NFL games are rarely decided in the first quarter, but thanks to a defense that couldn’t stop high school receivers, the New York Giants only needed 15 minutes to put the inconsistent Houston Texans away.Â But the Texans defensive players won’t feel too bad since the offense wasn’t much better.
What Went Right
Neil Rackers continues to be a reliable kicker, hitting his only field goal attempt.
What Went Wrong
If The Colbert Report covered Texans football, defensive coordinator Frank Bush would officially be put â€œon notice.â€
The Texans’ defense entered the game last in the NFL against the pass and likely won’t rise in the rankings.Â Despite the much-anticipated return of suspended 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Brian Cushing, the defense fell behind early and the offense couldn’t even make the game competitive.Â Bush led the 2009 Texans defense to the best numbers in team history, but this season he could cost them a shot at the postseason.Â The defense has serious problems and changes may be necessary in order to save the season.
After two NBA Championships with the Rockets, Hakeem Olajuwon made Houstonians fond of the name â€œHakeem.â€Â Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks may have tarnished the name in the Bayou City after his performance, though.Â Nicks was unstoppable, burning the Texans secondary for a career-high 130 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.Â Nicks caught his 2nd touchdown pass uncontested and even the Fox commentators criticized the Texans secondary for allowing five feet between them and the Giants receivers.
Rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson got his first career interception, but it didn’t make up for him killing the team.Â The Texans don’t have a year to sit back and wait for Jackson to learn the game and one interception doesn’t rectify getting thoroughly embarrassed by Hakeem Nicks.
I’m considering becoming a fantasy football analyst and writing a column each week recommending players start whichever quarterbacks and receivers are facing the Texans that week.Â Look out, Matthew Berry â€“ there’s a new fantasy Nostradamus in town.
Speaking of fantasy football teams, Matt Schaub is killing mine.Â He looked off against the Giants, throwing passes behind receivers and having several tipped at the line.Â Schaub led the NFL in passing last season, but after only mustering 196 yards through the air today, he is not even close to retaining his title.
The Giants, who destroyed Jay Cutler and the Bears last week, proved the performance wasn’t a fluke by holding league-leading rusher Arian Foster to 27 total yards.Â After making an MVP-case for Foster last week, I cannot say anything positive about him since he wasn’t a factor this week.
After Nick’s second touchdown put the Giants up 21-0, the Texans seemed to just give up.Â No one expected the struggling Giants offense to explode like they did, and the Texans never recovered from their first quarter assault.
This game could be the turning point in the inconsistent Texans’ season.Â They’ve been humbled twice at home this season (first by the Cowboys) and they need to examine their flaws and use this defeat as the catalyst that turns them into the contenders many thought they’d be.
Work on It
Changes in the defense are imminent.Â The Texans cannot maintain the status quo and need to revamp their defensive strategy or dismiss Bush and/or defensive backs coach David Gibbs.
Numerical Indications of Athletic Achievement (or Futility, in this case)
Schaub â€“ 16/34, 196 yds, 1 INT
Foster â€“ 11 rush, 25 yds, 2 rec, 2 yds
Johnson â€“ 5 rec, 95 yds
Daniels â€“ 3 rec, 45 yds
Ward â€“ 1 rush, 1 yd, 1 TD
Rackers â€“ 1/1 FG, 1/1 XP