Nowhere to Run

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November 27, 2006
Nowhere to Run

by Keith Weiland

Continuing a disturbing trend to the 2006 season, the Texans failed to find any room to run, subsequently derailing the offense en route to a 26-11 loss to the Jets in East Rutherford, NJ.

Another familiar trend on display once again was the third quarter collapse of the Texans, who saw a 9-3 haltime deficit explode into a 23-3 shellacking before the team could muster a late positive response on offense.

Running backs Wali Lundy and Samkon Gado, who just last week combined to rush for 130 yards, could only find 15 yards total on the ground against the Jets. With no room to run, the passing offense made some amends, as David Carr completed 72 percent of his passes and a season-high 321 yards. But a costly third quarter interception by Carr proved too difficult for the the Texans to overcome.

Jets defensive back Kerry Rhodes stepped in front of Carr’s pass at the 5-minute mark of the third quarter, picking it off at the Texans’ 24-yard line. Four plays later, Cedric Houston pushed into the endzone for 23-3 lead.

Earlier in the quarter, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington found Laveranues Coles at the sideline for the game’s first touchdown. The 91-yard drive relentlessly attacked a soft Texans secondary, an apparent halftime adjustment to the gameplan by the Jets coaching staff.

Down by 23 and trying to mount a comeback, Carr led the offense on a methodical 11-play drive that culminated with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson. Lundy caught a pass from Carr for the two-point conversion to narrow the margin to 15 points.

With 3:27 remaining in the game, Carr again led the offense on another long, clock-chewing drive. After 15 plays, time expired with the Texans still holding possession on the Jets’ 12-yard line.

The 15-point loss was the team’s widest margin of defeat since their fifth game of the season, a 34-6 drubbing at Dallas.

What Went Right?

Stats between the 20s The Texans won the battles for total yards (332-304), time of possession (30:51), and third down conversion percentage (47-31%). Moving into a scoring position really hasn’t been much of a problem for the team all season, as David Carr seems capable of taking what a defense gives him outside of the redzone.

DeMeco’s DeMan The middle linebacker of a 4-3 defense is supposed to rack up the tackle stats, but DeMeco Ryans is doing more than just wrapping up ballcarriers between the hashes. Ryans was all over the field against the Jets, collecting 13 tackles and making up for subpar play from his teammates elsewhere in the defense.

Steady as E-Mo Goes Where would David Carr and the rest of the offense be without the consistency of Eric Moulds? He posted a season-high performance, catching 10 balls for 79 yards, several of which coming on the Texans’ final drive when Carr needed a pair of veteran hands the most.

What Went Wrong?

Rushing Nowhere The most evident symptom of an ineffective Kubiak offense is almost always an impotent running attack. It is the wheel that turns all the other gears of the system, and 11 carries for 15 yards from the backs will remove the bootlegs and play action passes from the gameplan, making for a long afternoon.

Lack of Urgency Down by 23 points following a drive by the Jets that chewed up almost nine minutes, the Texans refused to go no-huddle with less than eight minutes left in the game. That drive ultimately resulted a touchdown, but it chewed up more than half the remaining time on the clock. The Jets couldn’t have iced the game more effectively than if they held possession themselves. When the Texans did forego the huddle on their final drive, it took them 15 plays before time expired, with just one of those plays going for more than 10 yards.

Third Quarter Siesta Just when we thought the Texans had finally put away their halftime fudge, they lost yet another game with a miserable third quarter. The offense had four drives in the quarter; they resulted in three drives that failed to get a first down and another that featured an interception. The third quarter sludge is a hallmark of a team that is out-coached.

Key Play Of The Game

While the game probably turned as soon as the third quarter clock began ticking, the game’s lowest point occurred when David Carr and Gary Kubiak both needed to show theirs was a team that could respond to a little adversity.

Down 16-3, the Texans and Jets exchanged punts, and with 5:16 left in the third quarter, the Texans still had ample time to make this a one-score game and have a reasonable shot at victory. On first down from his own 20-yard line, Kubiak called for play action, and the Jets were not fooled.

Jets defensive back Kerry Rhodes stayed in front of Andre Johnson, comfortable that fellow defensive back David Barrett had the deep zone, and made the leaping interception of Carr’s pass. The Jets quickly converted the turnover into a touchdown and a deflating 20-point lead.

Game 11 Recap After his third quarter interception, Jets DB Kerry Rhodes embraces teammate Erik Coleman. Final Score Houston Texans 11 New York Jets 26 Lookin’ Good

Sage Rosenfels
His hit on Justin Miller as the Jet was attempting to return a lame 58-yard field goal attempt was one of the best tackles of the entire game. Not bad for a backup quarterback.

Oh, my eyes!

Chad Stanley
He bobbled what appeared to be a decent snap, a miscue that led to the Jets’ first points of the game. His other punts weren’t too shabby (48.5-yd average), but guess which one his coach will remember?

2006 Schedule Date Opponent Result 08.12 Kansas City 24-14 08.19 St. Louis 27-20 08.27 at Denver 14-17 08.31 Tampa Bay 16-13 Regular Season 09.10 Philadelphia 10-24 09.17 at Indianapolis 24-43 09.24 Washington 15-31 10.01 Miami 17-15 10.08 Bye 10.15 at Dallas 6-34 10.22 Jacksonville 27-7 10.29 at Tennessee 22-28 11.05 at NY Giants 10-14 11.12 at Jacksonville 13-10 11.19 Buffalo 21-24 11.26 at NY Jets 11-26 12.03 at Oakland 23-14 12.10 Tennessee 20-26 12.17 at New England 7-40 12.24 Indianapolis 27-24 12.31 Cleveland 14-6   Overall Record 6-10