EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge will be writing a "Voice of the Fan" column throughout the 2004 season. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
Not ready for prime time
Remember last Friday when I wondered about which Texans team we would see on Sunday at Indy? Well it took about a minute to figure it out. If Denver was an accident, I hope Denver and Indy isn't a trend. What in the name of the NFL was that?
Remember before the Denver game when I said the next three games would likely define the Texans season? Well, there's two down and one to go.
Yes, Denver and Indy are tough places to play on the road but the way the Texans have played the last two weeks is inexcusable. This is a team that appears totally out of sync and at 4-5 a win next week against Green Bay is a must if the Texans expect to have any chance at rescuing what once looked like a promising season. Many of us predicted an 8-8 season and that's still achievable, but from what we're seen recently, I'm not sure that this team will go 4-3 down the stretch.
What happened to the team that beat the Jags a couple of weeks ago? A better question might be what happened to the team with 17 guys on injured reserve that took this same Colts team down to the final play of the game last year at Reliant? Does being at home change the personality of this team that much? With big wins on the road at Kansas City and Tennessee this season, I think the answer is no.
So what is happening? The Colts have the worst defense in the league and we just made them look like the '85 Bears.
I don't typically play the blame game but the coaching staff and the players have had a terrible two weeks. The game plans against Denver and Indy were totally ineffective. It doesn't seem like the players were properly prepared for the offensive and defensive onslaughts they have faced. You can't blame this all on poor execution.
Speaking of execution, the Texans offensive line was soundly beaten all day by the fast and furious Colts defensive line. They really need to step it up. The Texans have been unable to run the ball since Week 4 and the pass protection is reminiscent of the 2002 season. Is Todd Wade being out that much of a factor?
This has been a total team collapse the past two weeks. The defensive front rarely gets any pressure on the opposing quarterback and not coincidentally there are big plays being given up by the secondary at an alarming rate. Brett Favre will be licking his chops when he looks at film on Wednesday.
Makes you really look forward to playing on national television next week doesn't it?
So as fans what should we do? Boo them unmercifully when we see them next Sunday? Nah. Go to the deer lease instead of going to the game? Nope. Tear up your season tickets in disgust? Uh…call me before you do anything like that – I might want to buy them.
What should we do? By all means, use the next few days to vent because we all need it. It's fair to criticize as long as you are fair in your criticism.
But most importantly whatever you do, continue to give the Texans your utmost support. Do whatever you need to do to completely flush the angst and anger and frustration from your system by the end of the week. We will need to bring the noise next week because next Sunday night is a critical game for the Texans. The Texans will be 5-5 and right back on track with a win on Sunday night.
Remember, it's easy to be a "die-hard" fan when everything is going well, but the team needs us now more than ever. Don't forget that some of the best fans are made during the worst of times.
· I don't buy into the Randy Cross "running it up" theory. Stop the opponent and you don't have to worry about any of that. After climbing slightly in the CBS crew echelon I guess we just have assured ourselves of falling back into the Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcotts rotation after next week.
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