Texans should give up on a .500 season

It’s not often you’ll hear this, but three wins in a 16-game season should be considered a success … for the Texans, at least. The Houston expansion franchise wrapped up its trifecta on Sunday with a win over the mediocre New York Giants, placing the Texans at 3-8 with five games left. They have an outside chance to reach .500, which would be a first for an NFL expansion team. But instead of yearning for the unattainable, I feel they should pack it in the rest of the season, take their three wins and go home.

Getting three victories is more than anyone could have expected from them. They were an afterthought at the beginning of the season and, here they are, not in line for the first pick in next year’s draft. But for perspective on how far they’ve come, it may help to look back at their first 11 games. Maybe then we can see why it would be best for the Texans to quit while they’re sort of ahead.

Sept. 8: Dallas helps welcome Texans to NFL. Opening day in the NFL and the Texans get their first win–a 19-10 victory over offensively ignorant Dallas. Texans rookie quarterback David Carr, making the first start of his career, made a deal with the devil in order to throw two touchdown passes. The Houston defense confused Dallas QB Quincy Carter with several complex "you cover that one guy over there" packages. Carter never knew what was coming. Unfortunately, the Texans’ win wouldn’t warrant any respect from the national media or fans until they came against a quality team.

Sept. 15: Quality team kills Texans. The Chargers proved that the Texans’ game against the Cowboys was actually staged. Houston scored only three points and had only 160 yards in total offense against a young San Diego defense. That’s right, total offense. That’s right, three points. That’s right, Houston sucks. Charger QB Drew Brees, on an off day, threw for 163 yards himself.

Sept. 22: Texans punter Chad Stanley for MVP. Stanley, conjuring up memories of Garo Yepremian and Ray Guy, had over 250 yards punting and averaged 40 yards a boot in the Texans’ 23-3 loss. Stanley out-gained the entire Texans offense by over 50 yards. Indianapolis coaches were heard after the game spreading rumors that Stanley’s leg is a prosthetic filled with synthetic rubber and NO2. No word yet from NFL officials.

Sept. 29: Houston holds a game lead for 10 minutes and, finding contention with that, quits. With their first lead since the Dallas show, the Texans had no idea what to do with themselves. So they stopped doing anything. Final score: Philadelphia 35, Houston almost 20.

Bye Week: Finally, a worthy opponent. Texans spent time studying film, walking through drills and learning each other’s names.

Oct. 13: Texans coach petitions for "pretty decent effort" to count as half a win. Houston head coach Dom Capers, following his team’s 31-24 loss to Buffalo, consulted league officials about the Texans receiving partial credit for victory since the score was "pretty doggone close." Citing a rule he wrote into the back of the NFL rulebook with a magic marker, Coughlin explained that a loss by seven points or less is a moral victory for the franchise and hence should be counted in the standings. League officials listened, then conferred, then decided not to invite Coughlin to any more coaches’ meetings based on the fact that he was a borderline weirdo.

Oct. 20: Amnesia hits Texas. In a related story, the Houston offensive line forgets how to block, allowing Cleveland defenders to sack Carr eight times in a 34-17 whipping.

Oct. 27: Florida air-traffic control spots airborne swine over the city of Jacksonville. The Texans win! The Texans win! Houston rookie running-back Jonathan Wells and his stout 1.6 yard per carry average got the Texans’ offensive machine rolling with a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter. There was no looking back–except when Jacksonville went ahead on a safety. And again on a field goal. And again on a touchdown. But after that, there was no looking back.

Nov. 3: Houston gives Bengals reason for living. The Texans became the first (and only) victim of the Bengals’ sideshow after a 38-3 victory. Houston players explained afterward that the reason they played so poorly was that they felt sorry for expansion teams like themselves, unaware of the fact that the Bengals have been playing for over 40 years.

Nov. 10: Houston poses as real team. Facing the division-leading Tennessee Titans, Houston played beyond all expectations in a competitive 17-10 loss. Tennessee found the Texans’ QB-sneak-only offensive philosophy especially effective. Carr finished with 16 well-earned yards and a headache.

Nov. 17: Jaguars claim "do-over" to prove that loss to Houston is a fluke. Jacksonville redeemed itself after losing to Houston four weeks earlier with a 24-21 victory. Mark Brunell threw two touchdowns and finally solved the Texan defense using a decoder ring he found in a box of Count Chocula. A Houston defensive assistant explained after the game that at the start of the season he and his staff felt that it would be easier if they "encoded" the defensive plays with the official Count Chocula decoder ring. Unfortunately, they never knew that other teams would have the same affinity for chocolate cereal.

Nov. 27: Texans call it quits. After their win over the New York Giants, Houston realizes that its season will never get any better than it is right now, and informs the league that it is done playing. NFL officials, left with no other alternative, allow the CFL Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes to play in the Texans’ stead. The Texans enjoy a relaxing holiday season, knowing that their inaugural year was a successful one.

Hey, it could happen. And it should.

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Title: Texans should give up on a .500 season | Author: Kevan Lee | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2002-11-27 | Internal ID: 2993