Vandermeer's View: The Crossroads

The Crossroads

Here we are again. The season is on the line and the Texans are in an against-the odds situation. 
They've been here before. Maybe all NFL seasons are on the virtual brink of collapse at any moment. But as far as this one goes, I can think of three other times that Houston turned its season around at the edge of the abyss.
I will not include 2005. That season was gone from the get-go and finished at 2-14. The 2008 campaign is the one that comes to mind first. The Texans were 3-7 and going nowhere fast before winning five of six to go 8-8. There were some sweet wins in the run including the last second victory at Green Bay and a defensive struggle triumph against a Titans team that went 13-3.
The next one was the 2013 season. The Texans were 2-4, then started Case Keenum, who gave them a spark but not enough to stop the slide. They bottomed out, paving the way for the Bill O'Brien era.
Then there's two years ago. The Texans were 3-5 and headed to Cincinnati to play an 8-0 Bengals team on Monday Night Football. No one gave them a shot but they won and eventually made the playoffs.
Here they are at 3-5 again. They are coming off an anemic offensive performance that garnered just one offensive touchdown. They face a Rams team that is starting to make some serious noise on defense under Wade Phillips. And L.A. has an offense that had enough weapons to help themselves to a 51 point afternoon at the Giants last week.
This will be a huge game for Tom Savage. After taking three quarters to heat up last week, he's going to have to come out firing. O'Brien said he wants him to "let it rip" along with the rest of the team. Sure, the Texans want to run the ball. But they know that 'three yards and a cloud of L.A. smog' isn't going to cut it. They have to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers early and often.
There's no doubt 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay has put a lot of focus into Jadeveon Clowney, who is a potential X-factor in this game. Aaron Donald is getting some pundit recognition for being the best defender in the game. But Clowney, who's putting together a Pro Bowl campaign, will have something to say about it.
The margin for error is gone. It's bone on bone. A loss Sunday probably puts the Texans in a must-win-out for any whiff at the top of the AFC South. O'Brien and his crew have been here before. And we'll all be watching to see if they can pull off the improbable again. 



Here we are again. The season is on the line and the Texans are in an against-the odds situation.


They've been here before. Maybe all NFL seasons are on the virtual brink of collapse at any moment. But as far as this one goes, I can think of three other times that Houston turned its season around at the edge of the abyss.


I will not include 2005. That season was gone from the get-go and finished at 2-14. The 2008 campaign is the one that comes to mind first. The Texans were 3-7 and going nowhere fast before winning five of six to go 8-8. There were some sweet wins in the run including the last second victory at Green Bay and a defensive struggle triumph against a Titans team that went 13-3.


The next one was the 2013 season. The Texans were 2-4, then started Case Keenum, who gave them a spark but not enough to stop the slide. They bottomed out, paving the way for the Bill O'Brien era.


Then there's two years ago. The Texans were 3-5 and headed to Cincinnati to play an 8-0 Bengals team on Monday Night Football. No one gave them a shot but they won and eventually made the playoffs.


Here they are at 3-5 again. They are coming off an anemic offensive performance that garnered just one offensive touchdown. They face a Rams team that is starting to make some serious noise on defense under Wade Phillips. And L.A. has an offense that had enough weapons to help themselves to a 51 point afternoon at the Giants last week.


This will be a huge game for Tom Savage. After taking three quarters to heat up last week, he's going to have to come out firing. O'Brien said he wants him to "let it rip" along with the rest of the team. Sure, the Texans want to run the ball. But they know that 'three yards and a cloud of L.A. smog' isn't going to cut it. They have to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers early and often.


There's no doubt 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay has put a lot of focus into Jadeveon Clowney, who is a potential X-factor in this game. Aaron Donald is getting some pundit recognition for being the best defender in the game. But Clowney, who's putting together a Pro Bowl campaign, will have something to say about it.


The margin for error is gone. It's bone on bone. A loss Sunday probably puts the Texans in a must-win-out for any whiff at the top of the AFC South. O'Brien and his crew have been here before. And we'll all be watching to see if they can pull off the improbable again. 

The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 9/7/2020)


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