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Houston Texans

2018 Observations: Season in review

In the game of football, or any game for that matter, there's nothing worse than playing your worst game at the worst time. The Texans had one of those days on Saturday against the Colts in their 21-7 loss. For some, it could take the starch away from what was an amazing season and it'll sting like heck for a while. But, this team will bounce back again in 2019 and beyond. As such, I don't really have any observations from Saturday. There wasn't much there unfortunately, so I decided to think back on what made this 2018 season so memorable.

-- Andre Hal returning from cancer and tying for the team lead in interceptions. Just remarkable.

-- The Play in Philly - Deshaun Watson's Houdini escape and 22-yard throw to Jordan Akins against the Eagles.

-- Justin Reid's 101-yard pick six against Washington.

-- Name a DeAndre Hopkins catch. There were 115 of them.
The game winner at New York was brilliant.
The one that didn't count against Miami on Thursday night.
The one hander on Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey
Every toe drag swag catch throughout the season.
One stands out more than any other, though - Spin-O-Rama v. Dallas.

-- Speaking of Jacksonville, Deshaun's bus ride.

-- Lamar Miller's 97-yard run on Monday Night Football three days after Bob McNair had passed away.

-- Marc Vandermeer's call "That one's for you, Bob!!" will stay with me for a long time. #Chills.

-- Watson leading the comeback in Philly. I could watch those three minutes of game action all offseason.

-- 16 sacks in 16 games for the player everyone told me was washed up - J.J. Watt.
Oh, don't forget the strip sacks and forced fumbles. Ones in Indianapolis and New York stand out in a big way.

-- The way Jadeveon Clowney took over games this season - the Philly game may have been the best game I've ever seen him play and he's had a few of those.

-- Clowney's snow angels sack versus Indianapolis.

-- Keke Coutee flashing his immense potential with TWO 11-catch games against the Colts.

-- The arrival of Tyrann Mathieu. The leadership of Tyrann Mathieu. The tackling of Tyrann Mathieu.

-- Kareem Jackson's brilliant season and his hit on Denver's Phillip Lindsay.

-- Johnathan Joseph's pick six to beat Buffalo. Loudest I heard NRG all season, in my opinion.

-- Zach Cunningham's 4th and one stop on Titans Luke Stocker on MNF.

-- Zach's pick six against Cleveland, the first one of his college/pro career.

-- Benardrick McKinney rallying defensive troops every time that unit's back was up against the wall. The Jets game stands out in that regard.

-- Vyncint Smith's deep bomb reception against Philly and the joy on his face after he came back to the sideline.

-- Rookie Jordan Thomas two touchdowns against Miami on Thursday night.

-- Deshaun's 73-yard bomb to Will Fuller V on Thursday night which was a thing of beauty. Get well, 15.

-- DeAndre Carter injecting life into this team when he arrived during the bye week, whether on offense or in the return game.

-- The special teams brilliance all season long (minus one bad moment in Tennessee). This group was a truly special group and gave this team something it hadn't had in quite some time, if not ever.

-- Kaimi Fairbairn's clutch field goals at Indianapolis and versus Dallas. Oh, the 54-yarder at Washington to take the lead. The go-ahead field goal at Denver into that horrendous wind. He was nails all year long.

-- Watching D.J. Reader dominate games inside. He should get Pro Bowl consideration in the future and he's a foundation piece for this defense for a long time.

-- The arrival of Demaryius Thomas. What a pro and just a joy to have on this team! So sad that his season ended the way that it did.

-- This 2018 rookie class was outstanding and that was without a first or second round pick. Keep in mind the Texans have a first and two seconds in the 2019 NFL Draft.

-- Winning prime time games on Thursday (Miami), Sunday (Dallas) and Monday (Tennessee) all at home.

-- Zach Cunningham's stop on Dallas star running back Zeke Elliott on third and one in overtime.

-- Watson to Hopkins at Indianapolis with the clock running down in overtime...and then getting everyone set to spike it for Fairbairn's shot at a field goal.

-- Clowney's fumble recovery for a touchdown in Indianapolis which got everything turned around.

-- Three interceptions in the first half against number one overall pick Baker Mayfield (who by the way is going to be The Truth in this league in due time)

-- Nine in a row making NFL history - no team had ever gone 0-3 and then won eight or even nine in a row to start a season until this 2018 team did.

-- The locker room after wins was just electric.

-- Bill O'Brien giving Cal McNair the game ball after the win over Tennessee on Monday night. I did all I could do not cry on the spot.

This team's togetherness and camaraderie. THAT more than anything else made Saturday's result that much more unfortunate because this group will never be together again. Changes will be made to the roster, as always happens, and the organization will move on. I'll miss THIS team, in particular, but here's hoping they can take the steps necessary to make even more history in 2019 and beyond.

Thanks so much to everyone for reading my observations this year and we'll be back. Soon.

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