November 7, 2013

Game Day Diary: Colts 27 - Texans 24

What's a worse way to lose? Getting blown out in a game chock with embarrassing mistakes? Or watching a team play great for 40 minutes...only to choke everything away in the last 20?

I'm going to go with option B. We all know I'm not a Texans fan. I'm from Championsville Boston. And that seeing the motherland win title after title has turned me spoiled and indifferent to victories. I watch the games, and try to cover them objectively.

But I have never been as emotionally drained as I was after Sunday night's loss to the Colts. To go from one extreme: actually ENJOYING what Case Keenum and company were accomplishing in the first the absolute opposite: seeing a coach suffer a mini-stroke and the team crumple like a house of was simply maddening and exhausting.

Latest diary after the jump.

Remember how in previous Game Day Diaries we did drinking games? I feel like we need a new cue. How about every time I think about writing "The Texans keep finding ways to re-define Rock they're Jesse Pinkman", you do this:

CHUG a drink for "realizing that 99% of Paul's references come from Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and South Park".

Note: I very nearly did that before the jump.

7:29 – The Texans decided to shake things up and introduce the offense one by one out the tunnel. I loathe individual entrances. Used to like it...and then this happened. (skip to 1:14)

Mind blown.

Back to Reliant. Has anyone done less to earn a standing ovation than Case Keenum? Sure he played a great game against the Kansas City Chiefs...and he's a Coog. But I'm guessing about 60% of the rah rahs he received were because of one fact: he's not Matt Schaub.

7:32 – Clearly Keenum ISN'T Matt Schaub. Or even remotely like him. On the first play of the game, Keenum goes Manziel. He rolls to his left. Then back to his right. And then finds DeVier Posey for a first down.


7:34 - I know we aren't fans of Patriots color commentator Scott Zolak down here. He who famously uttered the quotes above...and these ones below about the Texans(which turned out to be true):

But Zolak's words are the only way I can put into words how SHOCKED we all were by Keenum's 81 yard TD bomb to Andre Johnson (80's first TD of the year, which is an absolute JOKE). I've rarely been shocked for a good reason while watching an NFL game. This was the rare exception.

Reliant is going bonkers. So...time for a HAPPY drink?

7:40 – I thought we were in for a shootout after a big Coby Fleener catch and run for the Colts. But to see a blocked field goal from a JOE MARCIANO coached special teams unit is actually more surprising than seeing Keenum throw a TD bomb.

Oh wait...J.J. Watt swatted it? Nevermind. You're kind of expected to block every field goal bro. Way to slack off the previous 7 games.

7:43 – The Texans can't take advantage of J.J.'s swat, but they at least tried. Going for it on 4th and short in enemy territory? Took you long enough Kubes. Still - while the decision to go for it can't be questioned - giving Ben "Broken Ribs" Tate the ball when he's clearly affected by his injury was definitely puzzling.

7:51 - Two special teams highlights for the Texans in the same game? actually did happen.

But not before a colossal screw up by Marciano's unit on the play before. Colts punter Pat McAfee Tedd Ginn'd the snap, yet still managed to get the punt off (55 yards down field somehow) by picking up the ball and then juking Justin Tuggle out of his jock strap. An Indy penalty negated it.

The highlight? McAfee's world was ended on the re-punt by Brian Braman, and the punt was partially blocked. Is Joe Marciano saving his job? ...uh oh. DRINK.


7:56 - Keenum did it AGAIN. Another TD bomb to Andre Johnson (over the stupified and shocked mediocrity known as Antoine Bethea). I have no words to describe how shocked I am.

8:08 – Third and long...past the sticks? Uhhhh...DRINK!

8:15 – I've never seen Andrew Luck look so uncomfortable. Hell, he looks rattled. On just one series...he almost gets sacked on first down, then gets sacked back to back on the next two plays. And when he isn't getting tossed around like a rag doll, he's been tossing errant throws no where near his receivers.

The one good thing he has done? Keep it away from Texans defensive backs.

8:25 – The Sunday Night football graphic reads "Bullock has made 11-12 after starting off the season 1-4. Obviously a jinx. Naturally, Bullock pushes the following field goal attempt just wide. Momentum has been seriously kicked in the crotch.

8:39 – Kareem Jackson has morphed back into the liability he was back in 2011. Not because of his play per se. He has become this season's Brandon Harris...aka a flag magnet. He hooks Darrius Heyward-Bey just enough to draw the yellow, setting up Indy in great position.

But despite the penalty...some how the Texans keep Indy out of the end zone. Is good karma back?

8:46 – The Keshawn Martin returner experiment needs to end. Now. I'm sure part of his issues have to do with abysmal, Joe Marciano led coverage units. But you can't have your punt returner putting the ball on the ground as often as he does...let alone making bad decisions to take kickoffs out of the end zone.

Fortunately, everything continues to go the Texans' way. Keshawn clearly fumbled it. A Colt clearly recovered it in bounds. And there was no video evidence to overturn said call. But for whatever reason, the zebras did it.


8:53 – I ask this question way too much. But HOW IN THE HELL IS ANDRE JOHNSON ALWAYS OPEN? Especially way down field?

Bro...seriously...what are you doing?

Oh wait. You're being Darius Butler? Proceed.

8:57 – Keenum. The STONES on this kid.

First he scrambles 22 yards inside the 5 yard line. Then he motions as if he's going to spike the ball. Then he does something that for some reason HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE: tosses the ball up in the corner of the end zone and trusts Andre to come down with the touchdown.

He does. 21-3. This place is going bonkers.

9:00 – Gary Kubiak's mini-stroke was a very confusing moment up in the press box. Most of us were completely unaware of it, since typically at halftime we run over to the cafeteria area to get some grub. There was mass confusion once word spread around that he was down, so I can only imagine what the Texans went through at half time. Thankfully he ended up being ok.

Kubiak is a guy who probably won't...and probably shouldn't be coach after this season. We criticize his decisions on the field often, and I know a lot of fans are tired with him. Still, you never want to see anyone go down the way he did...especially when you consider how classy a dude he is. Few people could have handled every media member calling for him to be fired back in 2010 as well as he did, but Gary took it in stride.

I know the football coach in him will be itching to get back on the sidelines. Not that he'll read this, but Kubes...take a breather. Stuff like this is a warning. Get comfortable, then figure out how you'll return to the team.

9:20 – Andrew Luck is a great young quarterback. But his offensive line is a pile of trash, and has looked horrendous against Houston's (absurdly elite) front 3 all night. Antonio Smith throws down Luck for his second sack of the game.

9:21 – Well, the NFL has officially jumped the shark. When we're calling targeting penalties on Ed Reed for bumping into someone named Griff, it's time to start watching some quidditch soccer, the manliest of sports.

Meanwhile, isn't it sad that this is the first time we've mentioned "The Pride of I Was Born To Do This University" all game? #MarqueeFreeAgentSigning

9:24 - Luck looks really rattled and hesitant out there. He's struggling just to complete passes, let alone make plays But he still hasn't turned the ball over, something that likely would have happened last season.

9:40 – I am so sports-sprung for Case Keenum. His ability to extend plays...especially after two years of being forced to watch simply FUN to watch.

9:50 – Another penalty to extend a Colts drive on third down. But this one was a stupid one. Darryl, did you miss this a couple of weeks ago?

Do not go ANYWHERE NEAR Andrew Luck when he's on his way out of bounds. Seriously. The refs are going to call that penalty 99 out of 100 times. The one time they won't call it? For Blaine Gabbert.

9:53 – The Sharpton penalty paves the way for Indy's first touchdown...courtesy of T.Y. Hilton. FANTASY POINTS.

Meanwhile, why is Brice McCain allowed to cover anyone...let alone Hilton? He has been consistently bad all year, which makes you wonder how awful Brandon "I couldn't find the field with an apple and a road map" Harris is.

PS - Anyone else like the Spencer Tillman color commentary reference there? I award myself 500 points.

10:00 – Keenum is Favre-esquely Flacco-ing the Colts with a "Moon-Ball" assault down field. The latest attack via DeAndre Hopkins. Love what I've seen so far...even though I'm assuming a multi-interception game could be in Keenum's future down the road.

10:05 - So much for that. Bullock misses another make able field goal (43 yards). With 10.5 minutes to go...they can't possibly blow this. Right? I've never felt to awful about a two score lead.

10:08 – Anddddddd.....T.Y. Hilton. 24-19. Panic. Panic. PANIC.

10:21 – Tonight we're going to vomit like it's Two-Thou-sand-And-Nine. And there's even a Kris Brown-esque figurehead to lead the charge!

Pretty much everything is going against the Texans at this point. I'm not exactly sure whether or not Andre Johnson caught that pass on third down. And I don't the referees are least based off of the camera replay angles we saw. Yet they apparently saw enough to conclusively overturn that call.

To make things worse, Shane Lechler shanked a punt that then proceeded to bounce 15 yards backwards. A 19 yard punt. ZERO CHANCE of victory for the Texans. Let's go home.

10:23 – 3rd and long. You know Luck is gonna get it. And he does.

10:27 – Touchdown Colts. So disappointing. But so unsurprising.

10:30 – Andy Reid esque clock management down the stretch by the Texans. They call a read option for some reason on 2nd and 8, and take a good 40 seconds to get off their third down play...which fails horrendously. Because of that wasted time, they're forced to punt the ball on a play that goes THROUGH the two minute warning. That'll give them about a minute to work with...if they some how get the ball back.

10:32 - They do. Magic time?

10:33 - Well that certainly didn't help...Elbert Mack. I'm hoping Marciano at least taught you to hold like that.

10:35 - ...............!@#!$.

If Randy Bullock is employed tomorrow...I am just going to snap.

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