The Lone Star Advocate

All the Texas teams you care about!

Archive for the category “Preseaon”

Texans Dominate in Candlestick

I’m going to leave the nasty, rowdy, belligerent 49’er fans jokes at the door as I write this, so you do not have to worry about getting shot for reading this, or myself getting beat up for typing this. Almost entirely in sync, the defense pitched a shutout, the only 49’er points came from an interception return in the first quarter, against the 49’ers and flex their muscles, and building confidence within themselves which is a big moral and confidence boost especially for such a young team. Alex Smith, was consistently pressured by the Texans and more than likely became very acquainted with Texans defensive players, especially Free Safety Troy Nolan whom Smith was intercepted by for a touchdown, Nolan also intercepted back up Colin Kaepernick. The defense is not the only part of the team deserving praise after a stellar performance, QB Matt Shaub showed great poise and ability to bounce back after throwing an interception on the first play of the game, leading the team to scoring drives in the next three series, with one touchdown pass to tight end Owen Daniels. Despite having troubles with his hamstring again, Arian Foster managed to rack up 38 yards on 8 attempts, all Texan running backs had good games with Derrick Ward scoring the only rushing touchdown despite fumbling only once.

Despite showing their worth and putting on a defensive clinic in San Francisco, this Texans team still has room to improve and work out the kinks, next week, the final preseason game, the Texans face Minnesota who nearly eclipsed Dallas Saturday evening late in the fourth quarter, thus they will not be an easy game for this team and will be the final benchmark for this team who will face the division favorite Indianapolis Colts in week one of the regular season, who are without Peyton Manning, but we still cannot allow ourselves any slack as the defense is ready and willing to pick us apart. Signing a veteran well beyond his prime, Kerry Collins, the Colts have opted to pass up their back up, Curtis Painter who has been less than productive this preseason. The Colts also signed former Texan roster filler Dan Orlovsky, and he is not given the time of day by this team, so be expecting to see their offense do less spectacular than normal because you simply cannot replace Peyton Manning like talent and presence.

– Richard Perez

Advertisements

Battle of the Bayou Looming

Being located so closely together, the Saints and Texans normally have conjoined training camps, players would benefit from being able to get looks from players other than their own teammates, due to the labor lockout this summer, Coach Kubiak and Sean Payton called off the friendly camp for fear of the lockout disrupting the season, but this is not about the friendly interactions of two bayou city teams. As any resident of Houston or the neighboring suburbs will tell you, there is an abundance of Saints fans in that area for many reasons, and as the old western duel phrase goes “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us…”

As evidenced by the old rivalry between Texas A&M and Arkansas, and the more notorious rivalry of Texas and Oklahoma, football rivalries do not stay within state boundaries, after the Andre Johnson fight against Cortland Finnegan last year, the Texans-Titans rivalry is heating up, similar to the rivalry with Dallas is gaining a head of steam after the brawl that took place between the two teams’ fans last year in Reliant Stadium. With only 350 miles separating the two teams, most would think a rivalry could flourish, but none as formed due to Houston being in a separate conference and only having two previous meetings. Aside from single players skirmishes, majority of heat between professional football clubs is within the fan base, with that said, fans will develop disdain for teams within the division thus we have division rivals, which is a different type of rivalry than a location rivalry. A segment on Houston Sports Radio 610 escalated after fans of the two teams began extensive trash talking, as many of us know, many former Hurricane Katrina refugees stayed in Houston after New Orleans recovered from the damage done by the storm, many of them being Saints fans, and despite staying in Houston, have remained loyal to their team. After the Texans emerged victorious in the preseason game Saturday night, Houston and New Orleans have a meeting in the regular season and will certainly bring light to this matter and will hopefully spark a new rivalry between these two great teams.

A Star Born Before Our Eyes?

Unless you’re either a Longhorns fan, Rams fan, or a resident of Missouri City, you’ve probably never heard the name Chris Ogbonnaya; or even had to try and pronounce his last name. The old saying is that in sports, you’re always one play away from being the starter, and that it only takes one play to lose your starting position, as Mark Belanger will tell you after a random upstart minor leaguer named Cal Ripken Jr. took his starting position and never gave it back. When the Texans struggled in the 2008 season I was one of the few people advocating giving the starting job to Sage Rosenfels after Matt Schaub returned from his shoulder injury solely on the fact that he left everything on the field and was more ready to win games and, to me, played his heart out and putting forth more of an effort than what I had ever seen from Matt Schaub, at that time. With that said, this is nowhere similar to that case, yet i think it is more similar to the situation of the Patriots having Matt Cassel shine when Tom Brady went down with the injury in week one, normally, most teams aren’t equipped with four players at the running back position and most teams do not have to go down deep into their depth chart unless they’re in the 4th quarter of a blow out. The Texans had Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and Steve Slaton out with a hamstring injury, putting Chris Ogbonnaya on center stage getting after Derrick Ward suffered a concussion that night.

Even though we are running thin at the position due to all these sudden injuries, there is no lack of talent at this position, and if there is one positive thing to take from this slump and rash of injuries: if we ever get in this sort of crisis in the regular season, we might not skip a beat talent wise. Running backs are a short lived commodity whose careers do not last very long, and primes are even shorter, and Dallas will vouch for that in that their supposed star running back Marion Barber was released, only to be signed by Chicago, but in Marion’s defense, his style of running back, a runner who runs to contact and battles for yardage, does not last very long, especially in the National Football League. Ogbonnaya displayed toughness and grit when left as the only available running back, recent signee Javaris Williams was healthy but not fully familiarized with the plays, despite only averaging two yards a carry, Ogbie scored both of the Texans’ touchdowns and made some great catches. Despite being the potential fourth string running back, he has more than certainly earned his roster spot and I would devastated if he were to be cut, I know a smart team will pick him up and utilize him.

 

Now that Arian is back working out in camp, it’ll be a great opportunity for the coaches to look at the combination of Ogbonnaya and Foster as a one-two punch, or possibly a triple threat with Slaton, but i cannot get too far ahead of myself as we still have Ben Tate and possibly Derrick Wade depending on his recovery from the concussion. Overall, I am content with the offense in the first preseason game, and am looking forward to see improvement next week against the Saints.

 

– Richard Perez

 

Written for ToroTimes.com

Texan Defense Faces it’s First True Test in the Jets’ High Powered Offense

In a bitter reminder of last season’s late fourth quarter thriller in the New Meadowlands, where the Texans trailed the entire game, mounting an astonishing comeback  in the final quarter, marching into the red-zone seemingly uncontested and scored twenty unanswered points in what looked like an amazing come from behind victory. Leading the Jets 27-23 after scoring a back-breaking field goal with only 49 seconds left, no timeouts, the Texans’ lack of a secondary proved to be this team’s Achilles heel yet again, Mark Sánchez and his star-studded receiving corps marched down the field from deep with in their own territory. The Texans’ Swiss cheese like secondary allowed two game breaking passes, one being the game winning touchdown pass, the first a deep pass to Braylon Edwards pinning the Jets within the Houston 10, and a pass to a clearly wide open Santonio Holmes, thus eventually sealing the fate of the Texans. The defense forfeited 72 yards in 5 seconds, a stat that is unacceptable no matter where you are, especially in a tight, clutch situation like that.

With that stated, I know every Texan fan cringes at that game and many others, Jacksonville especially; it still brings tears of anguish every single time I see that play on NFL Network, and we all know that our Texans have indeed beefed up the defense, more specifically, the secondary. With additions like Jonathan Joseph, Daniel Danieal Manning, Brooks Reed, JJ Watt, Brandon Harris, and plenty more, this Texan defense seems to be more than ready to accept the challenge of taking on any offense. With a tough one-two punch of JJ Watt and Mario Williams, the secondary may not have as tough a time as we expect, due to Mario and JJ applying pressure. Regardless, no offense will be an easy task for our defense, and we cannot let our guard down for a single second, proven by earlier years of heartbreak due to a mental slip up.

With the Jets improving their offense even more this off-season, they are a tougher and better team, on paper, than last year and pose a threat to our end-zone with every pass; adding Plaxico Burress, giving us a triple threat with Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, and fortifying their defense by snagging Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie. Overall, this Jets team is indeed a benchmark to find out where this Texans team stands and with only 5 days till kickoff in Houston, our coaching staff has plenty of time to work things out, get things into place, and get everything in proper order to get this team ready for our first challenge and will give us feedback on where we are as compared to where we need to be.

I know it’s only preseason, but… FOOTBALL IS BACK BABY!!!

– Richard Perez

Post Navigation