The Lone Star Advocate

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Texans Demolish Baltimore

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After being embarrassed on national television by the Green Bay Packers, the Texans bounced back against an opponent equally as dangerous and strong. The Baltimore Ravens had an overall record of 6-0 against the Texans in the eleven season tenure of the Houston Franchise. The teams are relatively the same since the Monday Night match-up in 2010 where the Texans lost a heartbreaker in overtime, and in 2011, the Texans’ playoff drive was ended in Baltimore losing to them for the third time in two years. In 2012, the Ravens were looking to go for lucky number 7, but the Texans were not going to let that happen, especially after the chips left on their shoulder by Green Bay.

A nearly flawless game was played by the Texans, both offensively and defensively, both correlating and feeding off of one another. The offense was slow to start, but kick-started when Connor Barwin got the safety for the Texans after Alan Ball hustled to down down the punt from Donnie Jones within the ten yard line.

The Texans offense and defense combined for 29 unanswered points between the first and third quarters. The offense has shown that no mater what, the team can put up points, and light up the scoreboard.

I cannot put into words just how overjoyed and ecstatic I am about this team, this is THE best Texans team we’ve seen, the potential has been here since 2010, and I may even go as far back as 2009.

It just took the epic collapse of the 6-10 2010 season to allow the Texans to draft the pieces that they needed. Fast forward to 2012, I think this is the BEST professional football team overall the city of Houston has seen in all of its years, including the Oilers and Gamblers.

To blatantly misquote Forrest Gump, or make up my own quote: “Elite is what elite does” and elite is bouncing back from a deflating, and humbling loss to prove that you are indeed elite.

Bounce back is what we did, and bounced back with a vengeance, they did. Quite frankly, looking at a stat sheet just does not do the team’s effort any justice whatsoever. With a high quality opponent such as the Baltimore Ravens, the Texans really proved their mettle, and have secured a “tie-breaker” over a potential playoff adversary for home field advantage.

Simply put, this Texans game shows that the Texans can learn from ther mistakes, and rapidly make adjustments on a week-to-week basis to better make themselves match up better to their opponent.

After this amazing victory, the Texans go into week 7 on a bye, and have two weeks to prepare for the so-called “judgement day” as dubbed by the $100 Million Dollar Man, Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills who will roll into town in week 8. Before we get ahead of ourselves, the Texans have to take this week one day at a time, as they would a normal week, and it gives the guys an extra week to heal up. Week 6 has been vastly entertaining, let’s enjoy the sweet taste of victory for now, as we get ready to come back for the second half of the regular season.

– Richard Perez

Slow Start and Mistkaes Dooms Houston

 

In what many hoped to be their prime-time coming out party, the Houston Texans were beaten into the grass of Reliant Stadium by  the Green Bay Packers, a desperate Packer team, with multiple chips on their shoulders dating back to the week two Monday Night Football. The Pack simply wanted this game more than the Texans, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack came out looking to make a statement, and a giant statement they made.

Plain and simple, the Texans were outplayed, the Packers defense smothered Arian Foster, limiting him to 29 yards, and the Packers’ offense simply outgunned the Texans, and capitalized on their mistakes. From head scratching penalties, to the blown coverages for huge gains, the Texans defense looked like a shadow of its former self, can it be attributed to the loss of Brian Cushing? Maybe, but looking at the way Aaron Rodgers played, he had forever and a day in the pocket due to the high level of player from his offensive line, and Rodgers was also getting the ball off just in time to get it to his receiver, and avoiding a sack. The Packers, at this point in the season, are the better team and it showed, and to be a realist of sorts, you could say that this team needed a wake-up call of sorts. Rather than live in a fantasy world of “nothing is wrong with this team” and then getting exposed when it matters, I feel that it gives us a benchmark of what we did wrong.

This might just have been the toughest all around opponent the Texans will face all year, and by far the toughest test thus far, and to make things tougher, the Texans will be facing a familiar foe in the Baltimore Ravens next week, not in prime-time, but in the Texans’ “comfort zone” so to speak of the early game on CBS.

Despite all the clamor of things that we did wrong, this is no time to hit the panic button, there is time for the team to correct their mistakes and face a team they will likely face in the playoffs, in the Ravens, and unfortunately, the Texans will be facing a banged up Ravens team, who may have just lost Ray Lewis for the year to torn triceps, MRI’s to come soon. Shutdown corner Ladarius Webb suffered a knee injury, and pro-bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is battling knee and shoulder injuries.

The Texans have a good amount of time to get prepared and fix mistakes, this loss by no means does not show that the Texans are not the “real deal”. it simply means that the Texans have to adjust to life without Cushing, tighten up the running game, and learning how to play from behind.

This game should not be remembered for the pounding and embarrassment the Texans received from the Packers, but as a reminder as the to the level of play elite teams play at and how they have to elevate their play to match, and outplay the other elite teams the Texans will face.

– Richard Perez

Houston Survives in Gotham

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In their first ever Monday Night prime time game since 2010, the Houston Texans put on an amazing show. Although, this game was perfect by no means at all; the Texans allowed the Jets to hang in the game when the Texans should have blown them out. That aspect of the game I’ll get to lastly, I want to focus on the positive.

The Texans defense really did win this game for us, two picks on Sanchez, the pressure, batting of his passes right back in his face, and the smothering of their running attack. The defense won this game for us, and it’s not only JJ Watt being the big play maker! All of the defense played great, from Brooks Reed, to Brice McCain, Glover Quinn, and Kareem Jackson. Jackson, being under much scrutiny last season, and the season before as a major underachiever on the field, has vastly improved this year, and his impressed fans and writers alike. No doubt about it, Kareem Jackson is a candidate for most improved player, at least within the Texans’ organization.

My only beef with the defense was getting burned by Jets’ receivers, the Jeff Cumblerland touchdown, huge pass to Cromartie, and beating beaten at the line, allowing Tim Tebow to make a huge gain.

Pondering this though, how spoiled am I when I got upset that Brice McCain didn’t score on that interception. He had a virtually had all sides covered and managed to slow himself down to get tackled after trying to hurdle a downed tackler. It also didn’t help his case any when the offense left a sour taste in my mouth settling for that field goal.

On to the offense, we sputtered on the drives we needed them the most. The offense sputtered in the redzone twice, and settling for field goals on our final three scoring drives. I don’t know if it was the offense losing momentum to the Jets who were gaining momentum, or just the Jets defense coming through to give Sanchez a chance. Given that Rex Ryan is a sharp defensive mind, there is no doubt Ryan made defensive adjustments to hinder the Texans high powered offense, and it showed.

Matt Schaub and Arian Foster got it done today, and Andre Johnson almost looked like he didn’t show up, but only because he was virtually blanketed by Dominick Cromartie the entire game. The offense was indeed great, but making adjustments to the defensive adjustments is a must, and facing a more potent defense against Green Bay is going to be a bigger challenge than the Jets’ defense.

The low note of the game is Brian Cushing’s knee injury, John McClain has reported he may be done for the year due to an ACL tear, but many are waiting for the team’s report from team doctors rather than just run with McClain’s report. Six year veteran Tim Dobbins will take his spot in the rotation, the ILB position is getting thin, and should the Texans sign one, who would be on the cutting block for the new guy? That is a discussion for a later article…

– Richard Perez

Houston Ready to Circle the Wagons

It’s Monday! The Texans finally have their first Monday Night Football game in two years, and against the New York Jets, a team who broke the Texans’ heart in a late game thriller in 2010.

The Jets are hobbled, and are struggling at this point in time, losing Derrell Revis, and Santonio Holmes, both players are key players to defense and offense respectively. To add to that pressure, the Jets are losing faith in quarterback Mark Sanchez, and it seems to be only a matter of time till fan favorite Tim Tebow is named the starter.

The Texans are favored by nine points in the New Meadowlands Stadium, and the heavily favored Texans, are primed to steamroll the Jets. The Jets have minimal weapons compared to the Texans’, and after losing their star wide receiver Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez is forced to go with other receivers, and dump the ball to his back Shon Greene.

The Texans high powered defender should have no trouble at all handling the Jets, the Texans have faced a better team in Denver, but the hype of the prime time Monday Night Football, a first time for a few of the Texans’ players’ career may give them a few nervous jitters for the first few series.

Ultimately, I’m looking for the Texans to leave New Jersey 5-0 and come home to prepare for their biggest challenge on Sunday Night against Green Bay.

– Richard Perez

Texans Trample Titans

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In their best performance of the season so far, the mighty Texans have improved their record to 4-0.

In the inaugural meeting of the TNT Rivalry for the 2012 season, the Texans routed the Tennessee Titans in a 38-14 victory, allowing only one touchdown per half.

Read more…

A Royal Pain

HOUSTON — The Astros have taken game one of three from the inter-league series with the Kansas City Royals by a margin of 9-7. although, the final score does not truly dictate how much of a creaming the Astros laid on the Royals. Kansas City managed to snake five runs in the top half of the ninth inning on closer Brett Myers, who has only blown one save all year. Read more…

Ban Hammer Up?

After attempting to buy tickets online, it is apparent that the Thunder officials have banned patrons from Texas who order tickets online via Ticketmaster.com for games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals, and will have their orders canceled without notice and given refunds. Here’s what the Ticketmaster.com website reads when you’re trying to buy tickets to the game: Read more…

Pick Me a Winner!

The MLB June Amateur Draft is coming up in five days and after the Astros’ last place finish last season, both Astros personnel and fans alike are ready and excited for the draft on June 4th, and the first pick overall belonging to the Astros. Speculations are plentiful as everybody guesses who will be the Astros’ pick, but luckily, ‘Stros Bros extraordinaire, Richard Perez was able to speak with new Astros GM Jeff Luhnow about the upcoming draft back in April. Read more…

Minor League Report: Corpus Christi Hooks vs. Arkansas Travelers

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CORPUS CHRISTI — The Hooks, sitting in third place in the South Division of the Texas League, went into the match-up with the Arkansas Travelers with both clubs at a record of 19-25; the starter for the Hooks was Jake Buchanan, the same player whose last outing was an 11-4 loss against the San Antonio Missions. The Hooks started off hot from the very beginning, scoring five runs, the first two via two doubles from Austin Wates, and Jonathan Singleton, a Jose Martinez single and Jonathan Villar taking one for the team, getting hit by the pitch; offensive potency was capped off by a three run bomb from Brandon Barnes, a 416ft bomb to be exact, his fifth home run of the year. Read more…

Game Two Grades: Spurs 105 Clippers 88

Starting Five:

Kawhi Leonard: 5 Points, 6 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 0 Assists, 25:37 minutes.

Overall, our young Leonard went under the radar and didn’t stand out, only making a clutch bucket at one point, but other than that, his offensive presence was not all that great. Contrarily, on the defensive side of the ball, Leonard was all over Clippers guard Chris Paul, any other rookie having to face such an amazing veteran such as Paul, but Leonard held his own and for that, his grade will reflect it.

Overall: C+
I think Leonard is still trying to find his way, but I also may have too high expectations from him, but he has yet to let me down. Read more…

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