The scene: a thrilling Texans comeback victory against Kansas City. The Texans offense, firing on all cylinders for the first time since the Washington game, throttles the Chiefs even as the defense keeps putting up more roadblocks for them to climb. Some fans may be persuaded, get this, that the defense might be a problem going forward if they can't stop Matt Cassell from throwing all over them. Particularly since, for the fourth year in a row, the defense supposedly has top-level talent and hasn't performed at a consistently good level.
The aftermath: This godawful column sent to make excuses for the defense.
Now, about the Texans. I'm stunned that so many of you have such a negative outlook about the team.
I wish I could say that I am stunned that you are stunned. But I can't really say that. Because you admit that you are stunned by something else earlier in this article. Or maybe, because just LAST WEEK you were stunned that you "bought what the Texans were selling" about being a good team. I'm stunned that your opinion turned around so fast!
The Texans are 4-2 for the first time, and they've been in first place every week of the season. Only three teams have a better record. They've overcome slow starts and terrible defense. They just scored 35 against a Romeo Crennel defense that hadn't allowed more than 19, and that was to Peyton Manning the previous week.
The Texans have the hardest schedule remaining in the NFL, and could very easily be 2-4 counting the Chiefs and Redskins wins. Romeo Crennel has never been conclusively linked with a good defense. The fact that they had to overcome something, by definition, gives you a reason to doubt them going forward. Particularly when that something, the 9000 pound gorilla in the room, is pretty conclusively the worst defense in the NFL outside of Buffalo.
Yes, the defense has been terrible, but it's the same coaches from last season when the Texans ranked fourth in defense, including second against the run, over the last 13 games.
Right, the coaches really turned that team around. It wasn't simple things like "figuring out that maybe Bernard Pollard can tackle better than Dominique Barber," and it wasn't "drafting Brian Cushing," no no no, it's all the coaches! Just make sure you ignore those first three games! Accountability is hard!
PS: Standard NFL statistics have this crazy little bias. It turns out when you have an okay run defense, but a terrible pass defense, teams decide they'd rather throw on you! Crazy huh? And that ends up lowering the amount of rushing yards you allow. Turns out that the Texans secondary was horrendous last year and they did nothing to address it outside of throwing rookies at it. But it's okay, fourth in defense over the last thirteen games! Totally sustainable, as this year has proved! Lalalala!
Frank Bush and the other defensive assistants didn't just get stupid. They're doing everything they can think of, and they'll keep making changes in personnel and strategy, but Bush isn't going to get fired, no matter how much the fans demand it.
Of course they didn't get stupid; they were never qualified for the job to begin with. Even after Kubiak's pal Richard Smith failed, the Texans FO figured "why not entrust the pick of new defensive coordinator to the same guy who bungled the first one?" and sure enough, his defensive coordinator isn't creative or good at his job. To use your own words, John, I am STUNNED.
But you're right, why make bold moves to try to fix the defense? There's no need to anticipate a breakdown! 4-2 record! Don't look at how it happened! 4-2! 4-2! 4-2!