Found December 23, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Like an 8th grader at the mall, the Houston Texans were a walking fog of that pungent winner's cologne.
For most of the last two months, their win-loss record overpowered any serious criticism. It was easy to spray around that old adage about good teams finding a way to win when they don't play well. They were 8-1, 10-1, 12-2. Nothing to smell here. Move along.
They got blown out in New England, and that was alarming, but it was Tom Brady, and it was just one of those nights, and the Texans were still on top of the AFC.
But then came Sunday, and its stormcloud of stink. Suddenly, after taking a beatdown at home from a Vikings team that supposedly has one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, the Texans' dirty drawers are out in the open.
All of your questions, complaints and concerns are now worth entertaining.
Is Gary Kubiak's conservatism a fatal flaw in the team's personality?
How good is Matt Schaub, really?
Why can't the Texans run the ball anymore?
Does the secondary attend practice?
That's a lot of big questions for a 12-3 team, and while it's not fair to go back and tally up the games the Texans could have lost, that old bit about the best teams winning when they don't play well suddenly doesn't seem to apply.
The Texans are not the best team. The Texans are a very good team with a high number of tiny flaws. They have a pretty good quarterback, a great wide receiver, a pretty good running back, a great defensive coordinator and maybe the best player in the NFL.
But opponents have figured out that even with J.J. Watt having one of the best seasons ever recorded by a defensive lineman, you can throw on the Texans. If you can control your gaps you can stop Arian Foster; he doesn't break a lot of tackles. Odds are, your special teams units will have a better day than the Texans'.
Most teams aren't good enough to take advantage of those flaws, because the Texans are more balanced and more talented than the majority of the league, but this season isn't about beating most teams. That was last year.
This season is about beating the Patriots, the Packers, the Broncos. It's about the Super Bowl, and when it's about the Super Bowl, people are going to rightfully flip out when you get manhandled by an average team in your own building.
The Texans are not what we thought they were, not even what they were in September.
For a month, the Texans have looked like they thought they were a little better than they are. They looked like a team that was hoping to coast into the playoffs, and that embarrassment in New England evidently was not embarrassing enough.
Houston is talented enough to win the Super Bowl, which makes it about as talented as a half-dozen other teams.
The Texans are good, but they aren't special.
This reality now seems to have been obvious for weeks, but that's mostly because we are now looking at some of those Texans wins with the perspective of someone who knows what it looks like when they lose, and we see a lot of similarities.
In the end, as Bill Parcells famously said, you are what your record says you are. The 16-game schedule has a way of sorting things out.
And the cologne is starting to wear off.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Patriots fans frustrated with their team after a lackluster, sloppy win over the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday might want to chew into their team. While that might not be possible, they can rest easy as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took care of things for them.NFL.com:The New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but quarterback Tom Brady wasn't in the...
Tom Brady erased an early Jacksonville lead, to pull off another crucial comeback as he extended his streaks of TDs to 47 games in a row, tying Johnny Unitas
I want to see the fire from Brady regardless of the opponentEach week there is a new gameplan, a new formula for victory. Each week certain aspects of the game just loom larger than the rest. The idea is not to divine the course of the contest, but to highlight the match-ups and intangibles that I'll have my eye on during the broadcast. 1. A Pissed-Off Brady - I have always thought...
New England Patriots (10-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Tom Brady and the Patriots lost last week, but there was still a lot to like from that game. They scored 34 points on the league’s best defense, despite a season high 4 turnovers and despite missing Rob Gronkowski. Their defense surrendered 41 points, but that could have been a lot less if not for the uncharacteristic 4...
The Patriots at least had an excuse for last week’s letdown. This week, though? There’s really no good reason for their performance.
Tom Brady approached the postgame podium with a piercing look of anger and frustration strewn across his face, as if to let everyone know the displeasure he felt. He was short in his responses and didn’t last more than a few minutes before closing...
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Coming off consecutive prime-time games at home and facing one of the NFL's worst teams on the road, the New England Patriots were poised for a letdown.
They surely didn't expect a near meltdown.
Tom Brady overcame a rough start by throwing two touchdown passes, and the Patriots held on to beat the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16 on Sunday....
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Brady overcame two interceptions to rally the New England Patriots to a 23-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Field. The game was in doubt until the Patriots staved off the Jaguars on two possessions in New England territory in the last four minutes. Both ended on interceptions by safety Patrick Chung. The Jags had a first...
Tom Brady led a comeback win over the Jaguars while the Miami Dolphins, fueled by what were very slim (now non-existent) playoff hopes, gave the Bills and Jets a lesson in fighting to the end. Meanwhile, Ebenezer Ryan ruined Tiny Tim Tebow's Christmas.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Brady overcame two interceptions and three sacks and safety Patrick Chung picked off Chad Henne twice in the final minutes to preserve New England's 23-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Field. The game was in doubt until the Patriots held off the Jaguars on two possessions in New England territory in the last four minutes...
The Patriots pulled out maybe their ugliest win of the season on Sunday, but style points weren’t a concern as they managed to keep pace for a first-round bye in the AFC playoff picture.
Tom Brady led the Patriots to a gut-wrenching 23-16 win in Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon, maintaining their place as the No. 3 team in the AFC. While taking care of their own business against...
If the New England Patriots need to accomplish anything before the postseason, it probably should be avoiding sluggish starts.
The AFC East champions had to rally from a double-digit deficit for the second consecutive week, recovering from an early hole and then holding off the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16 on Sunday.
Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter but...
Not one to put into the style points section.
The Patriots started sluggish, and were sloppy for much of yesterday, but managed to get enough defensive stops to hold off the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16 and improve to 11-4 on the season.
The offensive line had problems protecting Tom Brady, who threw two interceptions, the secondary was depleted (when Pat Chung is back out there taking...
Another game, another team whining about the Patriots beating them. I was taking a break due to the holiday but figured I had to come and post this ridiculous news.Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey wasn't happy with with the patriots defense in a late goal line play.Nesn:Mularkey claims the Patriots were shifting and illegally calling out cadences, which forced Potter to move. “That...
Last week’s Patriots’ game with the San Francisco 49ers featured many twists and turns. The Pats found themselves down 31-3 at the beginning of the third quarter. They rallied late, but eventually fell short 41-34 and lost control of their own destiny for a first round bye. The only way that could happen now is with two wins and a Denver Broncos’ loss to either the Browns or...