August 13, 2012

Game Day Diary 1: Texans 26 Panthers 13

Football's finally back. Which means its time to bring my favorite post out of retirement. Ladies and Gents: The Game Day Diary!

What's this nonsense all about? Easy: I watch games. I make observations and douchey comments.

First up, preseason outing number one for the Texans against the Panthers. Enjoy!

6:01 - Joel Myers, Spencer Tillman, and a local channel covering the first game of NFL the season. What are the odds of this broadcast looking good on TV?

6:02 - ^ Mehhhhhhhhh....

6:08 - Let's start things off with this. Myers and Tillman emphasizing that the secondary is the BIGGEST strength for the Texans. What planet are we on? Isn't Kareem Jackson still a part of this group? Was this group ever tested last season? Answer those questions yourself.

That being said, Kareem Jackson had himself a pretty good game: breaking on a third down pass for a deflection, and putting himself in good position to deflect a pass to the end zone for Steve Smith.

6:13 - The Texans moved the ball at will Saturday in between the twenties. But once in the red zone, the struggles from 2011 (47% touchdown percentage) continued. Looking for a culprit? Look no further than the right side of the offensive line, specifically Rashad Butler. On second and goal from the 2, Butler didn't seal off the hole for Ben Tate, resulting in Tate being tackled in the backfield. On third and goal, Butler whiffed on a cut block in pass protection, and an antsy Schaub threw the ball out of the end zone when Carolina had a Texas freeway sized path to the QB. This was not a good start for Butler. Texans kick a FG. 3-0.

6:22 - I'm concerned that the secondary was not tested enough in 2011. I'm honestly not sure how good they are, and was hoping that Carolina and Cam Newton would pose a challenge and make them work Saturday. But if the Texans pass rush, which amounted 8 sacks, does what it did in Charlotte, they won't have to worry a whole lot. Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed were overwhelming, getting to Newton twice in two plays on Carolina's second possession.

6:25 - Arian Foster got his only touch of the night...and promptly fumbled. Panthers recover. Cut his ass.

Just kidding. But this has been an issue since the end of last year, where he fumbled 3 in the last 4 games. Four points of contact bro.

6:30 - Replacement refs with their first "what the fucking fuck" moment, taking five minutes to review the fumble for no reason. Really hoping we won't see this happen after EVERY turnover.

6:34 - Carolina drives down the field, but the drive is halted on third down when Bo Bo Arijinoobootooboo (or some shit like that) beats Jonathan Joseph in the corner of the end zone, but promptly drops it. Olindo Mare boots one through to tie things up at 3.

6:36 - If Trindon Holliday wants to make the Texans, he MUST go apeshit on every kick return he can. He did just that on his first touch, busting a 90 yarder for six. Credit to James Casey and Garrett Graham, who had key blocks to spring the lil guy. Trindon had himself a good game.

6:45 - Carolina goes three and out...a theme. The Texans take things back. The good? Keshawn Martin took an end around for 12 yards, getting jukilicious to earn the last two yards.

The bad? The Pass protection on the O-Line. Both Rashad Butler, and surprisingly, Duane Brown get beat around the edge, as Carolina pass rushers make a Schaub sandwich. Before getting Evelyn Lozada'd, Schaub fired it out STRAIGHT to a Panther line backer for an interception. Bad play.

How did I see all this? Because the referees once again reviewed the play for absolutely no fucking reason...taking five minutes in the process. Am I watching baseball? Cut the shit.

6:55 - Brian Cushing was feeling sick. His replacement, Tim Dobbins, was not. In fact he kicked ass. Dobbins forced a three and out by the Panthers on the previous series, then got a "sack" on a delayed blitz of Derek Anderson. I say "sack", because Derek Anderson didn't show a whole lot of it, curling up in the Blaine-Gabbert position and likely shitting himself, resulting in a untouched "sack".

6:59 - I had no idea I worked for 610 Sports Radio. Thanks for the clarification. And a legit thanks to Bob Allen for actually getting it right.

7:04 - The Texans starting to put in the backups, as TJ Yates checks in. Unfortunately, the backup referees were in from start to finish. Highlight: one zebra just standing completely in the way of Yates on a bootleg. Bad Job Bad Effort.

7:07 - Texans continuing to move the ball in between the 20s. Garrett Graham had a big time catch on third down to get things into the red zone. Meanwhile, Spencer Tillman is throwing cliches at us like he's Horatio "Tilty-Head" Caine.

7:11 - Things bog down again in the red zone. Texans kick another field goal. 13-6 Houston. This is definitely some what of an issue.

7:17 - Whitney Mercilus was impressive in go round number one. Exhibit A: an athletic sack, forcing the right tackle to back pedal with his length and then jumping sideways to plant Newton in the dirt. Once again, the pass rush kicked ass.

7:26 - Welcome to the "Let's Murder Alan Ball Extravaganza". Ball is beat once, twice, called for a bad interference penalty, gets away with a missed PI call, then finishes off the butchering by pushing Louis Murphy out of bounds on an un-catchable ball for another interference call that gave the Panthers new life on the one.

And then Tillman dropped this gem:

"Ball is having not a ball at corner position."

Thank you Spencer.

Ball's biggest problem? He NEVER seems to find the ball when it's in the air. Or know it's taken flight.

7:29 - Carolina knots things up. 13-13. HALFTIME BITCHES. Lazy analysis of the second half to follow.

7:52 - The Texans have struggled in the red zone. Maybe it's something to be concerned about. Maybe not.

Joel Dreesen was a big time loss for this team. He's not quite Owen Daniels, but having a guy of that size in the red zone is big. Enter Garrett Graham. Yates finds him twice on this drive, once for 26, and the other on third and long for a first. Golf claps for Garrett.

8:02 - I like craftiness. I also like the guy who's willing to play past the whistle. Troy Nolan had one of those plays, stealing away a bobbled ball from a receiver who appeared down for an interception. Solid brahhh.

8:06 - John Beck enters in at quarterback. But importantly, he throws the football like Uncle Rico. Seriously.

8:12 - It's the fourth quarter. Money time for Uncle Rico. Why the fuck didn't coach take him off the bench in that state championship? Bro throws footballs over mountains and sells tupperware for a living.

And he's getting shit done. Finding James Casey, then Lestar Jean as the Texans drive down the field.

8:16 - Jonathan Grimes scores to cap off the drive. I'm a big fan of this guy. He reminds me of Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis. Not flashy, but he doesn't dance side to side, doesn't lose yards, nor does he fumble, and gets solid yardage on every run.

And yeah I get it's one pre-season game against scrubs. But come on, he looks good bro. 20-13 Texans.

8:20 - Jimmy Clausen checks in. I check out.

8:22 - Just kidding. Jimmy Clausen makes Blaine Gabbert look competent. One back to back sequence was quite fantastic: Clausen fell on his ass and fired a pass out of bounds, then was sacked by the entire Texans defense. He just looks hopelessly lost standing in the pocket.

8:46 - DJ Bryant clearly facemasks Jimmy Clausen on ANOTHER sack. The refs miss it. But I don't blame them. Would you give this guy a call?

9:01 - Randy Bullock uses DAS BOOT for a 52 yard field goal. He has a leg. But he doesn't really look like a kicker. He looks like a guy who's going to out-drink the shit out of you. Or play the tuba. Take your pick. I'm running out of ammo.

9:08 - And then Jimmy Clausen gives me some. He's sacked once. And wraps up the game with a good old fashioned Gabbert, stepping up in the pocket and dropping the ball without even being touched. Texans recover. Game Blouses. Let's get out of here.

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