September 19, 2010

Synaptic Shotgun 9.19.10 - Texans Gameday

Occasional, recurring short-form posts about
the Washington Redskins, NFL and maybe even Life.
Almost like a blog

Can't let this go unsaid. If I came to you after today's game against Houston and told you why I'd seen the Redskins' win coming, you'd think I was catching a wave.

That wouldn't do.

I'm not going to break it down into X's and O' gameday morning you will have read plenty of those if that's your thing. What I will do is tell you is what I was thinking as I watched the highlights of the Texans' 34-24 win over Indianapolis that has everyone buzzing.

Their heretofore anonymous young running back, Arian Foster, ran wild to the tune of 231 yards and three touchdowns. That's pretty good. From the looks of it (acknowledging we're talking highlights here) he repeatedly gashed the left side of the Colts defense. There was a matchup problem there the Colts did not or could not fix on the fly.

I think Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett may have noticed.

The Colts best defensive player, safety Bob Sanders, left the game injured on the Texans's first offensive series. Based on recent history, Sanders is the one guy who seems to determine if the Colts defense is solid or awful. Oversimplified? Sure, a little. But not totally. The Redskins defense is not the Colts defense sans Sanders.

The Texans prepared for Indy all off season. Division rivalry. Raging inferiority complex. An underdog with limited expectations and a huge chip on its shoulder, sneaking up behind the neighborhood bully and whacking him upside the head with a shovel.

None of those factors apply against the Redskins today.

The Redskins defense is not the Colts defense. The Texans run game, and receiver Andre Johnson, will not sneak up on Jim Haslett and crew. They don't just watch highlights, they watch game film.

The score was 13-10 at the half. It was 20-10 with a little over 10 minutes left in the game when Manning led a drive from his own 19 into the Texans' red zone, and completed a sweet pass over the middle to Austin Collie at the Texans 10 yard line...which Collie fumbled away while being tackled.

The Colts defense, not surprisingly after that kind of crushing turnover, collapsed, and the Texans and Foster drove the length of the field through some ugly gaping holes to score again. At 27-10, the game was over.

The teams exchanged traded meaningless scores over the final minutes to make the final score look like more of a shootout than the game actually was.

If the Colts hadn't fumbled away that ball in the red zone, though, and scored to draw within 20-17 (would you have bet against Manning there?)...well, let me ask you straight up:

What do you think was likely to happen the rest of the way?

I'm not dismissing or disrespecting the Texans. They look pretty solid after one week. And if it turns out Foster is the real deal, along with wide receiver Andre Johnson he gives Matt Schaub the weaponry to field a dangerous offense.

The Texans will get their yards today. They'll score...some.

But sitting here right now, I also think they may be surprised to find that playing a sounder, more prepared defense, as a road favorite, against a team also looking to establish itself as bona fide, is not the feel-good surprise coming-out party they enjoyed last week.

Call it gut instinct, call it homerism, call it what you will.

I'm calling it Washington 26, Houston 23.


If you have a mind, swing by during the game this afternoon. Along with my dear friend and BGO partner John "Boone" Jeffries (a/k/a Tarhog) and new friend Ryan Estornios of, I will be live-blogging the Redskins vs. Texans game. I know...what is the world coming to?

We're going to have some fun though. Promise.


Twenty-one years ago today, my first child was born.

Kelsey Elizabeth came into this world exactly 34 minutes into a Tuesday morning. In the birthing room that night, silent backdrop to the miracle of her birth, a television broadcast a professional football game between the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.

That these 21 short years later I should find myself writing her a birthday wish on a football blog, talking about a Redskins team playing a team coached by the backup quarterback that stood on the Denver sidelines that night in Buffalo...well, it's the kind of thing that makes life the crazy, wondrous, deeply textured journey we too often forget it is.

There was no way I could have known, back then, that she would grow into the glorious young woman she is. A father hopes, and dreams, but cannot know.

You have brought me unutterable joy, babe, and in my heart will be forever young.

Happy Birthday... may your life be full of love, laughter and magic.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kelsey.

Nyx said...


Love you, Dad.