Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Texans-Dolphins: Game Analysis

Let's get right into talking about what turned out to be a kicking clinic.

The Bad
Travis Johnson - Let me get this out of the way at the beginning. Travis Johnson is a classless individual. Trent Green's block was completely within the rules, and quite frankly when a quarterback is trying to make a block on a 300+ pound defensive lineman, going low is the only way he can be successful. Johnson showed what a despicable person he is by standing over a completely lifeless Green and screaming and gesticulating wildly. Here's a direct quote from Johnson regarding his postgame feelings toward Green. "
At 12:01, I had a lot of respect for Trent Green. At 12:20, I said fuck Trent Green." That's funny because at approximately 3:15 on Sunday I said "fuck you Travis Johnson."

Defensive third down efficiency - The defense continues to struggle mightily with getting off of the field on third downs. They allowed a 50% (6 of 12) conversion rate to a Houston offense without its starting running back and three of its wide receivers. This let Matt Schaub nudge the offense to within range of Kris Brown's incredible leg one too many times.

Cameron Worrell - Forced to start because of a bevy of injuries to the safeties, Worrell proved why he is a special teams player and not a starter. Every big play given up in the passing game seemingly came at the expense of Worrell. He was overmatched in coverage and the Texans knew it. It's hard to believe that he was a better option to start than Travis Daniels or even Lamont Thompson. Donovin Darius needs to get healthy soon so that he can step back into a starting role for this team. It's becoming increasingly clear by the week that Worrell was a bad offseason acquisition. He was brought in to primarily be a special teams maven, and he's even failed at that. There's no reason to expect him to play well in a starting role.

End of game defense - This defense just doesn't seem capable of playing sustained defense for all four quarters. Given superb field position by pinning the Texans inside their own five yard line with only 1:33 left to play in the game, the defense collapsed. Owen Daniels was able to get open underneath the coverage, and Houston drove all the way into Miami territory and set up Kris Brown for his impressive game-winning kick. Even when it plays relatively well for most of the game, this defense lacks closing power.

The Good
Ronnie Brown - Brown validated his last two weeks' monster performances by going out and doing it again against a top ten defense against the run. That is a very encouraging sign and Brown really looks to have turned a corner. It's too bad it's all for naught as the team remains winless.

The offensive line - Any success Brown is having can also be contributed to the guys in front of him. Hudson Houck looks like he has worked his magic once again, turning this group into a solid unit. Their play has gotten better with each week, and they are succeeding at both run-blocking and pass protection. There is definitely room for improvement, but can anyone say they expected this unit to be playing so well at this point of the season? I sure can't. Dolphins runners are averaging 4.7 yards per carry through 5 games and the QBs have only been sacked 8 times - not too shabby.

The run defense - Seriously?! The run defense? It's true. With the return of Zach Thomas, the defense finally stiffened up against the run, allowing a paltry 2.6 yards per rush. They did this without Channing Crowder or Vonnie Holliday.

Ted Ginn Jr. - Ginn showed some nice signs of improvement on Sunday, catching his second pass for a 36 yard gain and returning five kickoffs for a 35.2 yard average. With the season circling the drain (if not already being destroyed by the garbage disposal) Ginn's progression will be one major facet of this team to watch over the remainder of the year.
Jason Taylor - There's the J.T. we've all come to know and love! Why did it take so long, Jason? Nevermind, at least he showed signs of life in what has been a comatose season, notching 6 tackles (5 solo), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Jay Feely - Feely matched Brown kick for kick throughout the day, going a perfect 4 for 4 on field goals. He remains perfect on the season, hitting all 11 field goals and all 8 extra points. At a time when there is talk of Olindo Mare getting the ax in New Orleans, it's nice to see that the front office actually hit it right on with one of its free agent acquisitions.


Play of the Game - Kris Brown's game-winning 57 yard field goal with one second left on the clock. Clutch.

Player of the Game - Kris Brown. A perfect 5 for 5, with field goals of 43, 54, 54, and 57. He kept Houston in the game by getting them points on almost every drive.

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