November 14, 2013

Game Day Diary: Cardinals 27 - Texans 24

You see the picture above? Yes. That actually happened on Sunday.

I'm beyond annoyed by this season. This team isn't good...even though it should be. And the coaching staff is exactly like I said it was going into the year: mediocre. Ed Reed's pink slip earning quotes were 100% correct. This team was outplayed...and out-coached Sunday. And has been in every single game since week two.

This past Sunday wasn't Indy-bad. But it WAS just another reminder of how badly this team is under-achieving. Latest diary after the jump.

3:26 – There are plenty of differences between Matt Schaub and Case Keenum. They're kind of like Goofus and Gallant:

- Matt curls up in the fetal position when under pressure. Case rolls outside of the pocket to extend the play.
- Matt throws passes short of the sticks on most third and longs. Case bombs 'em downfield on third and short.
- Matt forgets he has Andre Johnson in the red zone. Case forgets he has anyone OTHER than Andre there.

Of's not all good.

- Matt throws pick sixes with no regard for human life. Case only FUMBLE sixes.

That's pretty much the worst way to start a game you can possibly think of.

3:27 - I'm a white guy from Boston. So when I see a guy named "Matt Shaughnessy" returned a fumble for a TD, I expect to see this:

Not this:

3:31 - Keenum was bound to look like a rookie at some point. And the Cardinals are really in his head. Case nearly throws a pick 6 on his first pass, a forced play with an all out blitz right in his grill. But Ben Tate punches it loose...avoiding certain disaster in the process. Two plays later, he gets called for delay of game. Yikes.

3:36 - The Texans obviously miss Brian Cushing. But all things considered, Joe Mays has played very well with Cush out for the year. First Mays wrecks Rashard Mendenhall on a short carry. Then he nearly has a pick six of Carson Palmer. Not bad bro.

3:40 – Watching Matt Schaub under center has pre-conditioned me to freak out whenever a Texans quarterback holds on to the ball. I'm still getting used to Case Keenum extending plays...which as it turns out, is actually a GOOD thing.

On second and ten, Keenum rolls around for a while. I shout "THROW IT AWAY...THROW IT AWAY...THROW IT AWAY YOU GABRONE" at the TV, only to see Case scramble for 7 yards and set up a third and short. My bad.

3:42 – O-FACE.

Beautiful. Keenum throws a laser towards the sideline to Andre Johnson for 6. Andre makes an even better catch. Tie game. Momentum. Pulse.

3:59 – I thought it was tough to make Carson Palmer look good. Apparently I was wrong. Palmer and the play fake are eviscerating the Texans secondary...who somehow find a way to stop 'Zona at their own 40.

4:14 - Things aren't getting much better after a quick Texans three and out. Palmer continues to pick the Texans apart (now without a banged up Kareem Jackson AND Johnathan Joseph) via play action. Brice is the primary victim of abuse. 14-7 Cards.

4:23 – But the Texans answer right back, after Keenum and a suddenly healthy seeming Ben Tate help Houston tie the score up.

Meanwhile...mad props to Ryan Griffin on his first career TD. The Londonderry New Hampshire native pulls a Jonny Gomes, emptying the quiver in the end zone.

Glorious day.

4:27 – Ladies and gentlemen, our first "Carson Palmer went to U.S.C.!" moment! Palmer lobs it up, and D.J. Swearinger comes down with the swipe (his first career one too). Houston has the ball in prime real estate.

4:30 – Unfortunately, the Texans can't do much with it. And here comes fat Randy for a field goal attempt.

I don't care that he made it. When you've missed as many as Bullock, you shouldn't still be employed.

4:43 – Matt Schaub probably just punted a kitten. Not only does Keenum luck himself out of a sure interception, he gets a first down after a forced pass bounces off two Cardinals...and into DeAndre Hopkins hands for a first down.

4:47 – But Keenum isn't having a very good day. He intentionally grounds two passes in a row (a flag only thrown on the second one) and seems rattled by Arizona's constant pressure

4:52 – Brandon Harris just made a great play defending a pass. Yes, this sentence actually happened.

4:53 – And then Watt forces a fumble...AND recovers it in 'Zona territory. The Texans are getting all the bounces today. Can they capitalize?

4:57 – Naturally, the Texans take advantage of the takeaway in true Kubiak/Dennison form, with three bad play calls leading up to a field goal attempt by Bullock. That gets blocked. least he didn't Finkel it!

- How bad is Brice McCain?

This bad...except with zero unintentional comedy.

5:26 – Someone gave D.J. Swearinger too much Mountain Dew today.

The results have been hilarious. In a good way. He has a pick. He's made some big tackles. And he's going INSANE after every single play he makes. Love it. Gotta have some fun out there.

5:30 – What don't I love? The way Johnathan Joseph has been playing of late. He isn't playing with any confidence. Lots of sagging coverage. And no aggression. I don't know if he's hurt again, but his play hasn't been good.

5:36 – John Abraham. Geez. He's 100,000 years old and still gets to the passer on a regular basis.

5:49 – The Cardinals are driving the ball at will on the Texans, at least until the red zone. Brandon Harris makes ANOTHER big play with his back against the wall, forcing a Cardinals field goal inside the Texans 10.

This raises a serious question. Brice McCain has been awful since this point last year. Brandon Harris really struggled at first subbing for McCain with a plethora of penalties. But he's clearly the better option at nickel corner right now.

He was a second round pick...and still hasn't been cut for some reason. If he is still good enough to play on this team, why not put him on the field and see what he can do? He can't be any worse than Brice.

5:56 – The Cardinals continue to move the ball at will. Meanwhile, the Texans O can’t do much of anything.

6:06 – Brice McCain. Disaster. Cardinals up 10. Blouses...?

6:18 – Obviously J.J. Watt makes a huge play. Another forced fumble. Another recovery. Another chance to get back in the game, this time deep in Cardinals territory.

6:21 – Andre with an absurd end zone touchdown, somehow topping the previous one. I mean seriously. Patrick Peterson HAD IT IN HIS HAND. And Andre still came down AND got both feet down.

You've got to feel bad for Andre. How many more TDs would he have if Matt Schaub EVER lobbed up jump balls to him in the end zone? Probably about 8 more or so.

6:30 – The Texans make a questionable decision to punt. But hey...they stop the Cardinals. Keenum magic time?

– More like Keenum mediocrity. Case bombs a bunch of balls deep down field...that are way out of bounds...and a drive never really develops. He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn late.

Seven. Straight. Losses. Groan.

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