Kubiak's Preseason Perfection Ends
tu, Brute Jones?
fake season Caesar, Gary Kubiak, is knifed in the back by Jacoby
Jones, as the second year wide receiver drops a pass attempt for
a two-point conversion. Instead of protecting a lead with two minutes
to play, the Texans lose to the Cowboys 23-22.
loss drops Kubiak's lifetime preseason record to 7-4, as his Texans
lose for the first time in 2008. The drop by Jones only continues
what has been a rather disappointing preseason by Jones, who was
last year's darling of the fake games.
by a slow start following the neck injury to Harry Williams in kickoff
coverage, the Texans kept the score close in spite of being over-matched,
particularly by the Cowboys offense. Too soft in zone and too sloppy
when tackling, the Texans defense allowed the Cowboys 266 yards
and 20 points in the first half.
first team offense regained form after a sluggish first quarter.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson saw his first action of the preseason,
but it was teammate Kevin Walter leading the way with six receptions
for 61 yards and a touchdown. The running game found a bit more
room for the first time this preseason, as Chris Taylor, Steve Slaton,
and Darius Walker combined for 112 yards and a 4.3-yard average.
Okoye hardly showed up in the stat sheet (one tackle), but he pushed
his way into the Dallas backfield often. Mario Williams also failed
to register a sack, but he was instrumental on two redzone turnovers.
His first key play came in getting penetration to force Cowboys
quarterback Tony Romo to make a bad decision on a pass intercepted
by linebacker Zac Diles. Then in the third quarter, he forced a
fumble with the Cowboys knocking on the door for a double-digit
rushes, 75 yards, 1 touchdown
was the statline for Cowboys running back Marion Barber in just
one half of play. The reactive zone defense employed by defensive
coordinator Richard Smith was totally outplayed by Barber, as the
Texans linebackers had a poor showing all evening as a unit. Smith
will need to work with his defense on getting better outside containment,
or he'll be forced to reckon with Steelers running backs doing the
same in Week 1.
the Friday night game scheduling, I had time to go back and watch
this in detail, jotting notes as I went, the result of which is
a drive-by-drive breakdown below of what I saw. Yeah, it's lengthy,
but you've got four more days until the Texans' next game against
the Bucs, so print this out and keep it near the toilet for good
Texans at 15:00
HST 3 DAL 0 Plays: 7 Yards: 11 Possession: 2:01
two short passes TE Owen Daniels, Schaub feels pressure due to some
poor pass protection from his guards, Kasey Studdard on the left
and Mike Brisiel on the right. After a nice 68-yard kickoff return
from Andre Davis to open the game, the drive stalls. Studdard’s
inability to slow down the pass rush would become a theme for the
rest of the game.
Dallas Cowboys at 12:59
HST 3 DAL 7 Plays: 7 Yards: 51 Possession: 4:23
Williams is stretchered off the field before the first offensive
snap for the Cowboys. Maybe it makes the Texans defense a bit tentative
to start the game, or maybe the scheme employed by defensive coordinator
Richard Smith is too soft and reactive. All three linebackers are
playing on their heels. CB Jacques Reeves is providing too much
cushion. Outside containment is lost by DE Anthony Weaver and CB
Fred Bennett on separate plays. DE Roosevelt Colvin is manhandled
by TE Jason Witten.
bright spot on this drive is DT Amobi Okoye. He beat his man (usually
G Leonard Davis) one-on-one at least three times in the drive’s
seven plays. RB Marion Barber rushed four times for 27 yards, finding
his way outside too easily. On the TD pass to WR Patrick Crayton,
there were several blown coverage assignments and confusion amongst
Bennett and LBs Zac Diles and DeMeco Ryans.
Texans at 08:36
HST 3 DAL 7 Plays: 3 Yards: 5 Possession: 1:44
is out at left guard, rotating first team assignments with Chris
White in place of the injured Chester Pitts. RB Chris Taylor rushes
twice for five yards, and RT Eric Winston is ineffective in his
pulling block on the backside. On third down, Schaub rushes his
mechanics and overthrows WR Andre Johnson.
Cowboys at 06:52
HST 3 DAL 10 Plays: 7 Yards: 41 Possession: 2:50
shows poor awareness covering Crayton on an 11-yard pass, then later
loses WR Terrell Owens on a 40-yard incompletion into the endzone.
Deep safety help is nowhere to be found on the play. LB Morlon Greenwood
is unable to shed a block on another outside run by Barber, this
time good for 13 yards. Reeves inexplicably plays a 10-yard cushion
on Owens, giving up an easy completion. Drive stalls after third
down incompletion by QB Tony Romo to Owens, CB Demarcus Faggins
Texans at 04:02
HST 3 DAL 10 Plays: 3 Yards: -6 Possession: 1:08
is still in at LG. WR Kevin Walter runs an end around, but LT Duane
Brown never blocks DE Demarcus Ware, who takes down Walter with
ease for a 6-yard loss. Schaub’s next two passes are off-target,
the second of which could have intercepted by S Ken Hamlin.
Cowboys at 02:54
HST 3 DAL 10 Plays: 7 Yards: 54 Possession: 3:45
continues his good play with a tipped pass, though the screen pass
is still completed for six yards to Barber. Bennett then is too
soft in coverage on the next two plays, giving up completions to
Owens and Witten for a total of 27 yards. Greenwood and Diles then
each misread outside rushes by Barber, the second of which goes
for 17 yards down to the 2-yard line.
drive continues. Greenwood makes a goalline stop to keep Barber
out of the endzone, and Okoye is credited for the tackle. DE Mario
Williams then penetrates and pressures Romo into bad decision as
Diles intercepts in the endzone for a touchback.
Texans at 14:09
HST 10 DAL 10 Plays: 12 Yards: 80 Possession: 6:17
RB Steve Slaton enters the game for Taylor, Studdard back in at
LG. His first rush is just three yards when Daniels is unable to
block Ware. DT Tank Johnson beats C Chris Myers up the middle, enough
to disrupt Schaub’s attempt to Johnson. Had the pass been
on target, Johnson could have run the slant for a 77-yard score.
WR David Anderson makes a nice third down catch to keep the drive
trouble in pass pro at guard, as Studdard is beat in consecutive
plays by DT Chris Canty. On the next play, Brisiel misses his block,
but Schaub steps up in the pocket and completes to Daniels, his
second target in three plays. Offense goes back to the run, and
the OL is effective, including a 20-yard run by Slaton. Studdard
then whiffs on a run block of DL Marcus Spears. On the scoring play,
Brown misses his block on Ware, but Schaub shows poise in completing
the 11-yard TD pass to Walter.
Cowboys at 07:52
HST 10 DAL 17 Plays: 11 Yards: 68 Possession: 5:56
penetrates to keep Barber to a 2-yard gain. Romo throws a slant
to Owen for a first down, Reeves can’t keep pace. Demps makes
a good read on the run, as Barber runs into Okoye for no gain. Weird
defensive playcall as Weaver is in coverage, gives up short pass.
Cowboys convert third down, doubling Mario on obvious pass play,
and Bennett is unable to close on Crayton for a 22-yard gain.
linebackers then have brain freeze for the next few plays. Greenwood
and Ryans are slow to read the plays in front of them and are easily
blocked. Ryans then makes a bad read and is slow in coverage. Greenwood
is taken out of a play by a run block. LB Kevin Bentley is a late
sub, but DT Travis Johnson stuffs a middle run on the 1-yard line.
Barber then goes airborne into the endzone for the TD as Diles takes
a low trajectory.
Texans at 01:56
HST 10 DAL 17 Plays: 7 Yards: 38 Possession: 1:22
back in for Studdard, and he promptly earns a foul start penalty.
Walter makes a nice grab for 6 yards, then Taylor catches a screen
for 15, led by an awesome block by Myers. Schaub shows better accuracy
on 9-yard completion to Daniels. White makes a nice pulling block
to spring Taylor for a 6-yard run for first down. Schaub competes
another good pass to Walter for 7 yards. Drive then stalls on next
two plays as Schaub is nearly picked on second down and the pass
pro falters on third down.
Cowboys at 00:34
HST 10 DAL 20 Plays: 5 Yards: 52 Possession: 0:32
beats Davis again, flushing Romo from the pocket. Romo though is
able to scramble 13 yards with plenty of open space. Hurd runs skinny
post for 32-yard reception into field goal territory as Ryans and
Brown have breakdown in coverage. Reeves then plays soft coverage
in giving up two short completions, probably just looking to avoid
giving up the big play as damage is already done.
Texans at 00:02
Dallas Cowboys at 15:00
HST 10 DAL 20 Plays: 0 Yards: 0 Possession: 0:08
Brandon Harrison forces a fumble on the opening kickoff, recovered
by S Nick Ferguson.
Texans at 14:52
HST 13 DAL 20 Plays: 7 Yards: 30 Possession: 3:08
back in at LG. He totally misses his run block, turns and has Slaton
run right into him. Ware beats Brown to the inside, but Schaub completes
anyway to Davis for 12 yards. Good run blocking all around on the
next play, a 13-yard run for Slaton. Either Winston or FB Vonta
Leach miss their assignment on the next play as Slaton is tackled
for a 5-yard loss. Cowboys bring blitz, but Schaub finds an open
Walter for 9 yards. Schaub then ignores two open receivers in the
endzone, instead tossing incomplete to Slaton in the flat. K Kris
Brown converts an easy field goal.
Cowboys at 11:44
HST 13 DAL 20 Plays: 9 Yards: 60 Possession: 6:11
Barber, Witten, and Owens are out, but most of the other starters
appear to remain in the game. Okoye makes good penetration, credit
1-yard tackle to Weaver. QB Brad Johnson completes a short pass
to TE Martellus Bennett, and Reeves in zone coverage totally misses
the tackle as Bennett runs for 29 yards. Ryans makes a nice read
and stops RB Felix Jones for just a yard. Weaver in coverage next
and can’t tackle a receiver laying still on the ground. Ugh.
in then beaten in press coverage for 11-yard skinny post. Brown
reads run and tackles Jones 2 yards. LBs playing too soft in zone
coverage again, and F. Bennett misses an open field tackle. Mario
then comes up big AGAIN deep in the redzone, forcing a fumble which
is recovered by DT Frank Okam.
Texans at 05:33
HST 16 DAL 20 Plays: 12 Yards: 83 Possession: 6:13
is back at LG, first team offense remains in tact. Schaub play fakes
to Davis for 26-yard completion. Nice play enabled by good pass
pro. Taylor goes nowhere on next rush when Daniels is unable to
block Ware. Illegal formation penalty is then called as someone
is not on the line of scrimmage.
offensive line continues to play well on this drive. Brisiel and
Leach open up a 6-yard run for Taylor. Walter shows good concentration
catching a tipped pass for 23 yards. Myers gets a good push on a
nice cutback run by Taylor. Brown and White open up another decent
gain for Taylor, 11 yards in two plays. Offense clicking as Schaub
completes to Davis and Myers opens up another good run from Taylor.
drive continues. Slaton maybe makes up his mind too quick bouncing
outside instead of cutting back. Leach then drops a soft toss from
Schaub for an easy first down. Kris Brown converts another short
field goal attempt.
Cowboys at 14:20
HST 16 DAL 20 Plays: 3 Yards: -2 Possession: 1:41
in the game. Faggins swipes for an awesome pass break-up. LB Kevis
Coley misses a clean tackle on Jones, but the 9-yard run is negated
by an illegal formation penalty on Dallas. CB Derricl Roberson makes
a good tackle on Jones for a short gain. Ferguson is beaten on a
deep pass on third down, but the ball is overthrown. Good thing,
if completed it would have been six points.
Texans at 12:39
HST 16 DAL 20 Plays: 8 Yards: 31 Possession: 4:17
at RG, White at LG. RB Darius Walker misses his blitz pickup, but
QB Sage Rosenfels completes anyway to TE Joel Dreesen for 7 yards.
Rosenfels then rushes his next attempt, incomplete. Walker then
runs downhill for the first down, C Greg Eslinger creating a little
space. Walker then rushes twice more for another 8 yards, with Studdard
getting pushed back a little on the first then slipping on the second.
Drive is kept alive thanks to a holding penalty on Dallas.
makes a nice play action fake, but hardly looks downfield for an
open receiver. He instead completes for 7 yards to Walker. Foul
start penalty called on LT Rashad Butler. Rosenfels then tries to
throw 20 yards to Bruener, but pass is weak and could have been
picked off. Rosenfels then dumps short pass on third down, not enough
for first, ending drive. Is no one open or is Rosnefels just not
looking at his receivers?
Cowboys at 08:22
HST 16 DAL 23 Plays: 8 Yards: 63 Possession: 3:08
coverage by CBs Antwaun Molden and Faggins. DE Earl Cochran applies
a little pressure and pass is thrown away. Another missed tackle
by Coley. Johnson incomplete on third down pass, but then a crucial
12-man penalty on the defense continues the Dallas drive.
blow deep coverage, as WR Danny Amendola beats Glenn Earl for 35
yards into Houston territory. Johnson then makes a good pass complete
for 13 yards, and RB Tashard Choice pushes up middle for 4 yards.
Molden has tight coverage on 25-yard attempt into the endzone. DT
Anthony Maddox penetrates, almost gets hand on Johnson, and Dallas
fails to convert third down attempt.
Texans at 05:14
HST 22 DAL 23 Plays: 7 Yards: 44 Possession: 3:09
is at LG, White at RG. Rosenfels find his poise again, penalty in
coverage on Dallas. Anderson runs a good route for a 9-yard catch.
Line gets good push for first down run by Walker. Anderson called
for weird offensive pass interference call. Refs return favor on
the next play, calling interference on defender mistiming slow throw
good downhill run by Walker for 6 yards on first down with good
blocking by RT Brandon Frye, then again on the next play, 5 more
yards for Walker. WR Mark Simmons make catch near goalline, but
Dallas challenge reverses completion ruling. WR Jacoby Jones then
bobbles catch at back of the endzone, incomplete, though he came
down with it. On third down, Rosenfels then scrambles 8 yards for
choose to go for two-point conversion, avoiding the tie in preseason.
Rosenfels finds Jones open, but Jones seems to lose concentration
and drops the pass.
Cowboys at 02:05
HST 22 DAL 23 Plays: 5 Yards: 2 Possession: 2:05
elect pooch kick over onsides attempt. DT Deljuan Robinson penetrates,
stuffing Choice for 1-yard loss. Maddox penetrates on second dow,
stops Choice for no gain. Maddox then forces fumble, Dallas recovers.
Instead of a fourth down though, a holding penalty is called on
Roberson for an automatic first down, killing the game.
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