Wish Upon A Star
Colts beating throws the Texans into the Randy Moss waiver wire sweepstakes
Maybe Jerry Jones decides he needs another star to distract everyone from the worst team in football and makes it a moot point. Perhaps, San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith elects to give Philip Rivers a target that's as crazy as his quarterback and the opportunity never arises.
But if it does — if Randy Moss falls as far as the Houston Texans in the NFL waiver wire order — there can be no hesitation, no qualms about adding a disruptive force, no sudden moral stand. The Texans, led by owner Bob McNair, must pounce.
For the Indianapolis Colts' all-too-easy 30-17 Monday Night Football shrug off of Houston shows that this team of promise needs almost as much help on offense as defense. It sounds almost crazy on a night when Peyton Manning and the Colts put 30 points on the board, but the Texans' defense didn't play all that bad.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub gift-wrapped seven Indy points — thanks in no small part to Houston receiver Kevin Walter's feeble effort (we'll get back to this later). Manning only completed 57 percent of his passes and was held to well under 300 yards. As much as Bernard Pollard screamed at rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson on the sidelines for the ESPN cameras when tight end Jacob Tamme (otherwise known as Who's That?) caught the Colts' first touchdown right in-between them, this wasn't really a defensive loss.
No one's calling Houston's defense in Indianapolis good — and you might be rightly wondering if Mario Williams ever even got off the plane for this game — but there was some defensive progress coming out of the bye week. This L is on the O.
And unless the Texans think Schaub suddenly forgot how to play quarterback — which would like Scarlett Johnansson suddenly forgetting how to smolder — they need to acknowledge that he clearly needs more help. This is about more than reminding tailback Arian Foster that he needs to stop letting linebackers he's assigned to run right up the middle untouched and slam his quarterback (though that would be nice).
A playmaker to go alongside Andre Johnson could change everything. Enter Moss, still a 6-foot-4 force at age 33 who hasn't come close to seeing his skills diminish to the point where he'll be banished from the league — a la Allen Iverson in the NBA. Or at least, the Texans should hope he has a chance to enter.
Falling to 4-3 provides Houston better odds of getting a crack at Moss, though the impressive win-loss record of the Texans' opponents essentially gives them last dibs among the 4-3 teams (the team with the worst record in the league gets the first chance on agreeing to pay the rest of Moss' contract this season and it follows from there).
So Moss is still a longshot to have a locker at Reliant, but that doesn't mean the Texans shouldn't hold the possibility of it over an underachiever like Walter. In fact, Schaub should tape some pictures of Moss up in Walter's locker as soon as he can.
Maybe then, Walter will come back to the ball and actually fight to get in front of a cornerback like Kelvin Hayden when Schaub is in trouble. Maybe, he'll do what he didn't do on that crushing pick six on Monday night.
Walter was involved in two of the biggest momentum setters in the game — Hayden's interception return for a TD and an early failed 4-and-2 try — and while only Walter will ever know for sure, he didn't appear to give a supreme effort on either one. If you're going to pull that, you'd better be as talented as Randy Moss.
So why not get the original model?
It doesn't matter that Vikings coach Brad Childress couldn't handle Moss. Kubiak is no Childress. The Texans coach is a strong enough personality to keep a motivated Moss (and after having been given up on by two teams in a matter of weeks even Moss will be motivated) rolling toward the playoffs.
This is no time for the Texans and McNair to pretend that they only believe in choir boys. When guys like Brian Cushing and Foster are two of your most important players, that notion evaporated long ago. These Texans under Kubiak have been all about making it work.
Moss would work in Houston. Now, McNair just needs to pray for the chance to make it happen.