for 10th with 14 - 3 for TDs) but sucked in the INT dept. (tied for last, with 11, and none returned for scores).
3. Turnovers - take a few more of those takeaways "to the house". I only remember two T/Os for scores, DeMeco's and Mario's. Apparently there was one more. 25 takeaways and only 3 returned for scores.
I know, I know, I should be happy that we even took the ball away.
Well, I'm not.
Time to be greedy. Playoff teams are opportunistic. Let's see some pick-sixes from the D.
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Old 08-04-2008   #9
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

What will make or break the Texans in 2008?

LUCK!

Or lack thereof...
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Old 08-04-2008   #10
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsiWan View Post
!. Turnovers - don't give up the damned ball: 21 INTs and 17 lost fumbles. Two free possessions for the other guys every game. Unacceptable.
2. Turnovers - take the damned ball away: we were decent in the fumble catagory (tied for 10th with 14 - 3 for TDs) but sucked in the INT dept. (tied for last, with 11, and none returned for scores).
3. Turnovers - take a few more of those takeaways "to the house". I only remember two T/Os for scores, DeMeco's and Mario's. Apparently there was one more. 25 takeaways and only 3 returned for scores.
I know, I know, I should be happy that we even took the ball away.
Well, I'm not.
Time to be greedy. Playoff teams are opportunistic. Let's see some pick-sixes from the D.
Bingo. Even with all the injuries last year, if we would have cut the turnovers significantly it would have made a big difference.

EDIT - the other one was in the Carolina game. The CAR kickoff returner fumbled and I think it was Kevin Walter who recovered it in the endzone for a TD.

I was at Third Base in Austin when that happened, and the place absolutely EXPLODED.
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Old 08-04-2008   #11
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

I'm going to say the coaching. this is the most vastly changed aspect of this organization from expereinced Gibbs & Rhodes developed young coaches making names for themselves Frank Bush, Jon Hoke & Jethro Franklin to the young buck trying to follow his dads footsteps, Kyle Shanahan!

If they can assemble the resources Rick Smith has provided & get the players to buy into Kubiack & staff team concept there isn't anything this team cannot overcome. just execute baby
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Old 08-04-2008   #12
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Coaching. Everything else can be attributed to coaching.

Turnovers.... should be addressed by coaching. Bad habits should be corrected before game time. Sure, there are going to be turnovers, but when you're on the wrong end of the T.O. ratio as we were in our losses..... it's a coaching issue.

Injuries... we're doing something wrong. Whether we're talking about trainers, contact vs no contact practice.... allowing our players to not take conditioning as seriously as they should...... with the number of injuries we've had over the last two years.... it's a coaching issue.

Scoring more points than the other team..... if you don't trust the 11 guys you put on the field to run a two minute drill.... especially after two years...... it's a coaching issue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for Kubiak's head. I like him, I want him to be here for a long, long time. But everything starts & ends with the coach.
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Old 08-04-2008   #13
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

I have a differing opinion than the general injury sentiment.

I feel the development of our second year players will be the key for our defense. Guys like Bennett and Okoye showed good progress, but must take the next step to being a top notch player. Bennett will be a starting CB and needs to establish himself, while Okoye needs to outlast his wall to provide a true push from the interior of our line.

On offense, I'm going to say our season hinges on Myers. He expected to be our best starting C we've ever had. He knows the system and will be the man responsible most for holding the pocket. If he isn't what we expect, then our offense will struggle, injuries or not.
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Old 08-05-2008   #14
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Schaub and playcalling. Those are the two things that I have found dodgy at times. I'm hoping that both will be fine, but I believe both are our greatest 'unknowns'
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Old 08-05-2008   #15
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

two words: injuries turnovers
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Old 08-05-2008   #16
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Defensive takeaways. The defense seems to recognize they can and need to improve on this and be a constant threat to get the ball back before 4th down. I believe our O can do plenty on it's own but as of yet nothing says for sure our running game will click to the point of opening up some passing routes.

This post is a little lacking in specifics and for that I apologize. Baseball has taken up most of my playtime and I've yet to dive in as you all have. A one-time-only pass would be appreciated...lol.

Schedule-wise make or break could come early. We have got to handle Pittsburgh and Baltimore since we go to Tennessee and Jacksonville after that, then home vs (ugh) Indianapolis. IMO, getting Pittsburgh in week 1 is a bonus, their D always gels after week 8 or so and I firmly believe we'll take Baltimore.

If we can get to Jacksonville at 3-0 and I believe we can, the sky's the limit.
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Old 08-05-2008   #17
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

I'm going to add one more ingredient....
I'm embarrassed we haven't mentioned this
ATTITUDE.

No more "moral victories"
Its time that, like most playoff teams, we EXPECT to WIN every time we step onto the field.
Inside the division, on the road, weather be damned. We expect to win and are pissed when we don't.
Its time we EXPECT to make the playoffs every year.
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Old 08-05-2008   #18
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsiWan View Post
I'm going to add one more ingredient....
I'm embarrassed we haven't mentioned this
ATTITUDE.

No more "moral victories"
Its time that, like most playoff teams, we EXPECT to WIN every time we step onto the field.
Inside the division, on the road, weather be damned. We expect to win and are pissed when we don't.
Its time we EXPECT to make the playoffs every year.
You dont think the team attitude has changed since we got Kubiak here? At least from my own perspective, the term 'moral victory' died the day Kubiak came in. I think he might even have stated this himself.
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Old 08-05-2008   #19
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

We must sacrifice lots of alcoholic beverages to The Football Gods to earn their kindness. I plan on starting with the Denver pre-season game.
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Old 08-05-2008   #20
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Default Re: What will make or break our season?

Keys to success:

1. Defensive line play. It all starts up front and we've got to get some pressure on the QB and stuff the run.

2. Turnovers. 'Nuff said.

3. Establishing a viable running game. This will open up the entire offense. If we can run the ball effectively, the sky's the limit.

What Obsiwan said about ATTITUDE is also important. I'm not talking about moral victory, I'm talking about hitting like we MEAN IT! Make those receivers pay for that catch over the middle. Will Demps and Dunta Robinson play with this attitude. I sure hope it's contagious.
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