Monday, November 23, 2009
Halftime thoughts from Reliant Stadium
By Paul Kuharsky
HOUSTON -- Some halftime thoughts from Texans-Titans, which is tied 14-14.
- Boy, the Titans' option plays with Vince Young and Chris Johnson running together are electric. Does it lose some of that juice if they run it much more? Has to be tempting for Mike Heimerdinger to call more. The play calling has been a nice and effective mix, I think.
- Loyalty is nice, but should have some limits, too. Rod Hood was playing great in place of Nick Harper. Harper was ready to return from a broken forearm, and coach Jeff Fisher gave him his job back. As a reward, he got to see Andre Johnson run right past Harper for a 12-yard touchdown on a fade. I suspect the Texans are big fans of Fisher’s loyalty.
- At the end of the first quarter and going into the two-minute warning, Young and Jeff Fisher both seemed unaware of where the clock stood. The Titans burned a timeout in the first situation. Young walked to the sideline with palms up in the second, then put his arm around Fisher when he arrived for their talk. Houston could have managed the clock better just before the half when more aggressive play calling might have given them a chance at a long field goal attempt for Kris Brown.
- Houston had done largely good work containing Johnson up until a 36-yard run on Tennessee’s second scoring drive. On that run, he bounced off Brian Cushing and skipped to allow Zac Diles to fly by. I’d bet outside of that Houston was pretty happy with their defensive effort against him, and that’s saying something when the guy is averaging 6.6 yards a carry and not hurting you too badly.
- James Casey isn’t going to replace Owen Daniels, but he offers an intriguing and flexible piece for Matt Schaub. I’d like to see the Texans try to get him increasingly involved in what they are doing.
- Fullback Vonta Leach is a valued blocker and special-teamer and the Texans were surely relieved his injury was merely a knee bruise and he was back in short order.
- Too much Chris Brown. He's got twice as many carries as Steve Slaton, six to three, and is half as dynamic, at best.