Thursday, August 19, 2010

Super Bowl Buzz Kill: Houston Texans

Anybody can pick winners. We at The Hater Nation like to predict the losers. And last year, who could match our accuracy? The Hater Nation went 31 for 32 in picking teams that would not win the Super Bowl. If you read through the lines, too, you would have saw that we were secretly picking the Saints to take the whole thing.

So here is the 2010 Super Bowl Buzz Kill. A feature so awesome, those (expletives) at Deadspin have blatantly ripped it off. Turns out the schmucks at the Bleacher Report did, too. Always imitated, never duplicated.

Why your team won't win the Super Bowl: Houston Texans

Forgive me if I have grown rather bored with the Texans. Year after year it's the same refrain. No really, this is the year that the Texans break through and advance to the playoffs. Just getting to the playoffs is that Sword of Damocles over this franchise in its limited run.

Every year, the experts are excited about a strong finish, a near miss and a set of skill players that are finally gelling together.

Because this is the year that the Texans put everything together.

So what happened last year? Well, the Texans actually had a winning record for the first time in club history. Modest goals, right? But that was a hurdle that was cleared.

QB Matt Schaub was able to stay healthy for a change. The Texans paid a steep price to pry him from the Falcons and finally, he played up to his potential.

The defense was good last year. Hey, the Texans deserve credit for taking Mario Williams, who has turned out to be a stud.

So what went wrong? It was the running backs. Coach Gary Kubiak could never settle on one running back. One week it was Steve Slaton, and then he would fumble and then he was on the bench for an extended period of time.

Arian Foster would look at times, but again, one fumble and he was out of the game.

Imagine if Kubiak coached Adrian Peterson? That guy would never see the field.

The Texans thought they had the answer when they went out and drafted rookie Ben Tate. The kind of one-gap runner who would thrive in the Texans system.

But then Tate went out and injured himself for the season. So much for that.

So again, the Texans are going to rely on Foster (early reports are good) and possibly Slaton. So in other words, the Texans are in the same spot there were in last year.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Foster does become the running back they were looking for. There suddenly is a big hole in the middle of the defense, thanks to the estrogen-abusing Brian Cushing.

The defensive rookie of the year could not find a better way to mask his steroid abuse. I admire that Cushing was offering up lame excuses to shield the inevitable conclusion that he was, indeed, juicing. Forget that Cushing is going to miss four games, are we going to see Cushing's effectiveness decline like Lattimer from The Program after he got cleaned up?

Is Cushing going to paint his face, only to have Joseph Addai run over him for a winning touchdown in a crucial game? Sorry, we have seen how that has played out. Too bad the NFL is not like MLB where you test positive for steroids one time, and then they never test you again. Right Andy Pettitte?

Good luck with all of that.

Bottom line: This is a talented team. The Colts figure to take a tiny step back at least, but can the Texans live up to it? The Texans surely are talented and the team seems to be gelling. But where have we heard that before?

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